My Souths Story - Perry Keyes

The 1970 Grand Final will always be a historic day in the South Sydney Rabbitohs' history. Forever etched into the fabric of the thousands of lives that were lucky enough to witness the club's 19th Premiership courtesy of the courage shown by John Sattler.

Perry Keyes was just four years of age when that happened. He wasn't at the game. But the tales, the stories and the pictures throughout pubs across Waterloo and Redfern would always prove to be a timely reminder to the local singer/songwriter.

Combining that story and his experiences growing up in the local area, watching games at Redfern Oval with his family and seeing how his inner city suburb had changed over time, would eventually lead Perry to put pen to paper, chords to choruses and voices to verses on the track entitled 'The Day John Sattler Broke His Jaw.'

"It's a song that marries the past with present." Said Keyes.

"Growing up in Redfern it was a very old working class community and one of the strengths of working class is to create a culture that is really centered around community and I think football is a natural extension of that."

"It's really in a way a song more about my family than John Sattler. It exuberates that working class culture. My grandfather worked in a tannery in Botany for about 30 years, six days a week and his day off would be Sunday." Keyes said.

"He would take me up to Redfern Oval to watch guys like Eric Simms and Paul Sait, Georgie Piggins, Bobby McCarthy run around."

"I was thinking about him and the things that were important to the community and how they held them together over time and how much the community here has changed over the years. How some of the things they've lost over the years they should have tried to hang onto harder." Said Keyes.

"Especially new people moving into the area who perhaps don't quite appreciate the culture of a place like Redfern or Waterloo."

The attitude of staying true to his roots is still evident today. He lives a stones throw away from Redfern Oval in a block of flats down the road at Waterloo. Despite being offered to perform his Sattler track on the NRL Footy Show four years ago, he declined.

"They made approaches back in about 2014 when Souths were making a good run and sing the John Sattler song, but I didn't want to do that." Said Perry.

"A lot of it is because you don't want the song to be presented as a one dimensional thing as just about footy because it isn't."

He's a rabid Rabbitoh supporter, a musician and lyrical genius of tying the true stories of gentrification of Sydney's South throughout his tracks. This is Perry Keyes' South Sydney story.

You can catch Perry Keyes live in concert across a number of venues this November and December.

For a full list of his upcoming shows head to www.perrykeyes.com.

 

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