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15 January 2020
By LOTTE REITER
When Horsham pub-rock band U-Jorgan formed in the 1980s, lead singer Paul Christopher was only 18 years old.
In the almost 40 years since, the Horsham-born performer might have missed out on becoming the next Michael Hutchence, but his love of music has remained.
In fact, many people will likely recognise him as part of the trio Acousticus Stomp, where he can regularly be seen jamming it out at community events or one of the Wimmera’s pubs.
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And come February, Christopher will also be bringing his passion for performing to the multi-venue weekend of music nostalgia that is set to be 60 Years of Wimmera Rock.
The three-day reunion event, from February 7 to 9, will gather more than 50 bands and solo acts across venues including Horsham Town Hall’s Heritage Hall, the town hall theatre, Maydale Pavilion at Horsham Showground and Horsham Soundshell at Sawyer Park.
Christopher will form part of three different acts, but it will likely be his performance with U-Jorgan that will be the most notable.
Christopher said the group broke up about 20 years ago, when the band comprised himself, Rob Eales, John Cosgrove, Stephen Hadley and Tim Cramer.
He said members had moved across the state and as far as the Sunshine Coast.
“Steve, who plays bass, moved up to the Sunshine Coast and Tim also went up there,” he said.
“John went to Ocean Grove near Geelong and Rob only recently shifted back to Horsham.”
Christopher said 60 Years of Wimmera Rock offered them the opportunity to reunite again, as well as the chance to see some of the other faces of the Wimmera’s 1980s entertainment scene. “We’ve already practised twice,” he said.
“We met up recently in Geelong, so members flew all the way down from Queensland and we practised for four hours each time.
“We’re older now and more refined in our music, so I reckon we sound better. I think with anything you do you only get better the more time you put into it.
“It will be good to see a lot of the old faces of the ’80s and relive a bit of that band rivalry of course.”
Christopher said U-Jorgan, during its 10 years, played predominantly cover-gigs at anywhere from Horsham to Warrnambool, and regularly performed for crowds of up to 1000 people at events such as BnS balls.
He said Wimmera audiences could expect at least one of the band’s originals when they take to the stage at 60 Years of Wimmera Rock.
“We had three originals, and we’ll be playing one on the night, which is Animal House,” he said.
“That was a so-called crowd favourite back then. I suppose we did have a big following back in the 80s, but that was also because everyone knew each other, and we had a lot of our friends coming along.”
U-Jorgan will be playing in Horsham Town Hall Heritage Hall at 8.30pm on February 8.
All 60 Years of Wimmera Rock events at Horsham Soundshell are free to attend, but a $10 per-day pass is required for adults at other venues.
People can buy tickets online at www.60yearsofwimmerarock.com.au/ticketing.
The entire January 15, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!