Rockbrat Remembers: The Kardomah Cafe

Kardomah flier and match book

The Kardomah, the KD . In the late 80’s, this was THE rock place to be at. It was where all the wannabes and posers strutted around, thinking they were Sunset Strip material (when in all likelihood they were just suburban boys, as Dave Warner once wrote).

I suppose it was the closest thing that Sydney had to LA’s Cathouse, NYC’s Limelight or London’s Marquee. Indeed, any Sydney muso worth his salt just had to be seen at the KD, and many punters invariably ended up at 22 Bayswater Road after seeing a gig earlier that evening somewhere else in the city or suburbs. That’s right, it was one of those venues where the headliner came on fashionably late, ie: 3 am. So it was that the Rockbrat saw many a Kings Cross sunrise after ending up back at the KD. The Kardomah was without a doubt the spiritual home of Sydney’s Candy Harlots, and we saw the band there many a time. I remember that the venue was always way too dark, which I suppose was fashionably cool at that time, and I could ! never bloody see where I was going. I can’t remember every band I saw, but I do remember seeing the Candy Harlots, Screaming Tribesmen, The Bombers, Rum Babas, Mudhoney, Hitmen DTK and the Flying Tigers. I certainly recall seeing Mark Easton’s last show here with the Candy Harlots in 1991.

Bowley, Dee, Easton, Gray

(There is a video of this performance and you can see the Rockbrat jump up on stage with Easton). Anyway, here is an old flyer an matchbook from the Kardomah. I noticed a few years ago that this venue was trading under the name of ‘Candies Apartment’. The irony of that may have been lost on others, but not the Rockbrat. Great days my friends.


5 thoughts on “Rockbrat Remembers: The Kardomah Cafe

  1. Was at the Kardomah one night, it was pretty early so the club was only about a quarter full when all of a sudden security shut the doors, the lights were dimmed and out strutted Mick Jagger onto the stage, did a blinding set then left..great stuff!

    1. Was working that night , and got to give jagger the rider. The johneys were the head line and the lead singer was stoked as Mick just did his support gig . I remember ringing a mate to come down ( name on the door) , he didn’t believe me…… Until the
      Morning paper .

      1. My flatmate Nicky I lived with in Coogee was working that night. She called us up and said you gotta come down because this was gonna happen. Mark, Scotty and I got down there and the place filled rapidly. They announced the brothers of Sodom and Joe Satriani came out shredding, then out struts Mick and the place went fucking nuts. Folks standing on the table. Once in a lifetime experience. Thanks Nicky wherever you are!

  2. I remember Johnny Winter getting up for a set with The mighty reapers (I think) after his Sydney show and drinking with him after woods i have my badge in the drawer here no 403

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