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Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips catches up with Melbourne rock stalwart Nick Barker via zoom ahead of two Nick Barker and The Reptiles reunion shows in October and the Traveling Wilbury’s tribute theatre show, End of The Line, which Nick is also performing in.

Formed by Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist Nick Barker in 1988, Nick Barker and The Reptiles burnt brightly on the Australian music scene in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. He and his band drove up and down the east coast, across to South Australia and Western Australia – sometimes three gigs in a day, mostly five nights a week and most weeks of the year – playing raucous rock’n’roll in a vast array of pubs, gracing the covers of magazines like Juke and appearing on Countdown.

While touring the country Nick Barker and the Reptiles recorded two albums, ‘Goin’ to Pieces’ and ‘After the Show’, which hit the top 40 on the ARIA albums chart, and an EP called ‘Loose’, but their stock in trade was live gigs. They drank a lot of beer, invented a card game (don’t ask) and a cocktail (vodka and staminade), and won the hearts of a lot of hardcore Australian rock’n’roll fans.

The band’s cover of Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel’s ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)’ reached the top 30 on the ARIA Singles Chart and they undertook a touring schedule with 200 performances a year on the national pub rock circuit. Their sassy brand of commercial rock n blues found immediate acceptance and they became one of the archetypal Oz Rock pub bands of the era.

Barker’s career is as impressive as it is influential. From the early days playing with The Curse, Reptile Smile and The Wreckery, to the band he achieved enormous commercial success with – Nick Barker and The Reptiles. It’s time to welcome him back!

Revered Australian band Nick Barker and The Reptiles return to the spotlight this October for one exclusive show in Sydney and Melbourne. They will play at the Bridge Hotel in Rozelle in Sydney on Saturday 16th October and the Corner Hotel in Melbourne on Saturday 30th October.

Nick Barker and The Reptiles Tour Dates
Saturday 16th October | Bridge Hotel l Rozelle, Sydney | tickets here
Saturday October 30th | Corner Hotel | Richmond, Melbourne | tickets here


Nick will also be part of the cast of End Of The Line’ The Music of The Traveling Wilburys’ which will perform at The Athenaeum Theatre on Friday July 2nd.

End of the Line also plays Memo Music Hall July 1 and Costa Hall Geelong July 3 Geelong on sale May 20)

The Traveling Wilburys is perhaps the world’s most iconic supergroup. The diversity of the singer-songwriters in the group, their tongue-in-cheek pseudonyms for each other, how they came together and of course their music, which lives on forever, will all be part of ‘End Of The Line’ The Music of The Traveling Wilburys’ which will perform at The Athenaeum Theatre for one show only on Friday July 2.

Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty have left for their fans a legacy of 2 albums which include the timeless hits End Of The Line, Last Night, Handle With Care, She’s My baby and many many more legendary songs.   Their debut album ‘Volume 1’ won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance even though the band never performed live.

End of The Line takes you through a narrative and musical journey of the Traveling Willburys with an Australian Cast featuring some of our own who’s who of the rock world

  • Nick Barker “So it was Tom Petty that drew me to do this show, however I only started listening to a lot of Bob Dylan after hearing The Wilburys”
  • Brian Mannix“I was always a George Harrison Fan so when he started the band I thought this is great”
  • JR Reyne “As a kid, Mum would play both Wilbury records a lot. So, it harks back to my’ childhood. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t familiar with most of these songs”
  • Bernard Curry “They came up with melodies that resonated with people, a lot of people”
  • Taylor Sheridan “To be honest as far as song writing goes, it’s as good as it gets”

The Producer/Director of The Man in Black and At Last The Etta James Story now brings you the history of this supergroup and their collaboration. Everybody sang, everybody wrote, everybody produced — and had great fun doing so.

Simon Myers “The Traveling Wilburys are a stunning example of what happens when great artists come together for the pure joy of creating.  We will never see another band like The Traveling Wilburys”

Ticket info:

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