Children Of The Revolution.
Revolution Rock Live is on at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Sunday.
The revolution does not start here. The revolution started long ago. It’s now over 40 years since rock music hit Australia for the first time, and this Sunday the Powerhouse Theatre hosts Revolution Rock, a ride through some of Brisbane’s musical shining lights.
This Sunday’s showcase live performance gives a run through Brisbane music from the 50s onwards, with sets from Ups & Downs, Tony Worsley, Native Rhyme Syndicate, The Purple Hearts, Dave McCormack & The Polaroids, Betty McQuade, The Black Assassins, Giants Of Science, Screamfeeder, The Survivors, Carol Lloyd & The Aussie All Stars, Matt Taylor and Ed Kuepper. Even if your familiar with only a small number of the days acts, chances are you’ll find a kinship with the remainder of the bill, and come away with a greater understanding of where Brisbane’s vibrant scene has come from, and hopefully some indications of the heights still to be hit in the future.
“My initial motivation for the Revolution Rock project stemmed from the fact I saw live music being encroached upon in many areas, and I thought that was a real problem for live music culture as a whole,” explains the events producer Kelvin Johnson. “I’m a fairly active person in my community, and I just had some skills to lend to the cause with the Valley Music Council, and was quite surprised with the level of support we were getting from the community. I’m very proud of Brisbane as a music Mecca and just wanted it to survive and flourish rather than just fall over.”
“I wanted a multimedia forum that would give people access to tell their stories as well. Rather than being like a Glenn A Baker kind of thing with all the info presented, it would actually be run by the community. It’s something that’s just evolving. It’s about the concept, but it also gives it a bit of history going back to 1942.”
Do you think a lot of people in Brisbane who are active in music today are not really aware of what’s gone before, or the origins of Brisbane’s current music culture?
“They don’t. What happens is that every generation has its moment, basically. It’s so good to show that we actually have a link going through, and I’m trying to encourage that story so everyone will know what it’s about.”
Do the performers on the day encapsulate for you what really were the highlights or moments for Brisbane’s musical generations?
“I think they’re seminal acts, because so many different styles stem from them. If you look at something like the Black Assassins, it’s pretty obvious to me the links with bands that formed later on. I see this as a full story. A lot of people who have talked to me in my research have expressed that things like Long Way To The Top have missed certain acts. I know you can only put so many acts in the show, but they never even called Carol Lloyd, there’s lots of politics involved in music, and I think that the beauty of Revolution Rock is that we’ve come in with a fresh approach to it all.”
There are performers on the bill who have not been active for some time, was it an easy task to get acts interested and back up and running?
“It was extremely difficult to get the line ups back together. I just became the go between, so I was able to skirt around a lot of things that may have occurred in the bands, and being neutral really helped. I’ve just tried to be open and transparent with everyone and it seems to have worked. I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve.”
What would you hope people take away from the Revolution Rock Live experience?
“It’s how you leave people at the end of the day. I want people to go away with fond memories of the event and have an insight into what the live music scene is, and do over some of the cross generational stuff, so people of all eras can enjoy this stuff. I don’t think it’s about the old versus the new.”
There’s a special two for one deal for Zed subs and students, how does this work?
“I think it’s only fair that subbies, they’ve carried the live and independent scene for a long time, and this is just a way of saying thanks to them. Also with students with fees and everything, I don’t want to be limiting. It costs a lot of money to put these productions on, but I want to be fair too.”