In a bygone era in Australia, when live rock ‘n’ roll was the dominate form of entertainment for kids, bands who had a large enough profile would tour different parts of the country and play to kids at Civic Centres, Community and Town Halls, Ovals, Parks and the like. Before rock n roll moved pretty much holus bolus into pubs/hotels, kids who were too young to get into pubs could get to see their favourite bands in one of these aforementioned places. If you were a Countdown band – even better. A 5-minute stint on Countdown got you into every living room across the country, and on Monday, record sales for these bands skyrocketed as a result.
Last week I was walking through Narrabundah Oval in the national capital and my mind wandered back some 40 odd years………The date is Saturday the 13th November 1976, and on this particular Canberra Evening a couple thousand kids, mainly screaming pre-and teenage girls got to witness three of 1976’s biggest Australian bands – John Paul Young, HUSH and Supernaut. All three were prominent Countdown bands in that year. A couple of Canberra bands, Stone Rose and The Choke Brothers opened up proceedings. The Choke Brothers won the Canberra Battle of the Bands that year.
The concert was part of the Queanbeyan Festival celebrations and was originally scheduled for Seiffert Oval, and then relocated to Fraser Park, before being rescheduled again two weeks out to Narrabundah. Not sure of the reasons for the rescheduling. I’ve included a couple of adverts for the show, and a review from The Canberra Times on the following Monday. The show was almost cancelled due to all the young girls rushing the stage! I do recall seeing a lot of shows at outdoor venues over the years – and some that come to mind include Electric Pandas, The Radiators, The Expression, The Church at Brookvale Oval in 1984, Sharon O’ Neill at the aforementioned Seiffert Oval in 1988, Magic Dirt at a park in Wollongong in the early 2000’s also comes to mind. Who else has a memory of other outdoor concerts you may have seen?