origins of brisbane dance culture - ITM thread

origins of brisbane dance culture - inthemix.com.au postings in brisbane forums

below is the transcript of the Origins of Brisbane Club Culture thread on the Brisbane forums of inthemix.com.au. I've removed extra info about the posters and extra site info for easier readability.

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- Origins of Brisbane Dance Culture thread saved 27/11/2005

- Origins of Brisbane Dance Culture thread saved 11/09/2008

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The Origins of Brisbane Club Culture?

Old 29-Dec-04, 11:44pm #1
d-ko
Registered User

The Origins of Brisbane Club Culture?
I was lucky enough to score the book "Pig City" for Christmas, which is a reasonably detailed history of rock music in Brisbane from the Saints to Powderfinger and even some hacks called Custard.

But apart from a brief mention of a club night called "Funkyard" (which sounds like an early-90s Depot) and an even briefer mention of Boxcar, dance music is pretty much left out altogether.

I've heard some interesting stories from various people of how Expo brought ecstacy and dance music to Brisbane for the first time, and of a club downstairs next to Skinny's and another @ Ric's called "Groove Kitchen" or something along those lines that really kicked things off.

So do any of our more, umm, experienced forum members have any stories to tell?

ps, hope this topic hasn't been covered before, did a search and couldn't find anything.

www.D-Ko.com - LIVE trance, breaks and tribal house.

Saturday, December 18 - Elements:2 @ The Rev with K-Oscillate (100% live d'n'b/Melbourne), Sanyasa (live), Erther, Rasp, Scott Walker, Luminus Prime vs Kris-Ko (live drums), with visuals by Simulcast & Enchanted Forest.

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Old 29-Dec-04, 11:49pm #2
borrisGLOWSTICK
Thunderclap Junkie

if anyone can answer this question it would have to be jesus4c cos he's like 80 years old

great topic idea, quite looking foreward to the replies to this thread

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Old 30-Dec-04, 05:35am #3
ajf05
Registered User

Quote:
Originally Posted by d-ko
I was lucky enough to score the book "Pig City" for Christmas, which is a reasonably detailed history of rock music in Brisbane from the Saints to Powderfinger and even some hacks called Custard.

But apart from a brief mention of a club night called "Funkyard" (which sounds like an early-90s Depot) and an even briefer mention of Boxcar, dance music is pretty much left out altogether.

I've heard some interesting stories from various people of how Expo brought ecstacy and dance music to Brisbane for the first time, and of a club downstairs next to Skinny's and another @ Ric's called "Groove Kitchen" or something along those lines that really kicked things off.

So do any of our more, umm, experienced forum members have any stories to tell?

ps, hope this topic hasn't been covered before, did a search and couldn't find anything.

ah memories, funkyard use to be where sissler is now on the cnr of albert and elizabeth st under ronald mcdonalds, god boxcar rings a bell was that a name of a nite or a group? mass was also pretty similar to the depot at the lands office in the city

the alarm use to be next to skinnys around the time of expo, use to play lots of aciddddddd house from memory as well as the beat and the tunnel on the gold coast
groove kitchen use to be on sundays from miday to midnite at rics, someone correct me if im wrong

remember seeing new order at the roxy in'87 and having to the disapointed at the cancellation of the happy mondays at transformers(adrellian bar) and neds atomic dustbin at metropolis .
went thru high skool with bernard from powderfinger, & payin $2 cover to see em play at the orient
f*k im gettin old

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Old 30-Dec-04, 09:35am #4
sugarcaned
osculator

oh dear, this will be the thread where all the old timers rock back in their chairs to say " ... in the day" funkyard was at the lands office before it moved to elizabeth st *shudders* ... late 80s, 81 elizabeth street was where it started for me, the velvet beetroot and euphoria. i'll let jesus do the rest!

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:03am #5
fireball_laser
Registered User

MAY ONE IF U SEE ME I ALL TELL U
CHAT TO ME NYE EVE, IT IS FUNNY
there was a club call the go go club were slizzwer now is in city.
that place rocked

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:06am #6
hunter
ich bin DIE minimalische

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcaned
oh dear, this will be the thread where all the old timers rock back in their chairs to say " ... in the day" funkyard was at the lands office before it moved to elizabeth st *shudders* ... late 80s, 81 elizabeth street was where it started for me, the velvet beetroot and euphoria. i'll let jesus do the rest!

81 elizabeth st..... Alarm..... JOY!

Mass was a bit too after the beginning for it to be able to claim stripes. Mass also only played 'dance' music if it had strikingly industrial elements and then it was maybe a ratio of 11:1

So the pogression I followed was: (and i KNOW we had dance music pre:expo because I graduated the year before expo and we were gettin down then..)

Alarm
Magic Roundabout
Berties (I'm pretty sure this was downstairs Myer Centre BUT! I also believe there was a record shop downstairs Myer Centre and everyone tells me I'm wrong but I had to have bought the Beatmasters SKA TRAIN somewhere - right?)

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:07am #7
SilverStreak
'Loco'-'Motive'...

LQ's
Bohemian cafe
Sex Shop
Metropolis
Babble On

etc.

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:11am #8
hunter
ich bin DIE minimalische

Lexington Queen - oooh.... that brings back nasty memories.

Almost as nasty as the Wall Street memories (:

cheers T!

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:11am #9
jesus4c
Registered User

[QUOTE=borrisGLOWSTICK]if anyone can answer this question it would have to be jesus4c cos he's like 80 years old
QUOTE]

Oi! Fuk off, Borry! Am NOT 80! (44 today! 44 today! Well, tomorrow, actually )

Hey d-ko! Jus' finished reading 'Pig City' myself! That is soooo my autobiography! I missed the very start - The Saints, but was there for the rest - '79 on - Razar, The Leftovers, Cloudland, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, street marches, announced in the early days of ZZZ. The book is full of interviews with people and bands I hung out with. And I think the reason the book doesn't touch on dance music too much, is 'cause it concentrates on the Joh years, which ended in '88, I think.

BUT - even back then, there were clubs playing the roots of dance music.

The Beat started in about 1980, I think ('82 at the latest), and broke ground by playing stuff like New Order (their first releases, including 'Blue Monday' the very first time they released it), and other Factory artists, the SOS band, even non-single releases by Soft Cell - 12" singles were the new black back then - often including dub versions of stuff. Kraftwerk, too. The New Romantic phase was kicking in - Orchestral Manoeveres in ther Dark, Visage, John Foxx, Ultravox, Gary Numan, Duran Duran, whoever did 'Just Be Good To Me' the first time, and 'If you Wanna Ride..' (SOS band?), also much more 'weird' stuff - Severed Heads, SPK, ***, So - The Beat played this stuff, but not so much the single releases - much more the 12" remixes.

And 81 Elizabeth Street was the hub of things back then, too. Early 80's it was Knights, and then became Hollywoods - playing dancey and alternative stuff.

I then faded from the scene for quite a while and spread my wings to explore jazz and blues, but was bought back to Earth in 1993 - corrupted by a work colleague who introduced me to trance and other dance music. She lived with sometime contributer to these forums, Slingo (who now manages Kid Kenobi and features in the interview on Page 53 of inthemix.04), and she corrupted me too, so I'll send her a textie to add whatever SHE can add to this discussion.

From the early 90's all I can recall is Groove Kitchen at Ric's (spending Sunday arvos dancing on the tables there, back and forward to The Wickham - which also totally went off!). My first 'Vibes on a Summer's Day' was at the Waterloo, and Grand Orbit had some pretty cool nights, too.

But, yeah -as I've said before, The Beat has ALWAYS been there as far as Brissy dance music is concerned!!

And Boxcar was a band - on ground-breaking Aussie dance label Volition (formed in 1984), I believe.

And, of course, AliaK knows EVERYthing about this subject!!

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:30am #10
TiAmos
Resonate

i'm just going to say one word....

.... PATCHES

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:38am #11
AliaK
ITM Contributor

here's the ones I remember off the top of my head, though it's all starting to fade a bit now so apologies if I get things mixed up.. back then there were a few places to go, so we'd clubhop a fair bit, visiting a couple or few in a night. the dates are when we used to go, but I can't remember when the clubs started/finished exactly. they seemed to be always there at the time.

86/87-till prob 88/89 : Stratus, this was at the Homestead Hotel in Zillmere. we lived on the northside so it was a 5min drive. we used to go wed, fri & sat nights and sometimes thurs. djs who were there that I can recall were edwin, I think even darren briais or mark james?? lots of dance music. though I do remember bros and beastie boys & run dmc was popular too! yeah this was when I first heard of ecstacy, I remember standing in the carpark and one of the girls was telling us about how she tried it. then we started going to transformers.

tuesday nights we'd goto the valley to the terminus. it was still a gay bar, but had the best dance music in the valley. it was opposite the trainstation in the valley. I remember we once caught the train home without a full-fare ticket but we'd stupidly said we'd just been at the terminus having a dance so should have been paying full fare (we were still underage at the time) - luckily the train conductor must have been having a good night as he let us off. we were only 3 girls and looked innocent enough.

sometimes we'd goto options. drag shows were great, plus the music was good and u didn't get hassled.

there was another night called patches which was held upstairs at the roxy/site. another night of good tunes and glam outfits

at the end of the night people would end up at wall street - I remember the carpet there was really squelchy, the bouncers were big and the lift was the smallest in brisbane and we always thought it was the most likely to break down, though it never did as far as I recall.. (at least not whilst we were in it)

I forget the name of the indie club, but it was up the road from uni (when QUT was still QIT so we'd go there now and then. it had a couple of names over the years.

transformers (prob 88-89, where adrenalin bar is now), famous for stomping and dancing on the stage to italio house it was great, we'd get on the guest list after calling from work (ch7, they loved letting media ppl in) - some of the cameramen from work used to go. everyone would have a new outfit, I remember we'd spend the weekends shopping for new clothes - lots of colour... the mask, hyena were the best places to find your outfit (& into the early 90s). you could go into the ladies toilets and have your hair or makeup done.. very lush at the time! they had a dance party there later as well, then a few more, I guess this was the start of the large venue parties.. before that it was small club nights.

one of the studio boys took me to the alarm (downstairs near skinnys.. it's had a few incarnations as a club but alarm was the best) and that was it.. discovered acid house and never looked back. angus used to dj here. loved his tunes back then. it was a tiny room, I remember a cage, lots of smoke from the smoke machine - the place was dark, and the strobes were popular back then.

there were a couple of other nights we went to.. rumours was where the big rnb club is that's down the road from the orient. another one was lexington queen - they played italio house/hip house and some dancey hip hop/rnb as well.

there was another night at the other end of the city.. closer to roma st station. I think it was called tracks?? trashy!

speaking of the orient, I went there a couple of times to see friend's rock bands play. it was a lot dingier than it is today (or was last time I went in 2000/1 or so)

metropolis was where the cinemas are (I think! I just remember it being downstairs and that's only place big enough that I can think where it was now). saw quadrophonia there and lots of local artists, they had a few of the raves there. even remember seeing Matt Kitson debut - one wed night I think? perhaps it was another night, not sure.

gogo's was one of my fav clubs, it's where sizzlers is now in the city. they played some acid house and I remember tunes like, 'wash your face in my sink' and lots of deelite songs. more spinny lights here & visuals on the walls. great crowd too - everyone seemed to know each other. there were probably max 300 ppl there at any one time. I think this turned into funkyard a bit later?? & became more indie music.

we'd goto the tunnel at the gold coast sometimes too. sundays were good as far as I remember.

there was a dance party at seaworld on the gold coast, up on the castle. this was a great night.

sundays were also good at ric's but that was probably closer to the days of the site and the beat, and tube, I think it was after 93/94 or around then.

then it was probably the beat, where we stayed for a few years. if anyone's seem my hearing there can they send it over I remember a couple of parties where they had ferris wheel and jumping castles in the back yard or next door. that's a blur.

another night was at the sex shop.. I'm sure this club only lasted a few months if that. it was upstairs in a building off an alleyway in the city. I remember we'd go and sit on the roof sometimes and watch the city and skyline. such a cool little club, reminded me of an old schoolhouse, or someone's house, just a few rooms really.

there was also a night in the valley where that abandoned building is down towards the valley mall, between, opposite & diagonal to where empire and monastery are now. jenny making her debut there with an elvis track mixed in - I thought this was cool, a girl playing elvis in a set, it was something different (much slower than what she plays these days though)

there was a party at mt tamborine in a scouts hall which was really cool. driving home was great too. (even when the combi broke down!)

of course, then there was the site, home of the larger raves. adrenalin parties with the michelan man logo. roxy over the road. the tube. more of the beat.

strawberry fields parties.. heaps of fun here too

start of the outdoor parties. I remember things related to the guy I was going out with at the time - pre-boy, boy and post-boy. the then ex-boy went to the outdoor nights but it was still too hard to see him out after the breakup so I didn't goto these really although I wanted to. if I could do it over I would've gone and not worried about the boy but that's how life is.

then the tube. so many nights there. it was an institution.

nexus warehouse party in southbrisbane.

I had a couple of years off going out so much in about 96 or so and put my head down to work. but there were nights at the dome, more nights in the valley and the raves on occasion. the going out 3-5 nights a week were over though!

by now I guess it's late 90s.. I probably started going out again more regularly in 98-2001 then moved to sydney, now uk where I go out very occasionally. these years were mostly in the valley, but the regulars here would already know of those places.

boxcar were a band. on sony volition. they moved to sydney - prob mid 90s? hung out with the other volition artists.. vision 4/5, southend, pocket, severed heads etc.. nice guys. the label had the sound of australian dance music at the time.

anyway, they're all nice memories. there's probably more but it could have been a dream..,
Kath

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:39am #12
AliaK
ITM Contributor

there were a few nights where fridays and grand orbit were too.. or one of the two. I can't remember if grand orbit was where fridays is now or nearby. something like that.

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:44am #13
hunter
ich bin DIE minimalische

grand orbit was upstairs near city rowers...

rip.

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:45am #14
hunter
ich bin DIE minimalische

hunter's Avatar

Member Since: Feb 2001
Member ID: 101
Location:
U-Bahn
Posts: 4,921

AliaK: I'm so stoked you mentioned that delapidated old building across from empire and up from RGs.

I thought i was going insane with memories of going nuts in that joint and no-one else remembers?

See it's presently for sale? a bit battered and bruised but wouldn't it be lovely...

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:50am #15
AliaK
ITM Contributor

I think it was ready for demolition back then! I forget the name of the night though. it'd require a major overhaul that's for sure. I remember it being really really dark, just a corridor with people strewn all over the place - I'm sure I tripped over a few but they wouldn't have known or cared.. dj in the back right corner.

ahh city rowers, that's right, I'd forgotten about that place. it always seemed the same as fridays to me. it was nice to dance with the view of the city and river. such a short time. oh well.

manhattens..

babylon - this was down towards the nice hotels, the place under the stairs, not sure what's there now... umm the names are coming back

there was even a night where we went on a mystery busride and were taken to a few clubs.. the one in paddington was funny, all these gogos people turned up.. I forget the name of it back then. 87 or so it was a uni drinking bar, then it had a brief period of being a dance club, then closed for a few years.

jason k would have a few stories I'm sure. and troy, salo, & matt kitshon, mark briais, angus, jason reed... all those guys.

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Old 30-Dec-04, 10:55am #16
hunter
ich bin DIE minimalische

I would like to point out that ZZZ is responsible for my foray into the electronic.

The new music show on Sat arvos was the bible.

It was on this show that I'df heard that there was going to be some DJs so I went along to take a look and sho' nuff - there was Jen-E playin in that old, manky building! I think she was playin @ Alarm also. I think it was Angus worked @ Central so I'd go in there Fridays, spend all my $$$ on vinyl and then go out all night wherever they went, then wait until the 8am train back North...

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Old 30-Dec-04, 11:06am #17
gymboxer
blah

I have read Pig City too. I would have liked a more detailed book, but the author did say he wasnt writing a comprehensive description and analysis of the music scene... Enjoyable read, however.

I started clubbing in 1982 in the gay bars and the occassional straight ones. Much of the description has already been given here. But the question I have always had is this:

Brisbane always had a reputation for its punk and very hard rock music scene. Pig City says this is a response to the oppressive socio-political situation. Brisbane now has a reputation for a hard dance music scene. My question is: How did this hard dance scene develop and why? Was it just a transition from the harder rock scene into harder electronic, or was there a different root?

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Old 30-Dec-04, 11:07am #18
AliaK
ITM Contributor

yeah peter mogg is legendary! him and angus, later it was called crucial cutz. the dance music program. I used to tape it as often as I could. angus and edwin in central in the valley - edwin recommended so many great albums that I still love today. back then I used to love the music really hard and fast, but he put me onto orbital and stuff like that. foundation of my love of ambient and downtempo that's more prevalent today!

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Old 30-Dec-04, 11:18am #19
AliaK
ITM Contributor

Quote:
Originally Posted by gymboxer

Brisbane always had a reputation for its punk and very hard rock music scene. Pig City says this is a response to the oppressive socio-political situation. Brisbane now has a reputation for a hard dance music scene. My question is: How did this hard dance scene develop and why? Was it just a transition from the harder rock scene into harder electronic, or was there a different root?

not sure. I was never into rock or hard rock so personally it was never an origin for me. I had a brief interlude with goth/alternative (prob 85-87) around the same time as dance started for me, but it wasn't really hard (more sisters of mercy type stuff). I did goto a couple of punk gigs in pring hill (alliance, downstairs & maybe the place across the road?) with a guy from uni in 88 but it was all rather messy with lots of alcohol and pushing and shoving on the dance floor (the point I guess!) I never felt the socio-political situation in brisbane either. I just liked the energy of the music, and the sounds were tuned to my ears I guess. I went to a couple of hip hop gigs but there were fights & lots of drinking and not many girls so it didn't appeal at the time. the dance scene was a safer place to be, u didn't get hassled by guys, you could go out all night on your own and know you'd see someone out, the music was great to dance to. (plus I used to be fitter than I am today) dance music developed around the world at the same time (or thereabouts), brisbane just seemed to hold onto the harder tunes longer. rotterdam, all those early rave tunes. I think it's just because the djs who were popular and influential at the time eg thief & adventjah crew etc, kept playing it and stayed in brisbane a long time (some are still there too!). I didn't keep track of when punk & hard rock were big, but I don't think they stopped at the same time the harder house took over.. there were a few years of slower dance music - we thought it was fast, but had no idea until the hardcore then rotterdam etc hit us. hardcore back then was not the same as now. tekno was a lot slower too. acid was much slower than nrg etc these days. I never really analysed it at the time. I don't remember any of the people I hung out with back then being into rock either. I'd say it was the opposite crowd to the rock crowd. these days it's more mixed. I think we were much snobbier back then in regards to music. we didn't like the rock music and thought we'd discovered something that was new. though, I think the music snobbery has continued with the development of so many sub and sub-sub genres these days.

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Old 30-Dec-04, 11:59am #20
jesus4c
Registered User

QUOTE: AliaK: I'm so stoked you mentioned that delapidated old building across from empire and up from RGs.

I thought i was going insane with memories of going nuts in that joint and no-one else remembers? END QUOTE

he he Hunter - that place is where I actually made MY debut - actually my only ever live performance in 1980 in a punk band called Civil Unrest. Back then it was called Zits. Played to 7 people on a Sunday night. 6 of 'em where my flatmates. The dancefloor was shaped like a swastika, and there where photos of Joh and Russ Hinze and other pollies in the urinals!) It's also been called Pinocchios, a lesbian club LeMores (or something similar - the sign made it look like it was called 'Lemons'), and the Love Inn.

And Johnny Griffin has been DJing really cool stuff since Jesus was a lad!!

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Old 30-Dec-04, 12:00pm #21
AliaK
ITM Contributor

some of the parties I can remember were:

- brisbane's very own exploding plastic enivitable in a space down near the botannical gardens

- parties in spaces upstairs in chinatown, and I seem to remember something about the coles building or woolies, one of those supermarket chains?? in the valley or something but this could have been a dream..

- the waterloo hotel? is this the one at the newstead end of the valley.. whatever that hotel is called. same street as the beat but the other end. good visuals

(sorry my memory of names and places & streets was never good)

JC - I went to cloudland once! when I was about 9 or 10, for a fancy dress party for primary school. I have photos of me in a pink tutu with icecreams going as an icecream girl (whatever that is) I think it was knocked down not too long after that. mum has memories of going to it for dances, so I guess the big space dance parties really began there & we were just history repeating itself with a new age & genre!

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Old 30-Dec-04, 12:02pm #22
NoKatze
Corporate Life Coach

oooh.. I knew that place had potential.

I had grand desires to buy that place and the place where Family now is... somebody needs to snap it up nowish!

How do you spell pus?

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Old 30-Dec-04, 12:04pm #23
hunter
ich bin DIE minimalische

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliaK
- parties in spaces upstairs in chinatown, and I seem to remember something about the coles building or woolies, one of those supermarket chains?? in the valley or something but this could have been a dream.. !

BIG LOVE

KAZU

YAY!

I used to have my ballet recitals in Cloudland. That was about the only dancing I ever did there. fuckin splintery floor...

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Old 30-Dec-04, 12:08pm #24
AliaK
ITM Contributor

hunter I think we were living parallel lives.

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Old 30-Dec-04, 12:21pm #25
hunter
ich bin DIE minimalische

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliaK
hunter I think we were living parallel lives.

it's brisbane - that's possible

(:

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Old 30-Dec-04, 01:07pm #26
riot
d 0_o b

Top thread, cool.

wasnt there a club called the underground or something like that ages ago? Dad used to go there a fair bit, but me thinks it was more punk/goth style orientated.

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Old 30-Dec-04, 01:12pm #27
fezzwah
Salad Dodger

Quote:
Originally Posted by riot
Top thread, cool.

wasnt there a club called the underground or something like that ages ago? Dad used to go there a fair bit, but me thinks it was more punk/goth style orientated.

There was the Underground years ago at the top end of Caxton St, right next door to the Army Barracks.

“I’m more entertaining than that c@nt. I’ll rip his fucking vocal chords out anyday because he’s fucking rubbish.