X (Australian band)

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OriginSydney, New South Wales, Australia
GenresPunk rock
Years active1977 (1977)–present
Associated actsRose Tattoo, Sardine v
MembersSteve Lucas
Kim Volkman
Doug Falconer
Past membersIan Rilen
Steve Cafiero
Peter Coutanche
Ian Krahe
Geoff Holmes
Cath Synnerdahl
Cathy Green

X is an Australian punk rock band, formed in Sydney, New South Wales in 1977 founded by Ian Rilen, Steve Lucas, Ian Krahe and Steve Cafiero. The group was formed simultaneously to, and with no knowledge of, the Los Angeles group of the same name.


Early years[edit]

Ian Rilen had been a founder member of the hard rock group Rose Tattoo; on leaving that band he formed X with Steve Lucas as vocalist, Ian Krahe on guitar and Steve Cafiero on drums in 1977.[1] Krahe was renowned for playing so frenetically without a pick that his hands would bleed. Krahe died shortly before the group recorded its first album, X-Aspirations. Recorded in five hours at Trafalgar Studios in Sydney,[2] the album has been listed in the book 100 Best Australian Albums.[3] X-Aspirations, like all X studio albums, was produced by Lobby Loyde, who was also in Rose Tattoo (albeit after Rilen left: in 1979–1980). X split up shortly after the album's 1980 release.


Ian Rilen formed the post-punk outfit Sardine v with his wife Stephanie Rilen during X's first hiatus from 1980 to 1983. X reformed in the early 1980s for a tour organised by manager Nick Chance and booking agent Gerard Schlaghecke. Cafiero had always said he would not go to Melbourne and when advised of tour dates, stuck to his word, citing family commitments and his career in real estate. Canberra-based drummer Cathy Green was a huge fan of the band and, already knowing the songs, replaced Cafiero for the Melbourne tour on a few days' notice. Not long afterwards, Cafiero died when injected with a dye prior to an X-ray for a back complaint, and Green became a permanent member of X. The band's second album, At Home With You (1985) was recorded in Melbourne at Richmond Recorders in March 1985. It was produced by Lobby Loyde and engineered by Tony Cohen. The recording was a signing with Major Records, run by Max Robenstone. The album stayed in Australia's top 20 Independent charts for 29 months. A third album, X And More (1989), followed and, like the previous albums, was produced by Loyde. Although the group has not issued a studio recording since X And More, live albums from the late 1970s as well as one from 2002 have been issued between 1997 and 2004. The 2002 Evil Rumours Live At The Basement 9 December 2002 features a line-up including Geoff Holmes and Cath Synnerdahl. A compilation of early unreleased material, X-Citations Best Of X And Rarities Vol 1 (The Early Years 1977 - 1983) was issued in 2017.[4] Lucas, the only remaining member of the original line-up, has periodically played live under the X name.


Green (on bass) and Rilen (on bass and guitar) were both members of Hell to Pay, which released the album Steal It in 1992. Until his death in 2006, Rilen had settled on a fairly stable line-up of Ian Rilen & the Love Addicts, with Green playing bass. The band issued a CD, Passion Boots & Bruises. Lucas utilised Melbourne's White Cross as a backing band to record two albums: Double Cross and Bought And Sold. Lucas also fronted Bigger Than Jesus, founded the Groody Frenzy, A.R.M. (with Chris Welsh and Mike Couvret), The Pubert Brown Fridge Occurrence, Neon and Venom and the Heinous Hounds (with Dave Hogan, Jerome Smith, Matt Dwyer and Peter Robertson).[5] In 2004, Lucas released the solo album Bread and Water featuring cameos from Paul Kelly, Brett Kingman, Andrew Pendlebury and Chris Wilson. Green also played on albums by Loene Carmen's group Automatic Cherry and Carmen's solo release Slight Delay.


Singles and EPs[edit]

  • 1979: "I Don't Wanna Go Out"/"Waiting" 7" (X Music)
  • 1984: "Mother"/"Half Way Round The World" 7" (X Music)
  • 1985: "El Salvador" one-sided 7" flexi (Phantom Records)
  • 1987: "Dream Baby"/"I Don't Want To Go Out"; "Without You" 7"/12" (White Label)
  • 1989: "And More"/"Getting Wet" 7" (White Label)
  • 2001: I Love Rock'n'Roll CDEP (Laughing Outlaw)

Studio albums[edit]

  • 1979: X-Aspirations (X Music YPRX1645, opnieuw uitgebracht Aztec Music 2009)
  • 1985: At Home with You (Major MRLP002, opnieuw uitgebracht [Morphius Archives, 2002][6]
  • 1988: And More (White Label)
  • 2011: X -Spurts (Aztec Music)

Live albums[edit]

  • 1997: X Live 8 July 1978 (Spiral Scratch)
  • 2001: Live at the Civic 1979 (Dropkick)
  • 2003: Evil Rumours (Laughing Outlaw)

Further reading[edit]

  • Volkman, Kim. The Devil Won't Take Charity, 2017, Melbourne. ISBN 9780648098607


  1. ^ Ra Richard Guilliatt "X marks the spot" Melbourne Age 8 November 1985 p. 44
  2. ^ R., Andy (2 February 2009). "X-Aspirations". Mess+Noise. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  3. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9.
  4. ^ https://www.discogs.com/artist/215239-X-10
  5. ^ https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10158361504992562&set=a.278862102561
  6. ^ [1][dead link]