Top Five Fave Canberra Records of All Time

Nickamc 7 December 2007 57

Obviously this is going to be very contentious, what with large age ranges and differing musical experiences and preferences, but I think it’s going to be fascinating to see what albums people really treasure from this cold little town.

My top five:

5. Mightyfew – Mightyfew
This cd was Canberran music when I was 15. One of the first ever gigs I went to, and a really solid, if someone dated, release.

4. Dahahoo – Jim & The Haircut
I’ve been following Dahahoo around since they started, and when this first record came out I would listen to it back to back, end on end for hours, singing along and then bugging Sam and Toby King for demos of their newer stuff. Fairly unpolished sound, but that’s what makes it pretty. The boys say the songwriting is quite up to standard anymore, but I love it.

3. One Night Jam – Turn Fish Back On!
I was in and around the studio alot while they recorded this album, and at the time Vorn Doolette’s songs were some of the prettiest I’d heard come out of a local mouth.

2. Henry’s Anger – Personality Test
In terms of mass appeal, next to Alchemist I think this is one of the most successful Canberran records ever. Still one of my favorite bands, this album has a sonic quality to it that I think all Canberran hard rock bands should aspire to. Pure unadulterated rock.

1. The Henchmen – The Henchmen
Every song, every minute of this wonderful album is a treasure. I remember how excited all the boys got when this came out, and it stands alone as some of the best songwriting I’ve heard in this city. It also marks the first time I really heard a band sing about Canberra (Macarthur/Northbourne) Blending a perfect rock and folk fusion, its a real shame these guys aren’t still around, but it makes me even more excited about their reunion show on Saturday at Transit. Be there.

Other notable mentions: Dahahoo – Da-Demo/Tarantism, Alchemist – Organasm, The Ellis Collective – Orange EP

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
57 Responses to Top Five Fave Canberra Records of All Time
Bayliss Bayliss 11:58 am 29 Apr 15

Awesome reading all of the comments – reinforces the musical strength over a long period of time Canberra has had, even if it hasn’t always got the recognition it deserves.

I honestly don’t think I can come to such a short list as the strengths in each genre highlighted by others indicate.

Alchemist, Liquid, Henry’s Anger, Mighty Few, BOC, Tonk
Aston Shuffle, Peking Duk, Safia
The Falling Joys (yes – they got prominent in Canberra)
Doug Anthony Allstars
Armoured Angel
Trouser Trouser – agree should definitely be up there. Fred Smith, The Fuelers, Crumpet, Way Hip Antelopes also.
Quick 50 – released 2 EPs, 3 of the 4 moved to Sydney and continued for a short while before moving into other projects.
Nifty Keen Type Dog – what a dynamic band
Three – amazing
Ruby My Dear
The Ellis Collective, The Wedded Bliss
Julia & The DSS
Fun Machine
The Hammonds

Where to stop – I find this an impossible task 🙂

I have excluded The Church etc as they made it out of Sydney and only half the lineup was from Canberra.

danarm danarm 5:45 pm 09 Dec 08

For me best all time coolest canberra bands:

– Three
– Crumpet
– henry’s anger
– punchinello(caboose)
– aforafro

BTW. does anyone know where (or if) you can get any music still from any of these bands???

    Kiriel Kiriel 9:56 am 01 Oct 20

    Obscure Australian Music on youtube has an album by Three on it, if that is any help.

Sands Sands 9:18 pm 26 Dec 07

Was Haari Bandhu Canberran or did he just play in Canberra? I bought both of his albums. It’s great, mellow music. I could listen to his version of Girl from Ipanema all day.

Fluges Fluges 2:48 pm 26 Dec 07

Barry Drive with his good friend Albert Hall?

jay24 jay24 7:25 am 26 Dec 07

Quick 50 were great – loved seeing them live and the EP was excellent. Didn’t they put another one out?
They had a great stage presence and obviously had fun.
I heard some of them moved to Sydney a few years back but understand their drummer Glenn still gigs around (The Chuffs??) and is the drummer in Cell Block 69.
Barry Drive were another good band of the time (what a great Canberra name) but I can’t remember the title of their EP.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 6:10 pm 13 Dec 07

I said Koolism, Holden. Everyone else is lame.

Nickamc Nickamc 5:21 pm 13 Dec 07

Fuck I can’t believe I forgot Brisk’s Hell Or High Water… that easily beats out Mightfew in my fifth spot.

Thumper Thumper 4:47 pm 13 Dec 07

Strange Brew 1997- Self Titled.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 3:56 pm 13 Dec 07

No Koolism fans then?

Fluges Fluges 7:13 pm 12 Dec 07

George Washingmachine (with David Bates and Neil Gray at the PITS). And the Red Hillbillies, The Naughty Rhythms, Way Hip Antelopes, and DIZZI DECAZZ with Pip Branson.

And all the local bands that played at the Gypsy Bar between 1996 and 2002, I think I saw every single one of them.

And has anybody got this CD: ‘Folked Up Jazz’ by Straight Ahead – Dave O’Neil, Tony Hunter, Cicilia Kemezys and Bruce Packard? Recorded at Canberra Stereo Public Radio in 1993. Available at: – brilliant local CD this one, if you like that sort of thing.

    Kiriel Kiriel 9:51 am 01 Oct 20

    I have Straight Ahead – it is one of my favourite CDs; really wish they had produced another album, and were still performing!

Fluges Fluges 6:24 pm 12 Dec 07

Yeah, Quick 50 is a geat band. Are they still around?

Androyd Androyd 5:55 pm 12 Dec 07

For me, Quick 50’s Live in Japan and Fred Smith’s Bagarap Empires stand up against anything produced in Australia in their respective genres.

And no, I really don’t think The Church can be claimed as a Canberra band. Steve Kilbey did some good work as a co-host on the iconic 2XX Punk Show, but I don’t recall The Church emerging nationally from playing as a band in the local pub scene as did say Gadflys, Sidewinder, 78 Saab, Falling Joys…

Not sure if we can claim Baterz, but he was a genius and sadly missed!

Fluges Fluges 2:51 pm 12 Dec 07

Sorry to keep doing this but I forgot Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen (particularly when Branson was in the band).

Fluges Fluges 2:29 pm 12 Dec 07

He he he.

The Hepnos morphed into The Mighty Reapers – now that was a good band.

Ari Ari 2:20 pm 12 Dec 07

Fluges, I now hate you … thanks to you I’ve got that bloody song Soul Kind of Feeling running through me head and it won’t stop.

Fluges Fluges 2:08 pm 12 Dec 07

Willy Winter Band; The Ritz; Itchy Feat

Fluges Fluges 1:59 pm 12 Dec 07

Big Wheel and the Hubcaps (mid-70’s)

Dynamic Hepnotics (bit of a Canberra connection there)

Thumper Thumper 8:01 am 12 Dec 07

Tokyo Rose anybody?

Chock was one awesome guitarist..

Optic Nerve was another from those days.

robwoozle robwoozle 12:10 am 12 Dec 07

Armoured Angel – Communion EP – heavy in just the best way.
Harlequin – great mix up of Queensryche/Marillion – oh wait, no album….aaarrgh!
Falling Joys – Wishlist was a great album
DVoB – At the sign of the pink flamingo – great gothabilly

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site