Kevin Bloody Wilson is as Australian as Vegemite.
He is iconic, patriotic, and unashamedly controversial, but to him the controversy isn’t something he strives for, it’s merely something that goes with the territory.
From his breakthrough album ‘Your Average Australian Yobbo’ some 25 years ago, to his recently released Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, this Kalgoorlie native plays songs that are borne from the hearts and humor of the most important people to any Aussie – his mates.
Unlike modern day wanna be musicians who test their material to a television audience and washed up panel of judges, Kevin prefers to let a select few – the same people who will tell him something is shit without hesitation – shape his music. The same people who could easily be sitting right next to you next time you see him perform.
He keeps it real, and honest, and if his china plates don’t get a laugh out of the material then he doesn’t feel the need to subject the rest of the population to it.
To put it simply, he is an Aussie larrikin through and through, and if he can’t put a smile on the face of the people closest to him then he shelves the idea and starts again.
When asked what else he thinks has kept his humor relevant all these years Kevin is quick to reply.
“The fact that I’m a dirty little cunt,” he laughs.
“I think I’ve managed to change with the times without going politically correct,” he added.
“I’ve constantly been able to leapfrog that process. I’ve never, ever subscribed to political correctness and I think a lot of people out there feel exactly the same way.”
Kevin will be back in Cairns on May 16 at Brothers Leagues Club as part of his First of the Final Farewell….. Perhaps tour, which, he says, is another reflection on the current climate.
“It’s simply the fact, again, that political correctness puts a big fucken blanket right over free speech. You’re not allowed to say what you see any more. It’s something that totally hinders free speech.”
When it comes to selecting and recording new material Kevin says that nothing has changed since day dot.
“I’ve never done anything different,” he explained.
“My criteria… my filter if you like, is my mates. If I write a new song I’ll sit around with a few beers and a few mates and just play the song and if my mates laugh at it then it’s good enough to work anywhere in the world!”
Australian humor is different to most other nationalities, mainly in the fact that we find humor in the most unlikely situation, but Kevin says that despite this he has managed to share his comedy to all parts of the globe.
“I’ve played in the U.K, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada and South Africa and they all get it. They understand the Australian humor which I think is different to most other places because we laugh at shit we’re not supposed to be laughing at. I think that comes from our convict heritage because Australia wouldn’t have been a very pleasant place to live in those days so I am sure it was humor that helped them get through.”
“Being from Kalgoorlie, in the desert, we’ve got 12 year old frogs that don’t even know how to fucken swim yet so we learn to find humor in anything. I never even learnt how to play ‘I Spy’ until I was 23….”
Alongside Rodney Rude, Kevin Bloody Wilson has been long plagued by the soothing arm of state law, and has spent his fair share of time subjected to laws and regulations that were supposedly designed to protect the fragile ears and minds of the citizens of this country.
He has been locked up and fined for spreading his brand of comedy to his willing audience, but he is also adamant that free speech and freedom of expression will prevail.
“The laws that I got arrested under still exist,” he said, “and that is performing in a public place. As much as…. It’s exactly the same public space as a bus stop. While the law is still there I think the commonplace reading of the law has changed. What’s the use of busting a comedian for saying fuck in front of 1000 people that have paid to go and hear that? It’s a waste of fucken resources right there – so they don’t pursue it any more and I’m happy about that.”
In fact, Kevin says that the fines and police attention he so graciously received when he first started did more good than harm.
“I think the most I ever got fined was twelve hundred and fifty dollars and that was in QLD as well. But what did it do? It sold out future tours and still is and that was 25 years ago!”
“That resonated right around the world, the fact that this is the bloke who got arrested all over Australia for doing this stuff so people came along initially to find out what it was all about and fortunately they have come back again but they’ve brought their friends back with them so thank you to the QLD police force! It’s amazing how it has worked out and it’s funny too coz when I was arrested and being driven back to the Valley station the copper sitting next to me in the cop car who was wearing plain clothes said ‘fuck you’re a funny little cunt Kevin’ and I said ‘but you just fucken busted me for that’ and he said it was the last thing he wanted to do but he had to.”
Despite the current resurgence in stand up comedy acts, Kevin says that his brand of music comedy still has a place on the touring circuit.
“Oh God no,” he stressed when asked if his brand of comedy was in danger of being phased out.
“It’s all a part of it. The overall umbrella is comedy. The music side of it is always going to be out there. Personally, I would hate to be a stand up comic where people in the audience come in and yell out ‘tell that joke about the bear’ or whatever, but whereas what I do is if I hear a really good joke then I’ll write that into a song and people will go ‘sing us a song about the bear’… it’s totally different. It’s a song, it’s no longer a joke. There’s a vast difference. Comedy is comedy, whether it’s visual comedy or whether it’s stand up comedy or pie in the face comedy, comedy’s comedy.”
Expect the unexpected is Kevin’s motto for his live shows, and if you think you know what’s coming next then you are a better person than the one on stage.
“I never go out there with a set list,” he confessed. “I never go out there with a plan. I know that when I go out there I’m gonna start with a song called D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F and that’s as much as I know I’m gonna do so the rest of it just falls into place. It’s very crowd intended and crowd involved. I make sure I get them singing along from that first song so they’re a part of the show. I have no idea where I am going to go from there. I know I will start with D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F but the rest of it is unscripted, it’s just freewheel until the end.”
Kevin Bloody Wilson plays at Brothers Leagues Club on May 16. Tickets from the venue