And More Again...

Given the fact I never quite got around to learning to drive and a couple of other complicating factors Hughesy's experience of live music in the late eighties and throughout the nineties was almost exclusively limited to whatever was on offer around the pubs of Bowen.

If there was someone interesting playing out of town the first issue was finding out the show was happening. For the first ten years or so I was buying the Townsville Bulletin, so that wasn't a problem, but when the change of format from broadsheet to tabloid prompted a savage decline in journalistic quality I dropped out and that source of information was closed off.

If you knew someone interesting was playing Townsville and managed to get tickets the next issue was getting there. That usually involved organising a lift, which in turn meant that I needed to persuade someone I knew that the show was worth going to, which wasn't always easy.

There were additional complicating factors when it came to timing. More often than not big name Australian or overseas artists tended to play Townsville (or Mackay) in the middle of the week rather than on a weekend, so it wasn't just a matter of persuading someone that the show was worth attending, there was also the question of whether they felt like taking a day or two off work. 

If they didn't, a two hour road trip after work along with a similar sojourn to get back in time for work was usually enough to consign the possibility to the too hard basket.

Of course, if the concert was happening in the Burdekin or Proserpine things weren't quite so tricky. Even though Prossie and Airlie are less than an hour down the road you don't always hear what's on offer down there, and even when you do, there's no guarantee that the event is going to be publicised well enough to draw a substantial crowd.

If you think I'm kidding, I'd point you towards my review of Harry Manx at the Proserpine Cultural Centre in 2008.


B© Ian Hughes 2012