July 14th will see a concert which should provide a rare opportunity to hear some of the pioneering Brisbane bands from days gone by and pay some tribute to them. According to this piece in The Courier-Mail, the show will include a very rare appearance by the original line-up of hugely influential Brisbane band, The Saints, who will be headlining the one day festival, titled Pig City. Mind you the article also says Pig City takes its name from a book written about the Brisbane music scene. Which I suppose it sort of does, but the book took its name directly from a song called Pig City recorded in 1984 by a Brisbane band called The Parameters – it would be nice to see that song performed at the concert by some of the original artists.
The festival is being held at the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland, which used to be the location for many shows in that era, as well as being where community radio station 4ZZZ then had its studios. This radio station is based in Fortitude Valley these days (which is a more appropriate location), but their dedication to playing local artists of all types and levels of ability (and listenability) continues to play a big and under-acknowledged role in encouraging bands to get out there and play what they want to play. I understand that the day before there will also be a symposium held on the past. present and future of the rock music industry in Brisbane.
Early this year, Brisbane was named in Billboard magazine as one of the five music hotspots around the world. These sorts of things are always disputable, and sometimes the mythology which gets pumped out about music and bands can be full of just as much bullshit as politics (and that’s saying something), but the judgment by Billboard was still a great recognition of what is a genuinely impressive wellspring of musical talent, particularly given the almost zero recognition Brisbane’s music scene received thirty years ago when The Saints started out.
This also gave me a reminder of how one can never predict how one will get media or on what topic. My regular issuing of media releases and Senate speeches on a myriad of topics, not to mention the many more I raise on this blog, usually get a level of mainstream media attention which very closely approximates zero. Yet when this Billboard recognition occured, I got rung up out of nowhere by a journo who interviewed me for what seemed like 30 minutes – although admittedly it’s a topic I could talk on for a week if I’m in the right mood. Usually when this happens, I still only manage a sentence or two in the final story, but on this occasion the writer used many comments of mine – although not the one I really wanted – and the story ran in a whole heap of places. Of course, the one place I would really want it run was Brisbane, but the local paper here ran its own separate articles on it.
ADDITION (10/5) Queensland Premier Peter Beattie talks up Brisbane music and his CD gift pack.