Friday Night at the Oxford

Friday Night at the Oxford
Glen Humphries
September 2018
$12 + $9.30 postage
Last Day of School Publishing

In late 2014 the Steel City Sound exhibition turned a long-overdue spotlight on the Wollongong music scene. And if you doubted the worth of that, then you weren’t at the city gallery when the exhibition opened. The place was packed with people, some of whom didn’t get out much any more, what with kids and day jobs. I was one of those.

What that exhibition showed was that the local music scene matters to people. It might not be considered “worthy” or “serious” enough to get a mention in the official histories of the city, but there’s no doubt the Wollongong music scene was – and is – important to the locals.

It’s that feeling that sparked Friday Night at the Oxford, a collection of band interviews I’ve written over the last 20 years – largely for the Illawarra Mercury but also for my own short-lived webzine Dragster. While most of the stories could still be found in the old copies of the Mercury, I doubted anyone would feel the slightest urge to flick through those looking for a few band stories. So I collected them all here.

So, what’s in the book?

  • The feature piece that led to local legends Tumbleweed reuniting (and a few other pieces with the still longhaired fivepiece).
  • A retrospective of cult act Sunday Painters.
  • The glorious moment in late 2014 when the Steel City Sound exhibition paid tribute to the local scene.
  • In-depth pieces on the likes of The Merry Widows. Svegies Vegies and Mutated Noddies.
  • Overviews of the history of the HOPE festival and HyFest, as well as the High Beam Music label started by Jeb from Music Farmers.
  • Interviews with a stack of Wollongong bands over the last 20 years, including Lariat, Rockafella, Fugg, The Dodgy World, Evol, Dropping Honey, Glab, Cikim, Dawn Collective, Phial, The Fists, Machine Translations, How Machines Work, Neveready, Porcelain and heaps more.

So if you remember any of those bands – or if you were in them – Friday Night at the Oxford gives you a chance to take a walk down memory lane. So pick up a copy and then dig out those old CDs and vinyl singles, turn up the volume and let the nostalgia run riot.

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Or you can pick up a copy over at Amazon. There’s also an ebook version here.