Cut Copy Brisbane music posters 1977–87

Free exhibition
slq Gallery, level 2
28 September 2020 – 9 May 2021
#slqCutCopy

Discover music posters and handbills from State Library’s collections. Explore their do-it-yourself design and recall the bands and venues of Brisbane’s independent music scene of the 1970s and 80s.

Themes

A sign of the times

As punk rock swept across Australia in the late 1970s, Brisbane became home to a small but strong independent music scene. Along with a DIY attitude towards music-making, came a similar approach to music promotion.

Rocking the suburbs

Posters and handbills reflected the resourcefulness and determination of its creators to support local line-ups through years of instability, venue shortage and split audiences.

DIY meets technology

Technology advancement during the 1980s led to new production methods and greater design possibilities. Fast forward to the present day, DIY culture has made a comeback through compositions and performances that can easily be created, recorded, mixed, published and distributed independently.

Stories

Collections

Explorer

Explore posters promoting the gigs, bands and venues of Brisbane's underground music scene 1977-1987.
Add your memories and stories.

Brisbane gigs

Dive into our collection of photos from Brisbane gigs throughout the1970s and 1980s. Were you there? Do you know the bands, people and places in the photographs?

Brisbane punk band photographs

Photographs and ephemera of performances by Brisbane punk bands, including the Black Assassins, Flêche and La Fetts.

John Willsteed music poster archive

Uncover our collection of original music posters from around the state, collated by local artist and musician John Willsteed.

4ZZZ Market Day photographs

Explore photographs taken of the fun and live acts at the first 4ZZZ Market Day in 1982. 

Paul O’Brien Collection

Discover photographs of bands and fans in the Brisbane punk scene from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.

The Humans and The Convertibles

Clippings and photographs of Brisbane new wave band The Humans and rockabilly band The Convertibles.

Events

Cut Copy: Brisbane music posters 1977-87

Now till Sun 9 May · 10am–5pm
If you love Brisbane's music scene, be sure to visit Cut Copy. Step back to Brisbane in the 70s and 80s, where the city’s conservative climate sparked youth rebellion, do-it-yourself expression and underground music. In suburban halls, corner pubs and seedy clubs, Brisbane bands thrived. Made with whatever was on hand, music posters were a creative outlet for youth and a snapshot into the mood of the era.  From The Go-Betweens to The Leftovers, Razar to The Riptides, dig deep into Brisbane’s alternative music past and the design work that took it to the streets. What was your first Brisbane gig? Remember the music, the locations, the attitude and the style through State Library's extensive music poster and handbill collections. Subscribe to be the first to know about our events and programs. See a sneak peek here   Explorer Were you there? Explore posters promoting the gigs, bands and venues of Brisbane's underground music scene 1977-1987. Add your memories and stories to Explorer.

Cut Copy Curator's Tour

Tomorrow · 2–3pm
Join the curators of Cut Copy: Brisbane Music Posters 1977-1987 for an onsite tour of the exhibition. See the curators reveal the DIY design ethos of the era and discover the stories behind the posters and handbills, and the bands and venues that inspired them. From The Go-Betweens to The Leftovers, Razar to The Riptides, dig deep into Brisbane’s alternative music past and the design work that took it to the streets. Tours are free and space is limited. Book now to reserve your place.

Cut Copy Conversations: Dr John Willsteed with Andy Nehl

Join Dr John Willsteed in conversation with Cut Copy: Brisbane music posters 1977-87 contributors for this online series. On 16 March, hear from John as he interviews Andy Nehl on his memories and his work featured in the exhibition. You can view the online event here and we encourage you to join the conversation online using #slqcutcopy and @slqld. Upcoming Cut Copy online conversations 16 March 2021 — Dr John Willsteed with Andy Nehl About Dr John Willsteed John Willsteed is an Australian musician and sound designer. As a musician, he is best known as a member of Brisbane band The Go-Betweens, in which he played bass guitar 1987–1989. As a sound designer he won Australian Film Institute awards for his work on The Beat Manifesto (1996), Vietnam Nurses (2005, as composer) and Rare Chicken Rescue (2008). He is a lecturer in Music at QUT and was awarded the inaugural Letty Katts Award in 2016. John has provided curatorial advice for Cut Copy. About Andy Nehl Senior Lecturer Television and Online, Griffith Film School, Griffith University. Also, a producer, executive producer, director, journalist, writer and consultant on various television, online and other media projects. Andy is a former member of The Black Assassins, and creator of eight posters featured in the exhibition. The online event is part of the programming for Cut Copy: Brisbane music posters 1977-87.

From the blog

Brisbane Radio Station 4ZZZ — 40th anniversary

5 December 2015
State Library is active in acquiring and preserving published and unpublished materials documenting Queensland's music history — 4ZZZ is of course no exception....

(I'm) Stranded by The Saints rarity

28 July 2016
2016 marks the 40th anniversary of a limited release single, by a then unknown Brisbane band, which...

A night at Festival Hall with the Ramones (1980)

18 June 2016
On July 18, 1980 US punk rock band the Ramones performed at Festival Hall as part of their tour of Australia...

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Visit State Library today and remember the music, the locations, the attitude and the style through posters and handbills.