The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL: Ready to relive good old pub rock

Dean Lawson Editorial Nov 2017

It is hard to describe with any real accuracy the atmosphere surrounding the Australian pub-rock music era to emerging generations.
It was a time when noisy and exuberant contemporary music, dominated by guitars and drums, ventured beyond halls into hotels and similar venues and became part of weekend life.
Fuelled by enthusiastic young musical hopefuls with a desire to turn up the volume, the pub-band scene quickly embedded itself into the national consciousness – at least for the ‘young and free’ of the time.
Pub-rock culture was highly influential as a cultural conductor and sits at the core of why plans for Horsham’s 60 Years of Wimmera Rock, a reunion of a similar event 10 years ago, has attracted such a strong response from reforming bands.
About 50 bands, some dating back to the 1960s, will gather and perform in Horsham next year for what promises to be a huge weekend of nostalgia, reminiscing and music.
Pub rock was far from confined to metropolitan audiences and spread like wildfire to the regions.
While keeping pubs and clubs as a foundation, the brand soon ventured beyond the smoky and beery lounges to larger stages and concerts.
Going out to the pub with mates on a Friday or Saturday night from perhaps the 1970s to early 1990s, usually had the accompanying question ‘what band’s playing tonight?’ For some, if there wasn’t a band on, it wasn’t worth going.
This entertainment and social culture left lifelong impressions on many people.
The pub scene presented an eclectic mix. It was far from being all bang, smash and noise. It was a nursery for various versions of pop music as well as heavy rock during a conservative era where self-expression, particularly in the regions, could be tough.
The Wimmera band scene was as healthy as anywhere, the culture opening the door for many musicians who might have lacked the inclination or motivation to follow more traditional music streams.
Bands of various standards played all over the place, willing to travel to far-flung pubs to perform, often and despite the grumblings and anxiety of publicans, for a relative pittance.
The era provided, similar to the bards, poets and minstrels of ancient history, an outlet for the everyday performing artist to express themselves.
It just happened that the tools in this era often included electric guitars, microphones, amplifiers and crashing cymbals.
As someone deeply involved in this cultural mix of the time, I’m looking forward next February to digging the drumsticks from the cupboard and dusting off an ancient drum kit that has seen better days.
More importantly, I’m looking forward to catching up with old mates, some of them travelling from across the country to be involved, and reliving what many of us consider a time of plenty.

More than 50 acts signed up for Wimmera Rock reunion

The entire March 06, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=74710

Posted on Mar 6 2019

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