Industry [S-Z]

Venues, Businesses, Community Groups and Industry Opportunities

All entries are for the Armidale district unless otherwise noted.

 

THE 7 BROTHERS

Situated in Beardy Street, down past the Imperial Hotel towards the Marsh Street end, the 7 Brothers Greek restaurant and function centre was established by the Rologas family in the early-mid 1970s. Advertisements placed in the University of New England’s student newspaper, Neucelus, indicate that the restaurant engaged its own house band to entertain diners  and to  also provide dance music for after dinner entertainment. In 1975 the ensemble was known as The Highlights Orchestra, and is believed to have played a wide selection of musical genres – including covers of well-known contemporary pop/rock songs. The 7 Brothers was still advertising in Neucleus in 1977 suggesting that management were still interested in attracting the student demographic.

While not initially set up as a venue for rock bands the large upstairs function room was popular with local high schools. These dances during the 1970s and 1980s featured either a local disco operator or band. Shoot the DJ, for example, played a memorable gig there in 1983 for Armidale High School. The band managed to blow the power system a few songs in to its first set as the venue was not three-phase equipped, and hence unable to handle the large power drain caused by the band’s light show. Luckily guitarist/singer Jon Anderson (also a Telecom technician) was able to reconfigure the power (without the management knowing) and the band resumed without further interruption.

Kelsey at the 7 Brothers (mid-1970s) L-R: Ron Lane, Brian Moore, Bob Jones (James Arthur out of shot)
Source: Neucleus (1975-1977). Images: Top advertisement Neucleus 29 Jan. (1975), p. 18 • Bottom image Neucleus 7 Apr. (1976), p. 20 • Kelsey photo courtesy of Brian Moore.†

 

S.T.D. MUSIC. HIRE AND PROMOTION

aka Have Gravity Will Threaten

(1983-1991)

S.T.D. Music, Hire and promotion was a registered sole trader company set up by Clay Djubal in 1983, shortly after the formation of Shoot the DJ. The business initially owned and operated the band’s lighting rig, which was subsequently hired out to other bands (and mostly in conjunction with Jon Anderson’s Wattamega Sound). Anderson and Djubal also effectively co-managed the band’s business operations, with Anderson securing gigs in the North-west region and Djubal organising its Armidale and Northern NSW coast shows – sometimes in association with Horizon Entertainment (Coffs Harbour) and John Logan Entertainment (Sawtell). By mid-1983 S.T.D. Music Hire and Promotion was responsible for putting on a number of local events – including the “3 Bands 4 $3” concert at Wright College (UNE), with Shoot the DJ, The Zip and Dinosaurs From China.

When Clay and Jo Djubal moved to Sydney in 1984 the company was re-established in Golf Ave, Mona Vale. The Some Trippin’ Diggers collective was the first project funded by the company. It continued to provide expertise in the area of band promotions (including recording) and management, while also expanding its operations into other areas, notably health and fitness products. One highlight for the business was booking and managing the 1986 Northern NSW tour by Shoot the DJ and Helga and the Blitzkrieg.

The Djubals moved to the Gold Coast for personal reasons in 1986 and S.T.D. Music, Hire and Promotions operations were effectively put on hold for that year. Between 1987 and 1988 the business traded as Clayz Kitchen in Armidale. Opened as part coffee shop/part restaurant Clayz targeted the student and artistic/literary market, presenting regular musical and theatrical performances, film screenings, poetry recitals and arts and craft exhibitions. It also operated as a booking and promotions agency for visiting performers. [see Clay’s Kitchen entry for further details]

When the Djubals closed down Clayz Kitchen in December 1988 following the breakup of their marriage, Clay moved to Mackay (Qld) where he re-established the music, hire and promotions side of the business through his connections in the local music industry (as a member of Three Blind Mice). After struggling to build the business in Mackay he moved to Brisbane, setting up operations there on the city’s north side though his base at the Alderley Arms Hotel (now known simply as The Alderley). In addition to promoting and booking bands, the business began taking songwriting commissions, with clients ranging from individuals to small businesses (jingles) and theatre companies. In 1996, for example, the Cracka Theatre troupe commissioned a song ‘Summer of Change” for that year’s Queensland tour with Ray Lawler’s [Summer of the Seventeenth] Doll trilogy.

S.T.D. Music, Hire and Promotions was re-branded Have Gravity Will Threaten in 1996. It now operates as a publishing house and record label.

Source: Clay Djubal (2009). Images: Courtesy of Clay Djubal.

 

TATTERSALLS HOTEL

(1930s – )

One of Armidale’s largest hotels, Tattersalls is a three-level establishment comprising 42 guest bedrooms, several bars, a bistro and a commercial arcade (which runs beside the hotel leading from the mall to the rear Council car park). It was built in the 1930s when Art Deco Moderne architecture was popular, and hence attracts much attention from tourists and is heritage listed. The proprietors during the late 1960s and early to  mid-1970s were Mr and Mrs Mann. 

The hotel was not a venue for rock music under the Mann’s, with the cliental being an older and more reserved demographic. Any musical entertainments were therefore mostly acoustic or lounge-style (either solo or duos). The hotel did occasionally host small ensembles, however, but these were invariably jazz, folk, country or middle-of-the-road acts.  Interestingly, shortly before the hotel changed management in late 1975/early 1976, it became the focus of a Neucleus article on racist attitudes within the Armidale’s hotel industry. While other establishments were similarly implicated, the initial incident which sparked the investigation occurred at Tattersalls. Students subsequently boycotted the hotel in protest [for further details see Northern Tablelands Entertainment to the 1970s – Part 3]

1976

When Brian and Noella James took over Tattersall’s in 1976 they changed the hotel’s entertainment policy. Possibly the first local band to take advantage of the new regime was Kelsey, which secured a regular Saturday afternoon gig in the Tavern bar. Although Tatt’s continued to present live entertainment throughout the remainder of the 1970s and early 1980s it was never able to compete with the two hotels at either ends of the mall – Impies and the Newie. 

Tattersall’s Hotel was sold in 1987 for $1.745 million but although the new owners won the prestigious 1991-92 Australian Hotels Association’s Best Restyled Hotel (Country NSW) Award, it was again on the market in 1993. The hotel was eventually bought in late 1997 by the University of New England Union, then led by CEO Richard Torbay, for $900,000 (it was resold by Services UNE some ten years later). The UNE Union purchase saw Tatts turn its attention towards the university market. With the closure of the Imperial Hotel as a live venue Tatt’s was able to provide additional, though limited (in terms of size), opportunities for bands and DJs. It was soon usurped, however, by the Armidale Musicians Club which quickly set about catering for the city’s growing non-commercial/alternative music scene. Since the 2000s Tatt’s has hosted such events as the National Battle of the Sounds competition.  

Sources: ”The Drinkingman’s Guide to Armidale” Neucleus 23 Sept. 1970, p. 10) • Neucleus (1970-76) • Sydney Morning Herald 15 Dec. (1986) and 23 Mar. (1993) – online • Julian Type and Glen Druitt, “Saga of a Pub Crawl,” Neucleus 7 Oct. (1976), p 4.  Images: Colour photo courtesy of Michael Gardner, Wikipedia (2005) •  Advertisement from Neucleus 17 Mar. (1976), p. 18.

 

THE TREBLE CLEF

(1979-?)


In 1975 Armidale’s electrical and white goods business Spark and Co began selling a small range of vinyl albums, cassettes and ancillary hi-fi products (styli, cleaners, headphones etc), and effectively competed against Newell’s Music Centre, Richardson’s department store (which also had a music section) and to a lesser degree the Swap Shop, a second hand records shop situated at the lower end of Beardy Street in the CBD (underneath the Galloping Grape). Recognising that the city’s youth leisure market was rapidly expanding Spark and Co’s management decided in 1979 to expand this aspect of its operations and opened up The Treble Clef in the mall. With its range of goods extended to imported records and tapes, and also to musical and sound equipment, the business went into competition with two other specialist music equipment businesses in the mall – Newell’s and Lane Music Co.

Source: Neucleus – advertisements (1970-1980) • Image: Neucleus 30 April (1973).

 

2AD

(1936 – )

Radio station 2AD first began broadcasting in early 1936 under the auspices of New England Broadcasters. It’s coverage extends across the southern end of the New England region of Northern NSW, including the main centres of Armidale, Guyra, Uralla and Walcha.  In the early 1970s the station’s management took the opportunity to be the local sponsor of the nationally-run Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds competition. While local venues used the station to advertise forthcoming gigs during the 1970s and 1980s, the station’s commercially-orientated philosophy meant, however,  that it did not cater to youth market to the extent that the University of New England student station (RUNE) or the community station ARM FM could.

2AD and FM100.3 both operate out of Broadcast House, situated at 123 Rusden Street. 

Shane (1972 Hoadley Battle of the Sounds – Armidale heat) L-R: Nobby Osbourne, Bob Lane, Brian Moore, Brad Dunham, Wayne Yoemans.
Source: ‘2AD: The Voice of New England,’ Radio Heritage Foundation (online). Images: Broadcast House photo by Clay Djubal (2010) • Shane photo courtesy of Brian Moore.

 

2ARM FM

aka FM Radio 92.1

(1976 – )

Armidale’s community radio station is a volunteer and not-for-profit organisation, broadcasting to a region that includes Armidale, Uralla, Guyra, Walcha, Hillgrove. The station began operations in February 1976, broadcasting as 2 ARM FM on a frequency of 92.1 MHz. From the beginning 2ARM FM’s purpose has been to be a local voice for the Armidale area, offering access to any member of the community and providing an alternative source of both music and news to that offered by the local commercial radio station 2AD.

Although a separate entity, 2ARM FM’s origins are closely linked to the University of New England’s student radio station, Radio UNE.  In 1975 (five years after RUNE began broadcasting to the UNE campus on a closed loop service), the then Minister for the Media, Dr. Moss Cass, offered the station the opportunity to expand both its operations and range as part of the Community Broadcasting trial. The station was subsequently granted an Experimental FM licence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act. Radio UNE Co-Operative Ltd was then formed to hold the licence, and after some initial tests as 2UNE-FM, the station eventually went to air in 1976 as 2ARM-FM, thereby offering  wider community involvement. Although the service provided by 2ARM was different to that of RUNE’s closed loop licence, the Co- Operative initially ran both services.

During the late 1970s and 1980s the station regularly provided news and details of forthcoming gigs in region. Local bands were also sometimes able to promote themselves or shows through interviews or occasional by hosting a show. Shoot the DJ, for example, did this on one occasion in early 1984. 2ARM FM’s close relationship with RUNE was furthered in mid-1978 when both stations joined forces for a period of time to broadcast all night on Fridays and Saturdays.   

2ARM FM, also known simply as FM 92.1, became an Incorporated Association in June 2009.

Source: Radio UNE Co-operative Ltd.  “2 ARM FM Armidale Community Radio” Neucleus 19 July (1976), p. 5. • 2ARM Armidale Community Radio (online) • Alan Williams. “FM Extended” Neucleus 14 June 1978, p.4. Image: Logo courtesy of 2ARM FM.

 

UNE ARTS THEATRE

aka Arts A1 Lecture Theatre

 (1967 – )

The 300-seat Arts Theatre has been the focal point in the region for student, amateur and professional theatre productions and musical events since it was opened in 1967. Comprising a proscenium arch around the stage with a fly-tower and raked auditorium, the theatre provides an intimate setting for theatrical productions, music performance and lectures and conferences.

One of the best known Australian performers to play the Arts Theatre during the 1970s was Margaret Roadknight (27 Oct. 1973). The theatre is also believed to have hosted a show featuring the Brisbane street theatre collective Harpo, singer Jeannie Lewis and the Melbourne-based progressive rock/fusion group McKenzie Theory on 25 October 1972.

Source: Neucleus (1970-80) • UNE Campus Services – ‘Public Entertainment’ page (online).

 

UNE GREAT HALL

(1973- )

aka University Hall / Lazenby Hall

Opened in 1973, the University of New England’s Great Hall (now known as Lazenby Hall) is located adjacent to the Union Bistro. It currently holds a public performance license to seat no more than 938 patrons, including Balcony seating for 96 patrons on three levels. Once the seats are removed the tiers can be retracted. The flat floor area located in front of the raked seating contains seating for 285 patrons, but once the chairs are removed this area becomes a performance. Raked seating to the rear of the auditorium provides seating for 572 patrons. These can also be removed, however, and when the raked levels are retracted the entire auditorium floor becomes flat. The hall has long been popular with bands and solo performers alike because of its size and its lively acoustics which suit most music presentation.

The Great Hall (from the rear)

During the 1970s and 1980s the hall could comfortably fit upwards of 1500 standing patrons for concerts staged by established Australian and international acts. Lismore band Aleph (which had just released its debut album Surface Tension) was one of the first bands to play the Great Hall (3 April 1977). Arguably the biggest overseas act to play the Great Hall during the pub rock era was English alternative/new wave band XTC (July 1979). The support acts were The Numbers and Flowers (Flowers later became Icehouse). Another international artist to play the venue was US Christian performer Chuck Girard in 1978.

25 May 1979 †

Among the best known Australian and New Zealand bands to appear at the Great Hall during the 1970s were: Split Enz (1975), Skyhooks during its 1977 ‘Live at the Party’ tour (with Geoff Duff as support), Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons (1978 and 1979), Captain Matchbox and the Soapbox Circus (1977 with the Australian Performing Group; and again in 1978) and New Zealand band Mother Goose (1978). 1979 saw such bands as The Angels (supported by Constable Green and Moore), Renee Geyer, The Sports (supported by The Aliens), Rose Tattoo (also supported by Constable Green and Moore) and Mike McClellan.

28 July 1978

One of the biggest events of the late 1970s was Rock Fest ’78  (originally to be called Carnivale ’78). A benefit concert for community radio station 2ARM-FM, the line-up comprised Stiletto (Melb) supported by local bands Patterson’s Curse, The Inmates and Constable Green and Moore.

15 Sept. 1978

Nationally touring bands and artists to play the Great Hall during the 1980s included: New Zealand bands Split Enz (1 Apr. 1980) and Mi Sex (supported by Shoot the DJ, 1983), Midnight Oil (Orientation Dance, n. yr.), The Sports, Australian Crawl, Jimmy and the Boys, INXS, Hoodoo Gurus, Rose Tattoo (with Lobby Lloyd) and James Freud and the Radio Stars.

NB: Lazenby Hall is named in honour of former Vice Chancellor Professor Alec Lazenby.

Source: Clay Djubal (2009)  “The Great Hall or the Multi-Purpose Flop” Neucleus 21 Oct. (1975), p. 4 •  Neucleus (1975-1980) • University of New England – Campus Services (online). Images: Captain Matchbox advertisement from Neucleus 19 July (1978), p. 24 • Rock Fest ’78 advertisement from Neucleus 13 Sept. (1978), p. 24. Angels/Constable Green and Moore avertisement, Neucleus 17 May 1979, p. 24

 

UNE UNION BISTRO

aka The ‘Stro

Popular with UNE students and ‘townies,’ alike the Union Bistro was arguable the premiere live entertainment venue in Armidale during the 1970s and 1980s. Comfortably holding somewhere around 400-500 patrons, the long and narrow split level design allows bands to either play lengthways (with the stage down towards the bar end) or in the middle (with a narrow audience pit in front – both on the main floor and on the balcony). From the mid-1970s the Bistro management began extending on Friday and Saturday nights with mid-week entertainment. In 1976, for example, management presented semi-regular Wednesday jam sessions, with bands being booked for non- jam nights.

The venue was also popular with older students who came to UNE during the mid-semester Residential Schools. For these patrons the entertainment was often less hard rock orientated, with popular acts being those bush folk groups like the Boorolong Bush Band 91978), Ragweed Reelers/Captain Pugwash (1978-1979) and Patterson’s Curse (1978-1979); along with jazz ensembles like the John Grigg Quartet (aka John Grigg Jazz band, 1977-1980), the Dixieland Jazz Band (1979) and Gaz and Clel (1979).

Stars (with Kinta) 1979

During the pub rock era the Bistro served as the ideal venue for Australian touring rock bands. Among the more well-known national bands to play the Bistro were: Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons (1977), Kevin Borich Express (1977), Richard Clapton (1977), Doug Ashdown (1977), Mondo Rock (1977), Stiletto (1977), Cold Chisel (1978), Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs (1978 and 1979), Stars (1979 with support band Kinta), cabaret-style act The Whittle Family Singers (1979), an almost unknown INXS (ca. 1980), and the Dynamic Hepnotics (early 1980s).

Management also regularly booked both established Armidale bands and those from the wider Northern Tablelands and Northern NSW to fill in the gaps between touring acts. Popular local acts included Ukiah (1977-1980), The Inmates (1978), Constable Green and Moore (1978-79) and Kinta (1979), and Aleph (Lismore, ca. 1978).

Other Australian bands known to have played the venue include: Sydney new wave/punk outfit Wasted Daze, the Mangrove Boogie Kings, Charlie Rag Rock Band, Moose Malone, Bravura and Meccalissa (all 1978).  

Source: Djubal (2009) • Neucleus (1977-1980). Images: Colour photo by Clay Djubal (2010) •  Stars/Kinta advertisement Neucleus 11 Apr. (1979), p. 17 † •  Black and white Bistro photo Neucleus 1 Feb. (1979), p. 52.†

 

UNE UNION COURTYARD

Union Courtyard *

Situated at the northern boundary of the Booloominbah heritage precinct, the Union Courtyard is a small grass-covered area ringed by shops on the northern and western sides and the Union Bistro at the southern end. The shops have long included a cafe, bookshop and hair salon.

The Union Courtyard has also doubled as an occasional outdoor entertainment area since the early 1970s, with the buildings creating an amphitheatre-like atmosphere. Many Armidale bands have played lunchtime gigs there over the years, including high school bands like Blue Max. Other local bands to have been booked include: the Ragweed Reelers (1978).

Matt Taylor (1978) †

The precinct has also hosted numerous touring bands and artists over the years. Among those known to have also played lunchtime or afternoon concerts include: Chinogan (1974), Pantha (1979), ex-Chain guitarist Matt Taylor (1978), Sidewinder (1978), the Whittle Family Singers (1978/1979), and Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs (1978).

Chinogan (1974) †

 
Source: Clay Djubal (2009) • Neucleus (1977-1980). Images: Top photo courtesy of Wikipedia – ‘Armidale’ entry (online) • Matt Taylor/Union Courtyard photo, Neucleus 16 Aug. (1978), p. 7.  • Chinogan photo, Neucleus 15 Oct. (1974), p. 15.

 

UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND (UNION, CLUBS/SOCIETIES and FACULTIES)

  • UNE Union
  • Music Society (MUSSOC)
  • Socialist Action Movement (S.A.M.)
  • Rural Science Ball

The University of New England Union:  Established in 1938 to service the first intake of students (then 26 in number), one of the Student Union’s first tasks was to establish a common room on the first floor of Booloominbah in what had been the original main bedroom. According to records held in the UNE archives the Union’s first commercial services operated out of the student common room (where a locked cupboard was opened briefly three times a day).  By 1940 there were eight Directors managing the affairs of the Union (while the 1943 Annual General Meeting was attended by 94 members).  The Union also began holding its first social events (dances) in 1941. At that time both the staff and about half of all students lived in Boolominbah.

Booloominbah (1958)

The first paid officer was appointed in 1956, the same year that the Union moved into its own offices. The newly-built wing allowed the Union to both expand its services and create the Union courtyard – a meeting place and cultural centre for both staff and students. By 1958 there were 500 internal and 800 external students enrolled at the University. As student numbers grew the Union played a key role in developing new projects. Madgwick Hall was built in 1965, followed in 1973 by the Great Hall (now Lazenby Hall), and later the Union Arcade, the Union Bistro and the Function Centre. Since the 1970s the Union has continued to expand its operations, even outside the University precincts. In 1997, for example, it bought Tattersalls Hotel for $900,000, and following the closure of the Capital Cinema in 1983 established a temporary cinema for Armidale which was run by a local community group ‘Friends of the Cinema.’. This venture eventually saw the Union merge its interests with the Armidale Ex-Services Memorial Club to build the Belgrave Cinema. It opened in 1995. 

The UNE Union’s involvement in the Armidale music industry during the 1970s and 1980s was hugely significant. During that era it booked many of the biggest acts in Australia, along with some international bands and performers – ranging from American protest singer/songwriter Phil Ochs (1972) to British new wave band XTC (1982). These gigs were presented in a number of UNE venues, notably the Great Hall, the Bistro, the Arts Theatre, the Union Courtyard  and Madgwick Hall. Local bands, whether from Armidale, the Northern Tablelands or from nearby regions, were also provided opportunities for gigs. 

The Union’s commitment to student interests also saw it host a wide array of music-based activities. These included traditional university events such as the orientation concert, Graduation Ball, end-of-semester/end-of-year dances and external school entertainments. Research into the Union during the 1970s has identified for example additional events such as the I.V. Folk/Jazz Festival (19-24 May 1970); a “Used Faces” talent quest (Belshaw Room, ca. July 1973) and RockFest ’78 (15 Sept. 1978).

  • For further Union activities see the entries on UNE Great Hall, UNE Bistro, UNE Courtyard, UNE Arts Theatre and Madgwick Hall.

UNE Jazz Club: The Jazz Club is believed to have started up in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The first record of its existence identified to date comes from a Clubs and Societies notice published in the January 1975 issue of Neucleus. The then current president, John Judge, records that although the Jazz Club had been revived in 1974 (after an unspecified period), it had been a largely uneventful year due to the university work load placed on the people trying to run it. Judge indicates that while it had been an uneventful year for the club, the local jazz scene itself had been quite good, with the Galloping Grape wine bar/bistro being a major supporter (“Jazz” p. 23).

The 1975 Jazz Club committee, headed by Judge, along with Penny Judge, put together a schedule of concerts (with both local and touring acts) and workshops, as well as regular jam sessions being held on both on campus and in town at the Galloping Grape. Musicians without previous jazz experience were encouraged to participate in these activities. The club is also believed to have been a vehicle out of with the John Judge Jazz Band formed [see its entry in the Artists/bands section]. How long the UNE Jazz Club (in its various incarnations) operated at UNE is unclear at this stage.

Music Society (MUSSOC):  Although MUSSOC was strictly an art or classical music society it nevertheless attracted a strong youth audience during the 1960s and 1970s, due in no small part to a  well-organised management committee. Possibly established as early as the 1950s, MUSSOC established a strong presence on the UNE campus as well as within the broader Armidale community. Each year it presented a full program of concerts comprising performers from the local region and from further afield – even including the occasional overseas performer. Campus performances were held in an array of venues, including some of the colleges, the UNE Arts Theatre, Booloominbah and the Belshaw Room. Arguably the most popular venue, however, was Madgwick Hall. Concerts were also occasionally organised for outside the UNE precinct. 

The society’s organising committee during the 1970s also provided comprehensive reviews and updates via a regular column published in Neucleus. As a result MUSSOC provides a rich insight into Armidale’s ‘serious’ music scene during the 1960s and 1970s – an aspect which is sadly missing in relation to rock and other music genres from that period.

Socialist Action Movement (S.A.M.): One of the most proactive student organisations operating at the University of New England during the 1970s, S.A.M. occasionally organised music events as a means of promoting its cause. In late 1972, for example, the executive put on a benefit concert at the UNE Union complex to raise funds for the legal defense of several students who had been arrested for possession of marijuana (see Rod Noble entry for further details). The following year S.A.M. sponsored the People’s Incredible Folk/Rock Concert at Madgwick Hall (12 Oct.). According to Rod Noble anyone politically left of centre in those days was a member of S.A.M. The membership peaked at just over 200 in 1973, with notable members of the executive being Noble and Adrian Shackley. Among the memberships, too, were such people as Alan Oshlack and Don Walker.

  • See also Rod Noble entry.

Rural Science Ball: The Rural Science faculty at UNE has always been particularly strong given its popularity with students from regional areas of Australia. During the 1970s the faculty put on a ball each year (usually in July) – with this usually being held in Mirapana Woolshed. In 1973 the entertainment was provided by Mulga Bill’s Bicycle Band and the following year by Melbourne band The General Store (aka The Snake Gully General Store, Post Office and Comfort Station Orchestra. The Rural Science Ball has continued as a tradition into the 21st century and ranks alongside the Law Ball as one of the premiere events on the UNE social calander. 

Sources: Jenny Crew. “UNE Union.” Afterthoughts  7.2 Oct. (1999), p. 6 • “Jazz.” Neucleus 29 Jan. (1975), p. 23 • Neucleus (1970-1980) • Rod Noble (correspondence, Apr. 2010) • “Union” Neucleus 13 March 1974, p4.  Image: Booloominbah photo courtesy of Services UNE Ltd (Booloominbah Collection – online)† • People’s Concert advertisement Neucleus 9 Oct. (1973), p. 12. 

 

WATTAMEGA SOUND

(1983-ca. early 2000s)

Wattamega Sound was for some twenty years Armidale’s principle music equipment PA hiring service. Jon Anderson set up the business in 1983 shortly after co-founding Shoot the DJ. The decision to purchase his own PA was made when he realised that the lack of a suitable and professional equipment hiring service in Armidale would impact negatively on the band’s ability to play both locally and tour. A year or so after Shoot the DJ disbanded Anderson expanded the business with a lighting rig he bought from Clay Djubal’s company S.T.D. Music, Hire and Promotion. Wattamega Sound was initially based in Armidale but later moved to nearby Rocky River. He re-established it in Armidale again in the 1990s.

While Shoot the DJ was Wattamega’s first and most frequent hirer in 1983 Anderson’s expertise as a sound technician saw the company quickly expand its customer base. Helga and the Blitzkrieg also utilised the system during its time together. When Anderson helped co-found The Armidale Musicians Club in the late 1980s Wattamega supplied the house PA system and technical services. Through the Club Anderson continued to provide equipment, expertise and support for the local industry up until the early 2000s. Since then he has largely retired from active involvement in the industry.

Source: Jon Anderson (correspondence, 2009). Image: Wattamega Sound image courtesy of Jon Anderson.

 

WICKLOW HOTEL

The Wicklow Hotel stands on the site of the New England region’s earliest licensed establishment – the Armidale Hotel, which was built in 1852. The hotel, which was called the Pink Pub for a brief period, has undergone extensive renovation since the 1970s and 1980s. Although rarely ever a venue for rock bands, the Wicklow has had a long association with acoustic performers, bush and folk bands and literary groups (performance poets, for example). In the late 1970s and early-mid 1980s it was also the fortnightly meeting place for the Armidale Folk Club.

Sources: Clay Djubal (2009) • Wicklow Hotel (online). Image: Logo courtesy of the Wicklow Hotel.

 

 

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Northern Tablelands Music Industry Archive

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