Kirk Pengilly and Ciaran Gribbin of INXS.

Calling it quits ... Kirk Pengilly and Ciaran Gribbin of INXS. Photo: Sandra Bull

“I’m getting teary,” said INXS drummer Jon Farriss on stage on Sunday night as the Australian rock group announced that their appearance as a support act for touring artists Matchbox Twenty at Perth Arena was to be their last ever performance as a group.

The band formed in Sydney 35 years ago and recently celebrated the 25th anniversay of their most successful album Kick.

Farriss took over the microphone from lead singer Ciaran Gribbin two-thirds of the way through their set to make the announcement to thousands of fans in the venue.

He said they didn’t want to reveal anything ahead of the concert, but it was "the last time" they would perform together. Farriss thanked the audience for their support throughout the years.

The milestone anniversary of Kick makes it a poignant time for the band to split up. When INXS supported Matchbox Twenty in Sydney they were in a nostalgic mood but evidently enjoying themselves. Some might argue that they even stole the evening from the headliners with a blistering greatest-hits set that culminated with seven consecutive songs from Kick, before the band closed with finale favourite Don’t Change.

The news of the band's end comes as a surprise as 35-year-old Irishman Ciaran Gribbin - the latest singer to take the role of front man for the band since the death of Michael Hutchence in 1997 - said in an interview with Fairfax recently that the band had big plans for the future.

“They're still creative, they're still hungry to prove they have something to say,” said Gribbin. “They're also still hungry to perform those songs, the songs that were a part of so many peoples' lives growing up.”

There has been no official confirmation of the split despite Fairfax contacting the band's tour promoters; longtime INXS manager Chris Murphy’s label Petrol Electric; and the Universal Music Group, which this year reissued a 25th-anniversary edition of INXS’s most successful album, Kick.

--with George Palathingal