In 1993, I was 18 years old, and I was going to gigs a lot. Hard to believe that was 25 years ago!
Mainly it was myself and two of my mates, Dale and Mal. We’d go to everything we could, usually rotating turns at being designated driver. I hated being the designated driver because I knew what my mates were drunk. Let’s face it, I was no better. Now it must be said that we did go and see a lot of tribute bands and cover bands back then, but we also sunk out teeth into seeing some amazing units that went on to bigger and better things.
The Living End are from my hood, so I was lucky enough to see them as The Runaway Boys at a Battle Of The Bands at Wheelers Hill High School WAAAAAY back when, but in 1993, they were starting to play at reputable venues that we, as 18 years old pouring over Beat Magazine, had only read about. The Espy, The Tote, The Evelyn, Punters Club, The Prince Of Wales, Armadale Hotel, ET’s and more. And, being that they were our local heroes, we followed them to these venues and watched them become more and more popular. It wasn’t long before they moved onto bigger and better things, but those days of watching blokes my age slay on stage were awesome. If you have any footage from back then we’d love to see it!
Australia’s answer to a Bon Jovi power ballad popped up in the late 80s early 90s and played pubs from Bunbury to Wy Yung, and that’s Roxus. They were in their final throws in 1993, but rest assured you could catch them performing their biggest hit, "Where Are You Now?" (#13 on the ARIA Charts) from their only studio album, Nightstreet.
Another band that wasn’t around for very long time but made quite an impact were The Sharp. A three-piece rockabilly band from the burbs of Melbourne… hang on a minute, you mean Melbourne had TWO rockabilly bands emerging and playing in pubs in 1993? What a battle! The Sharp hit the stage nationally with US band The Spin Doctors and toured internationally, but you could most definitely see them and the bigger pubs around the country on the regular, they were a good time band, no doubt.
P.S. any band that gets The Late Show to do a parody of them is doing something right.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this, my mates and I were always pouring over street press to find the latest and greatest gigs to go to, so when Baby Animals were in town at a pub, you could rest assured we’d be there. Crushing insanely hard on Suze, and loving the heavier side of things they did it was a no-brainer. Dave Leslie is one of the greatest Aussie guitarists of all time! So, Baby Animals in a pub playing "At The End Of The Day" full noise? Yes, please.
One of the hardest working bands at the time was Tumbleweed. I know there were hard working because they hail from Wollongong and they would be in Melbourne quite regularly. Alternative rock music was gaining huge momentum in the early 90s so for a band like the ‘weed, who were dynamite in a live environment, they were in demand. They, along with The Meanies were always a good time show at places like The Tote, just crazy in fact. Fuzz, noise, whatever you wanna call it, it’s rad.
This is, of course, just scratching the surface of great live pub bands from 1993 and I wanna know about your favourite gigs from back then. (I chose not to include all the metal shows I went to so as not to alienate people ha ha) Let us know in the comments on our Facebook page!
For more great Oz Rock from the 90s, check out this sensational playlist...