Throughout the 1980s and 1990s LOUIS TILLETT provided a commanding and distinctive presence on the Australian alternative music scene. He was a softly spoken individual, yet it was his rich baritone singing voice (once described as “burning like a deep wound… like it’s oozing from the cracks of a tomb”), characteristic keyboard technique and exceptional song writing skills that earned him a reputation as an artist of considerable imagination, authority and conviction, and as a sideman of redoubtable stature. In addition to leading groups like the Wet Taxis, Paris Green and the Aspersion Caste, his work as a backing musician with Catfish, Ed Kuepper, the New Christs and Tex Perkins kept him firmly in the public eye.
Louis’s first band, the Wet Taxis, commenced life as an experimental outfit in the manner of fellow Sydneysiders Severed Heads and Scattered Order before taking on a tougher 1960s-influenced direction. Their classic debut single on the Hot label, ‘C’mon’ (1984), boasted an authentic garage/R&B sound heavily influenced by such American garage/punk bands as the Moving Sidewalks, We the People and the Chocolate Watchband plus legendary Australian group the Atlantics (who originally issued the song as ‘Come On’ in 1967). Alongside the likes of Died Pretty, the Celibate Rifles, the Lime Spiders, the New Christs, the Hoodoo Gurus and the Eastern Dark, the Wet Taxis came to epitomise the Australian garage rock sound and aesthetic of the 1980s. The band’s only album was the appropriately named From the Archives (Hot, 1984).
you can just sit back and enjoy life because you get the feeling
that Tillett is in his element and your own life seems
validated somewhat due to his genuine artistry
WILL ARNOTT, Drum Media, re: Excelsior Hotel, Sydney, Australia. April 4, 2004