Brendan Perry

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Brendan Perry
Brendan Perry.jpg
Brendan Perry on stage in 2010
Background information
Birth nameBrendan Perry
Born (1959-06-30) 30 June 1959 (age 60)
Whitechapel, London
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, hurdy-gurdy, percussion, bouzouki, mandolin, low whistle, hammered dulcimer
Associated acts Dead Can Dance, The Scavengers, The Marching Girls, Robin Guthrie

Brendan Michael Perry (born 30 June 1959) [1] is a British singer and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work as half of the duo Dead Can Dance with Lisa Gerrard.


Early life

Perry was born in Whitechapel, London, England, UK, in 1959 to a mother from Cavan, Ireland, [2] and father from London, [1] and raised and schooled in the East End of London until his family moved to Auckland, New Zealand, in 1973. Having received no formal musical education, Perry began to play the guitar at St Paul's College, [3] the Catholic school he attended in Ponsonby. After failing to become a primary school teacher and to join the civil service, Perry worked at a series of jobs until joining the Scavengers in 1977. At first Perry played bass guitar, later taking on the duties of lead vocalist when the original singer left the band. Apart from a handful of original songs, the band covered music from the Stooges, New York Dolls, and late-1960s psychedelia. After two years, having failed to secure a recording deal or live dates, the band moved to Melbourne, Australia, in November 1978 [4] and changed its name to Marching Girls. In 1980, Perry left the Marching Girls to pursue a solo career, experimenting with tape loops, synthesis, and alternative forms of rhythm. In 1981, Perry formed Dead Can Dance with Simon Monroe and Paul Erikson (both of whom were to leave soon after they had relocated to London), and Lisa Gerrard. [1]


The Scavengers - Perry (centre), Ken Cooke (left), Simon Monroe (right) Thescavengers.jpg
The Scavengers – Perry (centre), Ken Cooke (left), Simon Monroe (right)

The Scavengers and Marching Girls

Though now primarily known for his quiet introspective work with Dead Can Dance, Perry's first musical forays were in a markedly different style. In 1977, Perry was a leading member of New Zealand punk rock band the Scavengers, working under the pseudonym of Ronnie Recent. Perry started as the band's bass player, becoming lead vocalist after a lineup change in 1978. In 1979, the band moved to Melbourne and changed its name to the Marching Girls. Perry left the band in 1980. Perry's work with these two bands can be found on the 1979 compilation album AK79 that was re-released on CD in 1994 and reissued on vinyl in 2020. [5] The Scavengers have released two collections of their tracks in New Zealand, in 2003 and 2014. [6] The Scavengers are regarded as New Zealand's equivalent of the Buzzcocks, with the Perry co-penned song "Mysterex" regarded as one of the country's best and most distinctive punk-rock recordings. Marching Girls also reached the New Zealand singles charts in 1980 with "True Love." [1]

Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance originally formed as a quartet in 1981 in Melbourne, with Perry, drummer Simon Monroe, bass player Paul Erikson, and, last to join the band, Lisa Gerrard. In 1982, Dead Can Dance moved to London leaving Simon Monroe in Australia. Peter Ulrich played drums on the band's first demos, concerts and recordings. Paul Erikson soon left the band to fly back to Australia, leaving the band a duo. The band went on to record eight albums on the 4AD Records record label beginning with the self-titled Dead Can Dance album, which was released in February 1984. [1]

Solo career

In 1999, Perry released his solo album Eye of the Hunter on 4AD Records. The album contained songs written by Perry and a cover of Tim Buckley's song "I Must Have Been Blind." Perry would eventually cover more Tim Buckley songs: "Happy Time", "Chase the Blues Away", "Dream Letter" and "Song to the Siren". [7]

Perry in 2013 Brendan Perry 2013.jpg
Perry in 2013

Around 2001, Perry did the music for a 10-minute film (Mushin) made by Graham Wood, who designed the artwork of the box set Dead Can Dance (1981-1998) and the album Wake .

Perry announced his departure from 4AD in September 2008, and promised a new album titled Ark in early 2009. According to a reply Perry made to a comment on his MySpace blog, the new album would be very different from Eye of the Hunter , notably because it would feature rhythm machines and electric guitars. "Utopia", a demo version of a song from the album, was made available on his MySpace blog. [8] Ark was eventually released on 7 June 2010. [9]

In March 2016 it was announced that he would collaborate with French Musician Olivier Mellano and the Breton traditional band Bagad Cesson on a project titled No Land. [10]


Solo Albums



Related Research Articles

Dead Can Dance Australian-British musical project by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry

Dead Can Dance is an Australian-British musical project formed in 1981 in Melbourne by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated from Melbourne to London in May 1982. Australian music historian Ian McFarlane described Dead Can Dance's style as "constructed soundscapes of mesmerising grandeur and solemn beauty; African polyrhythms, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chant, Middle Eastern mantras, and art rock."

Lisa Gerrard Australian musician, singer and composer

Lisa Gerrard is an Australian musician, singer and composer who rose to prominence as part of the music group Dead Can Dance with music partner Brendan Perry. In addition to singing, she is an instrumentalist for much of her work, most prolifically using the yangqin.

<i>Dead Can Dance</i> (album) 1984 studio album by Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance is the debut studio album by Australian musical act Dead Can Dance. It was released on 27 February 1984 by record label 4AD.

<i>Duality</i> (Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke album) 1998 studio album by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke

Duality is a collaborative album by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke released in 1998. It was Lisa Gerrard's second post-Dead Can Dance album after The Mirror Pool from 1995. Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry released their last album in 1996 and had officially disbanded Dead Can Dance earlier in 1998.

<i>Within the Realm of a Dying Sun</i> 1987 studio album by Dead Can Dance

Within the Realm of a Dying Sun is the third studio album by Australian band Dead Can Dance. It was released on 27 July 1987 by 4AD.

<i>The Serpents Egg</i> (album) 1988 studio album by Dead Can Dance

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<i>Toward the Within</i> 1994 live album by Dead Can Dance

Toward the Within (1994) is the first official live album of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard's group Dead Can Dance. It contains 15 songs, of which only four appeared on their previous albums, and two of which were later re-recorded and included on Lisa Gerrard's first solo album, The Mirror Pool. The others previously existed only in live performances and unofficial bootlegs, but were not officially released until Toward the Within. Along with Perry and Gerrard were a number of musicians who had performed with them on other occasions.

<i>Into the Labyrinth</i> (Dead Can Dance album) 1993 studio album by Dead Can Dance

Into the Labyrinth is the sixth studio album by Dead Can Dance, the duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. Released on 13 September 1993 by 4AD, it marked a strong shift from their previous albums, putting ethnic music influences at the forefront, as would be the case in the later albums. It was their first album completed on their own without the aid of guest musicians, and their first album to have a major-label release in the US, thanks to a distribution deal that 4AD had with Warner Bros. Records. It featured the single "The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove". Into the Labyrinth was a major success, selling more than 500,000 copies worldwide.

<i>Dead Can Dance (1981–1998)</i> 2001 compilation album by Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance (1981–1998) (2001) is a four-disc box set, containing three CDs of music spanning Dead Can Dance's career and a DVD of their 1994 video release Toward the Within.

<i>Garden of the Arcane Delights</i> 1984 EP by Dead Can Dance

Garden of the Arcane Delights is the first EP by Australian band Dead Can Dance. It was released in August 1984 on record label 4AD. The tracks were later added to Dead Can Dance's self-titled debut album when it was re-released on CD.

<i>Chansons des mers froides</i> 1994 studio album by Hector Zazou

Chansons des mers froides is a 1994 album by French musician Hector Zazou.

<i>Aion</i> (Dead Can Dance album) 1990 studio album by Dead Can Dance

Aion is the fifth studio album by Dead Can Dance, released on 11 June 1990 by 4AD. The first album Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry wrote after the end of their romantic partnership, it was recorded in Ireland with the exception of "The Arrival and the Reunion" and "The End of Words", which were recorded at Woodbine Street Recording Studios in Leamington Spa.

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<i>Eye of the Hunter</i> 1999 studio album by Brendan Perry

Eye of the Hunter (1999) is the debut solo album by Brendan Perry, previously the male half of the band Dead Can Dance. The album was released by 4AD on 4 October 1999 in the UK and a day later in the US.

<i>AK79</i> 1979 compilation album by various artists

AK79 is a collection of unreleased tracks by punk bands active in Auckland, New Zealand in the late 1970s. The album was compiled by Bryan Staff, with artwork from Terence Hogan, and was released by Ripper Records in December 1979.

"Song to the Siren" is a song written by Tim Buckley and his writing partner Larry Beckett and was released by Buckley on his 1970 album Starsailor. It was also later released on Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology, the album featuring a performance of the song taken from the final episode of The Monkees TV show which aired on March 25, 1968.

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The Scavengers were a New Zealand punk rock band that formed in 1977. They moved to Melbourne, Australia, in November 1978 and became Marching Girls.

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<i>Anastasis</i> (album) 2012 studio album by Dead Can Dance

Anastasis is a 2012 studio album by the British-Australian band Dead Can Dance. It is the eighth studio album by the band and the first after Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard disbanded in 1998. It was officially released on 13 August 2012 by PIAS Recordings, 16 years after the group's last album, Spiritchaser. It is also the band's first album since it left 4AD Records. "Anastasis" is the Greek word for "resurrection".

Garden of the Arcane Delights - The John Peel Sessions is a compilation coupling the re-issue of the first and only EP by Australian band Dead Can Dance and two different sessions for the BBC Radio One John Peel show. It was released in November 2016 on record label 4AD with the Peel-supervised recordings allowed by arrangement with BBC Music.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Brendan Perry. "Brendan Perry biography". Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  2. "Brendan Perry: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  3. Brendan Perry, Robin Guthrie. Ticketfly. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  4. "The Scavengers - AudioCulture".
  5. "Various - AK•79".
  6. "The Scavengers".
  7. "Eye of the Hunter on AllMusic". Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  8. "Featured Content on Myspace". Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  9. "Ark". 30 September 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2016 via Amazon.
  10. "No Land". March 2016.
  11. 1 2 Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 1828. ISBN   1858284570 . Retrieved 15 July 2015.