By Damian Sawyers
Unbelievably Bad Contributor
David Prowse of Back In Town Touring is a man on a mission to get live music raging in the pubs of Wagga.
Just to get you in the right spot, Wagga Wagga is a regional hub pretty much smack bang between Sydney and Melbourne – an average of four hours and forty minutes’ drive from each.
Wagga rock fans and those in surrounding areas have often been starved for good rock but Back In Town are providing a stage for visiting bands and in turn giving a few local bands the chance to build their chops doing the support slots.
This year BIT has brought the VeeBees and Grindhouse to town, and booked a local show as part of the MoE (Norway) tour with DEAD, and there’s more noise headed Wagga’s way this Saturday (May 28) when The Levitation Hex and Witchskull travel west from Canberra.
UB got the rundown from Dave on what’s doing in Wagga.
What made you decide to start booking shows in Wagga?
The original idea actually came from my 12-year old son who’s favourite band is the Cosmic Psychos. He asked he if I could get them to come to Wagga. I was mates with Glenno VB from the VeeBees on Facebook and put the question to him. We are yet to get the Psychos here but we did get the VeeBees and Grindhouse, which was a great gig and became a notorious gig due to the hilarity of the VeeBees and Grindhouse. Another reason was that Wagga pretty much was only getting mainstream bands coming through. There wasn’t really any scope for underground bands to get gigs in Wagga. Prior to the onset of pokies in hotels Wagga had an incredibly vibrant music scene and my motivation is to give local original bands the chance to play gigs and hopefully inspire kids to learn an instrument and start a band and write original songs. Wagga is midway between Sydney and Melbourne and it seemed logical to me that bands could use Wagga as a stopover gig between those cities.
What bands that have played at your previous gigs?
Local legends Kong Fuzi have supported everything we have done so far, their sound is classic sixties garage rock. VeeBees (Canberra/Wollongong), Grindhouse (Melbourne), Desecrator (Melbourne), Harlott (Melbourne), King Brown (Leeton), DEAD (Melbourne), MoE (Norway).
And how did the nights go down with the local crowd?
All gigs to date have been a success. The VeeBees / Grindhouse / Kong Fuzi gig had around 80 people turn out. Desecrator / Harlott / Kong Fuzi we had 90+. DEAD / MoE / Kong Fuzi we had around 65, which was fantastic for a Monday night gig in Wagga. DEAD / MoE sold more merch per capita in Wagga than any other gig on their East Coast tour.
Give us a bit of a run down on the gig happening on Saturday?
Saturday’s gig will be headlined by Levitation Hex, supported by Witchskull and Rumours (Wagga). It is at the Duke of Kent Hotel and it’s the third and final show in a trilogy of free gigs we have organised at the Duke. Levitation Hex and Witchskull are a great match-up creating a perfect combination of psychedelic doom/bluesy-stoner crossover. These bands are diverse enough to appeal to anyone who likes live music.
What do you have coming up in the future?
We have Skinpin booked for June 11, supported in the Name of Silence and Kong Fuzi will make a return for this gig. We’ve been talking to other artists and there will be more gigs in the coming months. Beyond that we intend to do a live and local gig on a bi-monthly basis, where we give three local original bands the chance to play a 45-minute set.
Levitation Hex / Witchskull / Rumours play the Duke of Kent Hotel, 125 Fitzmaurice St, Wagga Wagga, this Saturday, May 28. Entry is free, starts 9pm.