Before I started working in the music industry I was, like most folks of my age, a dedicated “punter”. I would regularly see two or three bands per week from the time I was old enough to pass for 18.
Many people reminisce about the good old days when there was a venue on every street corner but the reality is that there WAS a venue on every corner. Here’s a few of my favourite venues around Sydney when I was a whipper-snapper.
1. Sweethearts at the Stardust Hotel, Cabramatta.
The Stardust obviously tops this list as it was my local hotel. It was only a few minutes drive down the road, and yes, we drove to & from the pub in those days! It wasn’t the flashest place around but almost none of the band venues around that time were particularly high-class. they were rock ‘n roll all the way. There were bands on every Friday & Saturday night. Some were spectacular like Midnight Oil, Flowers & Cold Chisel and some were just local chaps having a go. It didn’t really matter whether it was a big band or not. It’s just what you did on Friday night!
2. Sefton Hotel.
The Sefton Hotel was a mid-week favourite for me. You could catch a band on a Wednesday or Thursday night so it was always worth the drive. Like the Stardust you would see quite a variety of bands both good & not so good. Some of the regular bands I saw there included the Zarsoff Brothers, Dee Minor & the Dischords, Outline, Swanee and Mad Gorilla.
It’s still an ‘entertainment” venue these days but that sort of involves ladies without a lot of clobber on!
3. Greenfield Park Tavern.
The Greenfield, as it was known, was a great place to see a band. It was quite a new building that had a decent stage and was large enough to get a big crowd in. I always remember the fact that it had almost no furniture. We just wandered in & sat on the floor. When the band came on you got up & danced, when they stopped you sat back down & drank. What a great system!
4. Selina’s at the Cooogee Bay Hotel.
Selina’s is a brilliant place to see a band. It’s big, has a massive stage, and if you’re real lucky you might get to go up to the VIP level where the view of the stage was incredible. It was a long way from Cabramatta to Coogee but the trip was always worth it. I saw bands like The Hitmen, The Divinyls, John Mayall and Rose Tattoo to name but a few
So, it’s over to you. What were the venues you haunted “back in the day”? Leave a comment below & let me know.