About the Northern Tablelands Music Industry Archive

The Northern Tablelands Music Industry Archive (NTMIA) was instigated in late 2008 by Dr Clay Djubal as a means of providing biographical and historical information, music, video and images relating to locally-produced musical entertainment in the Northern Tablelands during the Australian pub rock era. It is primarily interested collecting and presenting information about the musicians, performers, writers, associated creative practitioners, institutions, businesses and communities which helped establish and maintain the region’s music industry during that era, and tracking their movements beyond the early 1990s and/or outside the region. In this respect the site endeavours to provide a medium through which individuals who have moved away from the region in the ensuing years can link with others, and to further provide online access to archival materials.

While only a few individuals may have established high profile reputations and careers beyond the Northern Tablelands and the pub rock era, collectively the people involved provided an invaluable community service to the region’s youth communities. Visits by ‘big name’ bands, or even non-local bands during this era were not regular and the gaps were invariably filled by local musicians and performers so that rural youth, just like their city cousins, had gigs to go to on Friday or Saturday nights. 

Although the NTMIA is the first research project dedicated to the Northern Tablelands music industry, and the first to be published online, it should be acknowledged that an attempt was made by former Armidale drummer Brian Moore to initiate a similar project in the early 2000s. A good deal of his research (much of it relating to the 1970s and early 1980s) is presented in this site and the NTMIA takes this opportunity to thank Mr Moore for his invaluable contribution and enthusiastic support.  

Scope:

In order to provide greater insight into the period the NTMIA’s temporal parameters are currently set to include bands and artists who were actively involved in performing or recording music and who were associated with the region in one form or another during the 21 year period 1970 to 1990. The demographic scope is largely confined to bands, artists and practitioners who were targeting the Northern Tablelands’ youth market – an age that ranges from the early-mid teens through to the mid-twenties, and which includes (as far as Armidale is concerned), the tertiary sector.

Because of the smaller populations involved, the music genres are not confined only to rock and pop music. Indeed, one of the interesting aspects of locally-produced entertainment in rural areas is that the audiences are often ‘forced’ to comprise a range of ages, musical tastes and even subcultural affiliations. This differs very much from the live entertainment scenes in Australia’s larger metropolitan centres, where audiences are able to pick and choose from a wider variety of venues, entertainment styles and locations. The music genres which comprise this archive therefore range from classic rock and punk to 

History:

As a former musician from the New England region Dr Djubal has sought to investigate the rich and varied creative experiences which emerged from that area during Australia’s pub rock era of the 1970s and 1980s. His  research into pre-1930s Australian popular theatre genres such as vaudeville, revusical (one act musical comedy), revue, pantomime, burlesque and musical comedy, was the impetus which led him to reconsider entertainment industries that lay outside the metropolitan centres (and hence largely outside the interests of historians and cultural theorists). Much of this research has been published through AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource’s ‘Australian Popular Theatre’ and ‘Australian Film and Television’ subsets.

The site is also in part the result of research he undertook while convening and lecturing in popular music studies at the University of Queensland between 2002 and 2005. These courses (Beyond Rock: Music in the Digital Age, Music Subcultures and the Media, Music in Popular Culture, The Musical: History, Theory and Practice, and From Elvis to Madonna) provided new opportunities to reconsider music industry and creative practice, as well as relationships between practitioners and audiences.

HGWT’s core mission also includes offering production and distribution facilities – both music (CDs) and small press publications – for bands and artists represented in this research archive. We are also able to provide a contact service for those artists who would prefer to produce and distribute their own works.

Contributors:

Todate, much of the content has been compiled and edited by Dr Djubal. It is hoped, however, that additional information and content will be increasingly provided by others. In this respect all contributions will be acknowledged. The site is particularly interested in obtaining permission to utilise images and to allow music files to be added to the site. 

Sources:

Much of the initial information comes from interviews, memorabilia and memory. Where details have been sourced from other publications this is noted in a Further Reference section (located either at the end of an individual entry or at the end of the relevant page).

Copyright Statement (2010):

A statement regarding this website’s fair use of images and reproduction of articles is provided as a PDF file. Click on the following link: 

 

 

Northern Tablelands Music Industry Archive

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