Australia’s Music Scene
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some of the top icons of Q150 in a post called Queensland’s Hall of Fame. I covered the first three categories which were about people and institutions.
Today, I want to add a quick update on Queensland’s most influential artists, just hold on a second while I compose myself to type this…… ready…..the Bee Gees.
I was speaking with some local Aussies and mentioned my sadness at this particular result. As my sadness quickly moved to accusatory ridicule, “how could Australia unleash the Bee Gees on the world?” I was a very swiftly informed that they were actually born on the Isle of Man and they lived in Manchester for some time before they moved to Redcliffe, just a few miles north east of Brisbane.
In my view, that shifts the blame back over to the UK where I thought it had been all along. Now Manchester has produced some amazing bands over the years. In fact, I have always thought Manchester as the epicentre when it comes to producing great music. At this precise point in writing this post, my mind started to try to compile a list of famous Manchester bands.
No need, who needs a memory when we have Google? Google pointed me to this site, pride of Manchester, which lists Manchester’s top 100 bands. Whilst I don’t agree with that list, because everybody knows the best band in the world is The Fall (16th on their list), it does give a great idea of how productive Manchester has been to the music scene.
But guess who is at number 14? Yes, it’s the Bee Gees! So Queensland’s most influential artists (who were not even born in Queensland) can’t even make the top 10 in Manchester. What does that say about the music scene in Queensland?
In Defence of Queensland
In very rough figures about 3 million people live in Manchester and 4 million in Queensland. Greater Manchester is 493 square miles whereas Queensland is 670,000 square miles. If I were a 15-year-old kid growing up in Manchester, I’d buy myself a guitar and lock myself in my garage with some mates.
If I were a 15-year-old kid growing up in Queensland, I’d probably want to spend a little more of my time exploring the 5,153 miles of coastline and do a bit chillin’ on the beach.
Manchester can boast all of the bands, Queensland has got all of the surfers.
Whoever compiled Queensland’s top 150 icons decided to allow the Bee Gees, born in the UK, to be eligible. The alternative was to have Powderfinger (they came 2nd) as their most influential group. Has the world heard of Powderfinger? I don’t think so, well, I hadn’t.
Yet, Queensland does have a great local music scene. It’s just that they seem to stay local, it’s not easy to become an international star when you live in Australia. That’s probably why Australians are so proud of their fellow countrymen when they make it internationally.
Yes, even the Bee Gees.
A Final Word on Rubbish?
Any of you who kept up with my trilogy on rubbish, will recall that in my first post, talking rubbish, I was a little bit miffed that my wife threw away our Brisbane City Council waste disposal vouchers. Today we got our new rates bill for the new financial year (up 6.5%) and with it my new set of vouchers for year 2009/2010.
I can now dispose of 500 kg of general waste and 500 kg of green waste, without charge, at any one of four waste transfer station locations. All I need to do is work out how to get the rubbish there.
So today, publicly, I forgive my wife for her actions a year ago. I’m the sort of guy that likes to move on.