X (Australian band)

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OriginSydney, 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 in 1977 founded by the late Ian Rilen, Steve Lucas, Ian Krahe and Steve Cafiero.


Early years[edit]

Ian Rilen formed X with Steve Lucas on guitar and vocals in the late 1970s. Ian Krahe also played guitar and was renowned for having blood on his hands from playing without a guitar pick. Steve Cafiero rounded out the original four-piece lineup on drums. The band's first lineup change occurred when guitarist Ian Krahe died, reducing the band to three members for their first album, 'X-Aspirations'. Recorded in 5 hours at Trafalgar Studios in Sydney,[1] the album has been listed in the book 100 Best Australian Albums.[2] The band split up shortly after the album's 1980 release.


Ian Rilen went on to form the post punk outfit Sardine v with then-wife, Stephanie Rilen during X's first hiatus from 1980–83. X reformed in the early 1980s for a tour organised by then manager Nick Chance and booking agent Gerard Schlaghecke. Drummer Steve Cafiero had always said he would not go to Melbourne and when advised of tour dates, stuck to his word and refused to go, 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 after that, Cafiero died when injected with a dye prior to an X-ray for a back complaint, and Cathy became a permanent member of X. The band's second album, At Home With You (1985) was recorded in Melbourne at Richmond Recorders. 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 Lobby Loyde who had been in the hard rock group Rose Tattoo with Ian Rilen in 1979–1980.


Until his death in 2006, Rilen had settled on a fairly stable line up of his then-current project, Ian Rilen & the Love Addicts, with Cathy Green playing bass. The band issued a CD, Passion Boots & Bruises. Steve Lucas had Melbourne's White Cross as a backing band the banner of Double Cross and released two LPs, Double Cross and Bought And Sold. Lucas also fronted Bigger Than Jesus, founded the Groody Frenzy, as well as A.R.M. (with Chris Welsh and Mike Couvret), The Pubert Brown Fridge Occurrence as well Neon and Venom. Steve also released the solo album Bread and Water featuring cameos from Paul Kelly, Brett Kingman, Andrew Pendlebury and Chris Wilson.





  • "I Don't Wanna Go Out"/"Waiting" 7" (X Music, 1979)
  • "Mother" 7" (X Music 13639, 1984)
  • "El Salvador" one-sided 7" flexi (Phantom Records, 1985)
  • "Dream Baby" 7"/12" (White Label, 1987)
  • "And More"/"Getting Wet" 7" (White Label, 1989)
  • "I Love Rock'n'Roll" CDEP (Laughing Outlaw, 2001) Lucas/Rilen/Holmes/Synnerdahl


  • X Live 8 July 1978 (Spiral Scratch, 1997) Lucas/Rilen/Cafiero/Holmes
  • Live at the Civic 1979 (Dropkick, 2001) Lucas/Rilen/Cafiero/Coutanche
  • Evil Rumours (Laughing Outlaw, 2003) Lucas/Rilen/Holmes/Synnerdahl

Further reading[edit]

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


  1. ^ R., Andy (2 February 2009). "X-Aspirations". Mess+Noise. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  2. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9.