My 4 Favourite gigs as a punter
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!
Memorable acts I saw at the Greenfield included The Choirboys, Avion, The Cockroaches, Little Heroes and The Hoodoo Guru’s
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.
I remember seeing some good bands at “Northies” at Cronulla on a Sunday afternoon, Mirrored Image comes to mind.
Caringbah Inn I saw bands like the Divinyls and Stevie Wright and Boys from Perth were always great.
Mondo Rock at Sylvania Hotel.
Chequers in town I saw Buffalo and Band Of Light.
Bondi Lifesaver, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs was HUGE!!!
So many great venues are gone now, ah the good old days!!
I loved Mirrored Image Greg. I used to see them at Sefton Pub. You to also live at Sweethearts. best nightclub i went to in Sydney.
We used to go to the Ferntree Gully hotel (the middle) and see:
Flowers, Swanee, Chisel,Misex, Tatts, Fat Daddy (Texas) and heaps more bands that were big at the time.
On Saturday afternoon the Matthew Flinders had a free gig with the likes of
ACDC, Thorpie, Lobby Loyd etc.They were all fantastic bands.
I’m trying to remember the underground gig at 22 Bayswater Rd Kings X. It’s called Candy’s now, but what was it back in the day? Anyone remember? I worked it with Borich and Jimmy and the Boys (I think…….).
Kardomah, yes that was it. I was there not one hour ago doing a service job on the lighting dimmers. Unbelievably, the place hasn’t changed in over 30 years! Still smells the same too!!
was known as ‘Sgnt Peppers’ in 1980-82
I also lived in the suburbs and from 17 i was on many a guest list thru my job at Festival Records Studio in Pyrmont. I can recall seeing Hoodoo Gurus The Cockroaches and even John Williamson at Castle Hill RSL.
I managed to get into Tiffany’s at Blacktown and see Big Pig, Paul Kelly, The Angels and Machinations.
And a Sunday night ritual was heading of to the Tivoli on George street to capture many artists like Do Re Mi, Nick Barker, The Church, Hunters & Collectors and a highlight was Concrete Blonde & the Angles or was Concrete Blonde and Doc at the Jet Club Dee Why.
cheers Glenn MAGOO Aird.
Top 4 Venues
Sprinfields Kings X
Kardomah Kings X
St James Tavern
St Jimmys Tav, my fave 80s nightspot. God I practically lived there. Also, Lucy’s Tavern just up from there and Pitt St Gardens
Those were the best days Anne. I was there every Friday & Saturday night.
Cabramatta was near me too but always considered a bit too rough for my liking. Did go to Sefton quite often and saw Inxs and Cold Chisel among others eg Matt Taylor
Went to Banjos at Gladesville alot. Bell Jar, Ed Kuepper and an amazing Died Pretty gig c1989
The Venue Dee Why The Saints, James Reyne, Mark Edwards, Died Pretty supported The Smithereens (US).
Saw Leon Berger and Barry Leef many times at The Musicians club Surry Hills
I saw Leon Berger and Barry leaf many times. We went there nearly every weekend. After the musos we went to midnight till yawn at the cross. Some of the musos would come along and have impromptu jam sessions. That also happened at times at the musos club, when artists would call in after their own gigs
Selina’s standout number1 just a long drive slept in car across the road. Newport arms alway full off pretty girls. Bondi lifesavers crazy place and a strange 4 one was Narara 83/84 the best 6 days off my life
Comb and cutter,selinas,Bondi life saver,chequers, sweethearts,civic hotel,
Does anyone remember the Hills Inn tavern at Seven Hills..I seen a fair few Metal Bands there in the 90’s..I also remember it had a music machine/duke box that had all the latest songs at the time..1 Night Mortal Sin & a couple of other popular Metal Bands were playing..The place was packed..Myself & a mate of mine had a heap of $1.00 Coins & Stuffed them into the Machine & Programmed..I should be so lucky & Locomotion by Kylie to play over & over about 40 times..We were in hysterics laughing as the Die Hard Headbangers & Thrashers were out for blood..good times good times
I worked at the Tivoli for 2 years. From 86 till they closed the doors in 88. Saw so many bands there in that time that I couldn’t list them all. Obviously closing night was one of the best as it was a who’s who of Australian music. One gig does stand out which wasn’t really a gig was David Bowies press conference which was held there I think 1987 sometime. Its actually on you tube. Probably one of my greatest memories from working there.
Bondi lifesaver, Chequers,stagedoor tavern,comb and cutter
Remember seeing IN XS play at our local pub, the Astra Hotel at Bondi Beach, on a Sunday afternoon for $1 admission fee. Hung out at the Astra although it was dominated by us Kiwis so frightened a few Aussies off. Would head up to Bondi Lifesavers later in the night to check out other bands playing on Friday and Saturday nights.
Selina’s: Motorhead and Def Leppard. Revesby Roundhouse: Faith no More. Sweethearts: Motorhead. Hills inn; Every aussie metal band you can name. The Den in Penshurst had great indie bands like the Lime Spiders and Celibate Rifles etc.
Bondi lifesaver selinas stagedoor tavern chequers went to these and many more from 15 yrs old never got asked for Id
Cloudland in Brisbane..1970’s
g\Graham parker &The Rumour
Cold Chisel many times
The Clash..with the Tactical Response &Dog Squads waiting outside because they were a punk band..AH! the Joh days
There are literally too many to mention.
Travelled anywhere between Nelson Bay, Newcastle, Gosford, Long Jetty, literally all over Sydney, Richmond, Windsor, Penrith, Wiseman’s Ferry, All over the North Shore, Pennant Hills (Patricks) Parramatta, Northern Beaches, Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, All over South West, Glebe district, Concord, Hurstville, Kogarah, Sutho, Inner West, Blue Mountains, Eastern Suburbs, all over the shire, Wollongong, the great Uni Bars all over. There were literally thousands of nights, thousands of venues.
yes there were the great Chisel Nights, Angels, Divinyls, INXS, cockroaches, Hunters and Collectors, Hoodoo Gurus but there were 100s of epic nights with bands that never got the recognition they deserved, wrong place at the right time.
This is a tribute to all those bands. Not going to mention any as it would be too hard to leave anyone out and way too hard for anyone to read the enormous list.
Six nights a week, sometimes two venues in the same night, a lot the late 70s, all over the 80s, and a lot of the 90s.
I know I missed out on a lot but you literally cannot get any better entertainment.
We were so spoiled. If you were playing gigs in those days and working for no money, then all credit to you. I thank you for everything you did.
Hey if anyone can remember who played at Feathers Night club, Crows Nest, Friday June 22nd 1990 it would be really great to be reminded.
TJ: “Who played at Feathers Night club, Crows Nest, Friday June 22nd 1990”?
Fun In Acapulco plus The Gottani Sisters
What about the comb n cutter at blacktown that was always a big night