May 152013



A revival of St Kilda’s live music scene is gaining momentum, thanks to a handful of local business owners fighting gentrification of a suburb once a notorious breeding ground for Australian rock royalty.


This week music institution Pure Pop Records was rescued from the brink of noise regulation fate thanks to the music community chipping in to raise more than $55,000 to fund the soundproofed rebuild of the venue.


The St Kilda record store and music venue, run by the son of the late AC/DC’s Bon Scott, was forced to demolish it’s only gig space in March this year due to council noise regulations and the persistent complaints of one neighbour.


Famous Australian musicians Paul Kelly, Gotye, Tim Rogers, Ella Hooper & Kate Miller-Heidke were some of the near 700 supporters who invested their own dollars into ‘Buying A Brick’ to help rebuild the venue. Figurative bricks were sold to cover expensive soundproofing equipment necessary to keep the business operating.


Owner Dave Stevens explains “we were in dire straits when it came to funding the rebuild and we needed help. It was really difficult to lay my cards out on the table and admit defeat, but honesty and straight talking were the key to our survival.


You Am I frontman and Pure Pop regular Tim Rogers was in full support of the campaign. “The etymology of the word punter – being a part of an audience – is taking a punt on something, which is a courageous noble act. Buying a brick for Pure Pop is an investment in art and the livelihoods of local musicians” explained Rogers.


Over the years, St Kilda has been a renowned breeding ground to some of Australia’s most influential musicians; the late Rowland S Howard along with his Birthday Party bandmates (later to take over the world as Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds),AC/DC (who in their early days, shared a house in east St Kilda) have all called St Kilda home during their formative years. Australian music legends Paul Kelly and Tim Rogers both consider St Kilda home to this day.


The music scene revival, led by a handful of St Kilda stalwarts; backed by a united music community, has seen live music spread beyond the typical locations of the Esplande Hotel and Prince Bandroom. An ever increasing number of venues are reinstating themselves as important contributors to Melbourne’s live music scene.


The Prince Public Bar, St Kilda Bowling Club, The George’s underground Saloon Bar, Dogs Bar, Claypots and Lost On Barkly and Pure Pop Records are all venues leading the charge towards a less gentrified future of St Kilda.


St Kilda Memo, the 1924 art deco dance hall will also now be seeing more regular gigs off the back of a long await permit approval by the council. As well as the heartfelt tribute it held for the late Rowland S Howard recently.

Jan 102011

Local hipsters and music afficinados will be familiar with Pure Pop Records in Barkly Street St Kilda and their famous beer garden gigs, which have regularly hosted local musical glitterati such as Conway Savage, Charles Jenkins & Tim Rogers, along with bands from all around Australia including The Gin Club, Halfway, Steve Kilbey and Kate Miller-Heidke amongst others.

Their intimate stage has also hosted international artists including Barry Adamson, Academy Award winners The Swell Season, Charlie Parr and Dean & Britta (Luna/Galaxie 500) for over 5 years.

Pure Pop is possibly the only record store, cafe, live music venue in the world – and they have heaps of devoted local patrons to prove it. The beer is cold, the staff is friendly and the music is beyond awesome….

in fact the only complaint that has ever been leveled about a Pure Pop gig is that they fill up too quickly because the courtyard is only licensed for 50 bodies at a time and gigs have to end early, due to Council’s curfew.

With this in mind, store owners Dave Stevens & Elaine May have decided to expand for one night only and hold a gig featuring their favourite musicians at the Prince Bandroom in St Kilda.

They invited the entire Pure Pop mailing list to help them name the show and the winning entry was Pop Goes The Curfew.

Dave and Elaine are thrilled to announce one of their favourite bands, The Men, is “jetting in, direct from Sweden to headline the gig!”

The Men is a Mod outfit from Lund, Sweden and they were the first artists ever to record on the Pure Pop label, circa 2003, and are flying to Oz by special request to kick off the festivities. They’re known as something of a small “supergroup” since they formed out of four already established Swedish garage bands, The Sinners, The Girls, Thee Expression and Colubrids.

The sum of their parts is The Men – the ultimate live-band; explosive, stylish, tight, groovy, cool and fun – no shoegazers!

They will be joined by the mighty Gun Street Girls and local favourites Pony Face. Special performances by Tim Rogers, Charles Jenkins, Jeff May, Ryan Coffey, Hugh of The Skybombers and Heath & Alex of Dirt River Radio fame will also feature at the gig and musically oriented comedy duo Anyone For Tennis will host the night.

“We can’t wait to throw open the doors at the Prince Bandroom, listen to loads of great loud music, drink too much and not have to clean up afterwards!”

Get tickets to Pop Goes The Curfew at Pure Pop Records, 221 Barkly St in St Kilda or online at or for $20.00 plus bf.

See you there!

For more info, interviews or sounds from The Men please ring Karen Conrad on 0400 527 365.