The Pickled Parrot, Gladesville, NSW, Australia
March 15, 1980

01 Four Boys
02 Pretzel Logic (Steely Dan)
03 Hey Lord (Don't Ask Me Questions) (Graham Parker)
04 Feeling
05 Take It
06 Learning How To Smile
07 Shame Shame Shame (Jimmy Reed)
08 Wake Up
09 Telephone
10 Falling
11 Watching The Detectives (Elvis Costello)
(Set Break)
12 In Vain
13 On A Bus
14 Miss Shapiro > You Really Got Me (801 Eno/Manzanera)
15 Silent Night
16 Jealous (Robert Palmer)
17 Gangsters (The Specials)
18 Jumping
19 Doctor
20 Simple Simon
21 Wishy Washy
22 We Are The Vegetables

Total time: 82 minutes...

Source: Sony 1970 Stereo one-piece microphone > Technics 3-Head Casette Deck with Maxell XL2 Casette / No Dolby
Transfer: Sony D6 (azimuth and pitch adjusted) > optical cable > U2A > hard drive > Soundforge (capture, edits, fades, levels) > CDWave > TLH

Notes: It is a tremendous (if belated) pleasure to share these historical recordings of INXS during their formative period, before they became popular. I lived in Sydney during the 70s, my teens and twenties, a great time and place with a great music scene. A good friend was roommates with Kirk and Tim from The Farris Brothers, and dragged me to the Alley Cat Wine Bar in North Sydney to see them a number of times. I wasn't really a dedicated taper then, but I DID have a quality portable deck (Sony TC 152-SD) which I used one weekend to tape The Talking Heads at the State Theater (tape lost since then, sigh). I borrowed some quality mics, probably Sennheisers or the like, from the AudioVisual Dept at the University of New South Wales. Still having the mics on Sunday night, I used them to record my new mates...

The Alley Cat had a long, thin stage and narrow dance floor along one wall, so I set up fairly close to the band, with mics pointed widely apart. You'll hear Michael, Andy and Kirk (I think) strongly in the left channel, with Gary, Tim and Jon more prominent in the right. I wish Michael's voice was clearer - but this is a full and detailed recording of all the instruments, if a little unbalanced, quite respectable sound, made without Dolby onto a Maxell XL2 casette. I arrived late, so the tape starts in what was about the third song... You'll also hear a brief tape flip after You Really Got Me, and a late entry into Love Is The Drug.

The Farriss Brothers had just gotten back to Sydney after six months living in Perth and gigging and writing new songs. Their music was still heavily influenced by funk, pop and prog, and you'll hear lots of pub-standard covers on this recording. But they also kept current, and all around the New Wave was happening, and starting to affect their music. Kirk learned to play the saxophone. Right around this period they started finding new places to gig, and in October they changed their name to INXS and soon did a live-to-air gig on Sydney’s legendary 2JJJ. Next came a recording contract, and their first single sold quite well…

That was right around the time of the second gig I recorded, at the Pickled Parrot nightclub in Gladesville. Again, I arrived late. I set up in the middle of a large room, maybe thirty feet from the stage and a little to the right. I used my excellent Technics three-head deck, and again, Maxell XL2 No Dolby, but had only an old Sony microphone - a stereo mic that looked like a little critter with two square heads, been around since 1970 so not real high quality… It’s a better channel -balanced recording, but clearly less rich. By this time, INXS were much more of a ska / new wave band, starting to find their identity, and playing more original material. There’s a remarkable growth in style and material in the nine months between these two shows.

I enjoyed these cassettes for a long time, but I kept them to myself to avoid bootleggers. Many years later, when Michael Hutchence died, I contacted the head of the U.S. INXS Fan Club, and with her help I found someone to digitize and remaster these recordings. We made a package and sent it to the rest of the Band, and I think a few copies went out to INXS Fan Club members too. I know both recordings were circulated, but not too widely, I see them on some collection lists… The band may have even released Wake Up from the second recording, I saw some clues to this on the internet …

Ten years have passed since then, and live music is traded widely, so I’m happy to make these shows available more now. I made a fresh all-digital transfer from the master cassettes, correcting the pitch (the previous transfer I made ran quite fast, making them sound off-key). After trying a number of different remastering techniques, I decided to put these original recordings out As Is. I love to remaster recordings now, and I tried and tried with these recordings, several times over the last few years, but each time I was dissatisfied. As I improved vocal clarity or high-end presence, I lost punch and richness… I know my limitations, especially with some high-end hearing loss, and each of these were quality recordings, well preserved and transferred... and historical. My hope is that some professional or gifted engineer will take these recordings on and remaster them well. Please contact me if you do, or at least post the results here… Just don’t fuck them up too badly! - I’ve taken pretty good care of them for over 30 years… Enjoy! And if you already have the previously released versions, you’ll want these too, they sound VERY different and are at least two songs more complete… Enjoy

2010-11-22… I just noticed that this is that saddest anniversary, so I decided to finally finish this project and get it out TODAY (or SOON). My life was tremendously enriched by my brief friendship with these musicians, and this is my only way of saying thanks… They were such a different band back then, younger and more humble. I love hearing the music that influenced their later career, and Michael's funny comments in between the songs… I know you will too.

Peter Toluzzi (

PS. I tried to annotate all the known covers songs in the setlists, so you can tell the INXS originals, since there are several that were never recorded... Torrent 332422 (by peter23)