In Brisbane, Andrea Black finds a rich musical past (and present) that could give any Australian city a run for its money. From the Saints to the Go-Betweens, and the legendary venues and stages that brought them into the world, this is one self-guided stroll that music fans can’t miss.
I’m standing at the birthplace of Australian punk. Well, a two-minute walk away. Traffic is flying by on Upper Roma Street in Brisbane, but all I can hear are the opening chords to The Saints’ ‘(I’m) Stranded’ from 1976, blaring through my headphones. In front of me, a huge mural of the four founding members of the band looms large.
It was just around the corner, on Petrie Terrace, that The Saints had their share house and rehearsal space, called Club 76. It’s long gone now, but as I wander around on this hot summer day, I can imagine them playing 45 years ago: Chris Bailey snarling with a deadpan stance next to Ed Kuepper’s abrasive guitar strumming.
And up on Caxton Street is the former Baroona Hall, one of the community halls that bands such as The Go-Betweens and Xero frequented through the 1970s and 80s. After various incarnations, it’s now a live music venue once again, named Lefty’s Music Hall.