Out of the Port: Brisbane post-Pig City with Andrew Stafford

This is the beginning of chapter 1 of Pig City: from the Saints to Savage Garden by Andrew Stafford:

"From cult heroes the Saints and the Go-Betweens to national icons Powderfinger and international stars Savage Garden, Brisbane has produced more than its share of great bands. But behind the music lay a ghost city of malice and corruption. Pressed under the thumb of the Bjelke-Petersen government and its toughest enforcers - the police - Brisbane's musicians, radio announcers and political activists braved ignorance, harassment and often violence to be heard. Pig City maps the shifts in musical, political and cultural consciousness that have shaped the city's history and identity. This is Brisbane's story - the story of how a city finally grew up."

  Louise Denoon, Executive Manager, Heritage Collections introduces Andrew Stafford.

Today, in the second of our "Out of the Port - New Perspectives on Queenland History and Heritage" series of monthly lunchtime lectures, Andrew Stafford reflected on the social and political changes that have occured in Queensland in the six years the have elapsed since the publication of his landmark book. He also delved, within the context of those changes, into the contemporary live music scene in Brisbane, particulary in Fortitude Valley.

The talk was followed by a lengthy and very interesting question and answer session. With an audience comprising music critics, music lovers, and those of us who have lived through the changes that Andrew described this was a very insightful and well received presentation. Collection items from the John Oxley Library, including original photographs and music posters, were displayed outside the auditorium.

Chris Bailey, from the Brisbane band, The Saints, plays at the Pig City Concert, Brisbane, July 2007. Leif Ekstrom, Image number 7336-0001-0314, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

images from the Pig City Concert by the State Library's Leif Ekstrom

Andrew's book Pig City made history in 2007 when it was turned into a key event as part of the Queensland Music Festival, headlined by the original line-up of seminal Brisbane band the Saints. He is the Brisbane-based AFL correspondent for Melbourne's The Age and has written for a variety of other publications including The Courier Mail, The Bulletin and The Monthly. He is currently researching a second book for the University of Queensland Press.

The "Out of the Port" lunchtime lectures are presented by the State Library in partnership with the Department of Environment and Resource Management and are held at the State Library of Queensland every third Wednesday at 12:30pm in auditorium 2, level 2. Sessions are free and are recorded for webcast. All welcome.

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