Well hi.

For whatever reason, I've recently decided to upload scans of band gig posters from my early days in Sydney, when I used to regularly go out and see at least two or three bands a week. I'm talking 1979 - 1990 ish here. At that time, Sydney had a healthy, thriving pub band culture which f
ostered the careers of many of the top Aussie export bands of the last couple of decades. The Angels, The Radiators, Midnight Oil, INXS, (Le) Hoodoo Gurus, The Church, etc etc etc. Anyway, being a lifelong collector of strange and irrelevant things, I find myself with scraps of paper, flyers, set lists, coasters and more from many of the gigs I attended, so at least I have something to remember them by. Most of that era is a total blur in my memory, but I just know that I had a really good time, and my tinnitus and foggy brain was worth it all.

Now, I'm not claiming to be any kind of expert or authority on any of these bands, or the era in general, I'm just sharing what I remember, and a few bits and pieces that may bring back memories for some. Feel free to add your own recollections, tell me if I'm wrong, share stories of gigs you went to.

You can click on them and they get bigger.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Venue, Dee Why

A few classic names here.

Big Pig! Remember them? I've still got their cassette somewhere. "Bump"? The Radiators were a regular gig for us. So were Spy vs Spy. Not exactly sure when Ed Kuepper started doing solo gigs...this may be from a bit later, maybe early '90's. But Big Pig...

Oh, yeah. They've recently pulled the Dee Why Hotel down. It's a hole in the ground as we speak.

Rollins Band

Heavy Duty. I loved Rollins. Loved his spoken word tours as well. He's still at it.

If I was at this gig, it must have been big night.

MX Warheads

Sounds violent. I bet it was. The Mosman Hotel had lots of punk bands for a while. I saw a lot of fights at that place. Such a nice neighbourhood, too.

Trade Union Club again

I remember Pel Mel. "No Word From China." I was at a gig of their's (might have even been the Governors Pleasure), when the singer girl whose name I will not remember asked the audience for requests. No idea why. My mate Doug, who had had a few, was standing right in front of her and yelled out "Slow Boat to China!" She asked him to repeat. He yelled it again. She did make a point of humiliating the poor guy in front of the whole crowd, I guess he deserved it.

Good on them for headlining over Hoodoo Gurus.

Bondi Tram

Bondi Tram at the Bondi Hotel. Some interesting names here. Rowan Cannon I knew later playing at the Longueville Hotel with an old mate of mine called Bob Emsley. You out there, Bob?

I wrote on this one "The Undecided". This was a band I played in way back then... hmmm, they must have left us off the bill. I do remember that night though. I was playing keys, and I had a Peavey KB1000 keyboard amp propped up on a table next to me, turned up pretty much full bore. I remember at the time thinking that I was blowing my ears out, well my left one anyway. Just one more occasion which contributed to my current state of tinutis tinitis whatever, ringing in the ears. So stupid. Kiddies: look after your ears!

New Order at the Capitol

Nice line-up.

Do Re Mi

Saw these guys many a time. Deborah Conway was the lead singer. I remember "Man Overboard" sounding as good live as it did on record.

The Southern Cross Hotel later became the Stawberry Hill Hotel. I think.

Dance Craze

Ah, The Governors Pleasure. Many a fun night was had here. I'm sure this was one of them. Naughty Rhythms were another good fun ska band of the era.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Strange Tenants

Strange Tenants were like the Melbourne version of our Allniters. They'd come up every now and then and put on a bunch of really good high energy shows. My girlfriend at the time used to kind of hang round with them. A bit too much. I thought. Ah well, long time ago.

maybe I should iron these things before I post them....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ratbags of Rhythm

Here's an oldie. Ratbags of Rhythm were a swing, big band sound type outfit. They did a song called "I'll be a Baby for the Dingo". Hence "aquit the dingo" on this poster. I guess. Cool poster, too.

Fifty Million Beers

These guys are still around. I don't know too much about them. I must have seen them a couple of times...

Find out more here:


I remember the Forest Lodge Hotel. Very cool little pub. Haven't been there for zillions of years, so it may have changed a bit.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

North To Alaskans

North To Alaskans weren't around for long. They seemed to be trying to revive a 60's psychedelia in the 80's. Don't think it was going too well for them. They did a pretty cool version of "Crimson and Clover". I think I've even got the single of it somewhere...

The Birthday Party

No, I never actually saw the Birthday Party. Would have been a pretty bizarre show. Don't know why I have this flyer, or what year this would have been.

The Johnnys

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Australian Heritage Hotel

A cool collection of underground and alternative acts here. My link to this one is that my brother played guitar for "Rejex". They thought they were pretty hard core, and had their song "Who Wants to March" on the jukebox at the Civic Hotel, the home of punk in Sydney at the time. He had bright pink hair and a bad, bad attitude.

Richard is now an old hippie living in country Victoria...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Manly Vale Hotel

OK. this one's a bit beaten up. It would have come home in my sweaty back pocket from one of these gigs. I know I saw UB40 there, so it could have been that one.

It just shows how many great bands played at that venue, and what a shame it was to lose it, leaving nowhere on the north shore for larger acts to play.

I guess we didn't leave the venue quietly enough...

Paddo Town Hall

Cool gig. Interesting mix of bands. Spy v Spy headlining. What did happen to those guys? Paddo Town Hall was a really good venue. Probably still is.

Angels & Rose Tattoo

I know I was there. It would have been very loud and testosteroney. I would have been way too close to the huge W bins. My ears hurt just thinking about it. I'm glad I can't remember. Stop it. Turn it down.


Not really a band, and not really a pub, but these guys were amazing. Bloody talented writers, singers, performers, musos, satirists. Paul MacDermott's still got it, just watch Good News Week or the Side Show.

The Church

One of my all time fave Aussie bands. Lyrical, melodic, rich. The Blurred Crusade is a great album, and I probably really enjoyed this concert. I would have, for sure. Damn, I wish I could remember all this stuff...

Powerjam '83!

I remember this one. I remember climbing over the fence with a bottle of scotch. I think we actually tried to buy tickets, but they wouldn't let us in with the scotch, so we went round the side and climbed the fence.

$1? Pretty reasonable, I think.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Killjoys

Love the Killjoys. Never loved the Kardomah that much. love the Annandale still.

The Fall

Maxy's Roller Rink

OK. Maxy's. I remember it as Maxy's Roller Disco. Just up the road from the Tivoli and the Roma Theatre. There used to be places to go in George Street...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hoodoo Gurus

This must be an old one.

The Mosman Hotel was one of the classic old North Shore pubs. They seemed to have a lot of punk bands play there at the time. I can't remember when they pulled that one down...

I also can't remember when they dropped the "le" off Le Hoodoo Gurus.

Paul Kelly's Coloured Girls

Paul Kelly in his heyday. Well, as far as I'm concerned.

Painters and Dockers. "We're all going to Nude School..."


A benefit concert for gear stolen from the Introverts. Maybe I was there, maybe not. Pretty cool lineup though.


Stranded was a venue downstairs from the Strand Arcade in Pitt St, Sydney. The more alternative and unusual bands played there. I only went there a couple of times, I wasn't alternative or unusual enough to make it a regular thing. You had to have really cool hair and shoes to really fit in. Beers were expensive too.

This would be the original Models, with Sean Kelly on vocals. Pre "Barbados"... More "Local and or General". This one may be upside down, not sure.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hunters & Collectors

I always loved Hunter & Collectors gigs. Another unique style of music for the period. Primal, rhythmic, sweaty, dark. Swampy. Brassy. "Talking to a Stranger" was a brand new sound for Aussie pubs and their recordings captured the live feel well.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Laughing Clowns

Don't have much to say about the laughing Clowns except that they were a brilliant, experimental, emotional band , and I love them still. Ed Kuepper from the Saints branched out and did something completely different. Deep and moody, going against the hard pub rock grain of the time.

I saw the Stranded gig. Slightly ironic, given that "I'm Stranded" was the Saints first single and album. Ha! I just thought of that. Stranded was a clubby kind of place downstairs from the Strand Arcade in Pitt St. Like Unruly Children were very odd. Hitting saucepans with sticks and strange wailing vocals. Hard to take...

The Allniters

The Allniters. They're Allriters! A fun night out was to be had at any Allniters gig. We'd find our way to wherever they were playing, and somehow get home again in varying states of consciousness. I still don't know how we did it with pretty much no money and in the early days, no car. I guess things were cheaper and with a group of us we could pool our resources. The trouble with Allniters gigs often was that you'd end up with huge bruises on your shins the next morning, from dancing up the front with the skinheads in their bloody Doc Martins. Because of course, we had to be right at the front, centre of the stage. And so did they.

I think I can actually remember this one. The Manly Vale Hotel was a fantastic venue. A larger room with a higher stage than most pubs. It could put on overseas acts as well like UB40, Iggy Pop and others which will no doubt feature later. They pulled this great North Shore venue down at some point, probably because of noise complaints by neighbours - the usual excuse. I remember emerging from that place on countless occasions, drenched in sweat with a longneck of cider or something in my hand, watching the fights going on in the carpark from the top of the stairs - usually between the bouncers and some unlucky punter.

Sydney Trade Union Club

Here's a mixed bunch at the Trade Union Club. This must have been 1981 - 82. I must have been at at least one of these nights. Plenty of great live acts here.

I think I saw the Allniters 21 weeks in a row at one point. They were such fun, happy, upbeat gigs. We followed them all around Sydney. Often they got memberas of the crowd up on stage to dance around for the last couple of songs.

Flaming hands were another one we saw a lot. "Le" Hoodoo Gurus were still pretty alternative and unknown. I used to see them for free at the Southern Cross Hotel in Surry Hills. Now the Strawberry Hill. Their gigs in the coming years were some of the best live pub gigs I ever saw. Divinyls rocked as well. A great band, but you spent most of the time looking at Chrissy Amphlett's lips, and wondering if her ripped school dress was going to come completely off. Well, I did anyway.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Triffids at the San Miguel

The Triffids are another all time fave of mine. Ultra sensitive and lyrical, but with an edge that could explode aggressively at any moment. Great albums. I saw them in Perth, too, where they were from originally. David McComb passed away in 1999, no doubt leaving many beautiful songs unwritten.

The San Miguel in Cammeray was another North Shore venue to disappear. Closed down probably as property prices in the area rose, and the new residents didn't appreciate the riff raff associated with live bands. Other venues closed because they couldn't afford to comply with new fire exit regulations that came in at some point in the 80's. Now it's a hardware store. I saw many a good gig there. No, not at the hardware store...

Don't recall JFK and the Cuban Crisis... I know they played around a hell of a lot.

The Hotel Manly

The Hotel Manly was a local for me for years. They had bands on six days a week, and got all the big local names. Ugly, dingy place, but an integral part of the Sydney circuit. They pulled it down in 1989, and left a pile of rubble there for a couple of years. At one point the council decided to charge us to park on this vacant, depressing site. Now there's a really good wood fired pizza place there and a Moorish restaurant, among other things. RIP, the Hoey Moey.

Died Pretty are one of my all time favourite bands. I was at this gig, and most probably many of the others on these bills. Joe Camilleri is still around, my band supported the Black Sorrows in Perth in about 1992 I think. Chasin the Train were a great rhythm and blues band. I mean actual rhythm and blues. We used to watch them a lot at the Cat & Fiddle in Balmain, too. Jump Back Jack were a great funk band featuring Jackie Orszaczky on bass and vocals. (I bet that IS how you spell it). He's still about, too.

Vegimite Reggae were a Sunday arvo fixture at the Manly for a long time.

You can see the concept bands starting to creep in in a big way. Hey 19, Gold Zeppelin, Beatnix, Wild Heart, Blues Bros Revival...