Up until about the mid 1980s I listened to top 40 music and while I guess I enjoyed it I didn’t love it. In about 1985 or 1986 I met a drummer of an alternative type band and fancied him rotten and was therefore introduced to the music that he listened to which had a large go-out-and-see-it-live component.
He eventually started playing in a band that used to quite regularly play in pubs around the city and this was my introduction to a whole different culture than I’d been previously used to. That is a diet of mostly awful nightclubs playing the top 40 music of that era which was mostly awful too.
It was quite a culture change for me and probably life changing in that through that band scene I met a couple of people who I am still friends with. Through them I got introduced to my group of friends now. I can’t imagine what I would be doing now if I hadn’t gone down this path but I think my life would either be quite different or I would have met this group perhaps via other avenues. Who knows?
Being the collector of some things that I am I have a heap of band fliers that I kept from going out and seeing bands from this era and the picture accompanying this post is one of them. This would be about the only one I have that has a year date, 1987. I don’t go out and see bands anywhere near as much any more so don’t know if bands still do fliers like they used to. I suspect they don’t as I haven’t had one for a long time, or been handed one at a gig. I guess now that Adelaide has two main street magazines that cover local music band fliers aren’t needed as much.
Happy Porpak weren’t that well known and didn’t last that long but The Mark of Cain (TMOC) were around then and are still around today. I saw them go through numerous drummers – including an awful stint where there was no drummer but a drum machine. I initially liked them because when I first heard them they sounded a bit like Joy Division and having newly been introduced to Joy Division and liking them, any band that sounded sort of similar was bound to be good to me. I even saw them in Sydney at the Coogee I think it was. It’s weird going to see a local band (to you) at a venue in another city because I kept expecting to see people I knew there but of course I didn’t. Although it can happen and did to me once in Melbourne at the Prince of Wales I think.
TMOC used to play a lot at the Royal Oak Hotel which is now the Worlsdend Hotel on Hindley Street. It was a very divey pub back then like a lot of the pubs I used to go and see bands in but that didn’t matter. I was there for the music and for the people. The only thing I didn’t like about the Royal Oak was beer being served in reused plastic cups.
TMOC went on to bigger and better things but I’m glad I got to see them in the early days before they got too popular.