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End of an era for INXS
End of an era for INXS

After 35 years, 12 studio albums and wowing millions of fans around the world, legendary Australian band INXS pulled out one final surprise, announcing their immediate retirement during their performance at Perth Arena on Sunday night.

The New Sensation pop-rockers were supporting American group Matchbox Twenty at the Arena when they told fans the show would be their last.

Drummer Jon Farriss revealed the decision, adding that he was "getting a bit teary".

INXS and their management had kept the news quiet – fans and media alike had no inkling that the support slot, a relatively modest gig by their standards, would be their farewell show.

The band formed in 1977 around the three Farriss brothers, with middle brother and main songwriter Andrew recruiting his school mate Michael Hutchence as lead singer.

The following year, the nascent group calling themselves the Farriss Brothers moved to Perth with the siblings' parents, playing pubs and club to forge the tight musicianship still on display today.

INXS enjoyed success matched by few Australian bands, peaking with 1987 album Kick, which sold more than six million copies in the US and spawned four Top 10 singles Stateside, including New Sensation, Never Tear Us Apart and the chart-topping Need You Tonight.

In 1997, the same year they released comeback album Elegantly Wasted, Hutchence was found dead in a Sydney hotel room.

The surviving members eventually re-emerged, working with guest singers including Jon Stevens, Terence Trent D'Arby and Jimmy Barnes, but never recaptured the success they enjoyed with their charismatic singer.

Via the reality TV show Rock Star: INXS, the ARIA Hall of Famers discovered Canadian singer J.D. Fortune, who would front them on and off from 2005 until last year.

Two years ago, INXS released the Original Sin album of re-recordings of their hits with various vocalists, including Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas and Kavyen Temperley of Fremantle's Eskimo Joe. The album received poor reviews and only climbed to No. 49 on the ARIA charts.

On Sunday night, INXS performed with Northern Irish singer Ciaran Gribbins, who joined the touring line-up in September last year.

The band's final moment on stage was alongside Matchbox Twenty performing the Easybeats' Good Times, a hit for INXS with Barnes in 1987.

The band's management and record label have been contacted for comment.