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Where’s Rockin’ Around Canberra???

By Rockerchick - 8 February 2010 27

I moved to Canberra from Melbourne about 3 months ago. Back in Melbourne my partner and were very much into the live Rockabilly music scene with a particular interest in dancing. On a visit to Sydney we were lucky enough to see Charlis Greaser perform live and were delighted to discover that he and his band are from Canberra as our move was allready on the cards by that time.

We heard that there was a Rockabilly scene in Canberra but upon attending a recent dance event, discovered that it was all a bit “Strictly Ballroom!” Not a girl with tats in sight! There was some kind of rhythmless geriatric Duane Dibbley and the Ding Dongs outfit providing the music; it was all so not our scene, which brings me to my line of questioning:

1. Is there a regular venue for more “hardcore” Rockabilly music in Canberra?

2. Whilst on that subject – Is there anywhere that one might be able to purchase clothing in the Rockabilly / Pin-Up style? Buying online is getting pricier as the AUD slips downward!

And Please – Let’s not have a tirade of comments about girls with tats! They float my bloke’s boat and mine are cute and girly anyway!

What’s Your opinion?

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27 Responses to
Where’s Rockin’ Around Canberra???
luther_bendross 10:15 am 09 Feb 10

No idea about venues sorry, and from what I can tell the best tattoos in Canberra can be found in Sydney. For clothing however, make a Saturday trip out to Braidwood and check out Hula Hoop. We did this a few months back and desperately need to do so again, it’s just a little shop run by a couple who still live in the 50’s.

Rockerchick 10:14 am 09 Feb 10

That’s what I’ve discovered in a few weeks scouring the net and asking around – It’s such a shame that people (see Hazza’s comment) are so negative about what’s around. I initially asked if there was any regular venues etc and the only reply painted a picture of there being less than what I had already discovered myself.
I’m sorry if my original post painted a bad picture! Things really aren’t that bad – no need for the negativity!!!

Maybe I shouldn’t have asked!

I was just looking for a regular option and a Tat shop that’s in Canberra and thus closer to work!

fnaah 9:49 am 09 Feb 10

Charlie Greaser will be playing on Feb 27 at The Basement, Cohen St BELCONNEN. Note that this venue is normally metal-oriented, but this show shold be good.

If you’re on facebook, check the event out here:

(Full disclosure: I’m the guitarist for The Glaciers, we’ll be opening the night. Also playing will be locals Perpetual End (heavy rock), and Sydney-siders Captain Reckless and the Lost Souls [including special guests from Zombie Ghost Train]).

Also, I can second, and vouch for, the ultra-coolness of canberra’s Roller Derby scene.

no.6 9:48 am 09 Feb 10

i know what your feeling ! this is a town to come and work … not play !

but look out for the fuelers when they play – amazing music and similar people.

Rawhide Kid No 2 9:40 am 09 Feb 10

“2. Whilst on that subject – Is there anywhere that one might be able to purchase clothing in the Rockabilly / Pin-Up style? Buying online is getting pricier as the AUD slips downward!”

You could try some of the op shops around town. You never know what you’ll find there. But then I could be wrong.

Nambucco Deliria 9:37 am 09 Feb 10

If you knew all this, why did you bother posting in the first place?

Rockerchick 9:27 am 09 Feb 10

Oh I Nearly Forgot!!

Check out the Roller Derby scene in Canberra – it’s huge!
Those girls are into the same kind of groove!

phototext 9:24 am 09 Feb 10

The Fuelers, while not strictly Rockabilly, are kinda Rockabilly in a Country sort of a way.

A friendly bunch and they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Blake and Byron at Landspeed Records should know of any scene in Canberra.

Landspeed Records: 30 Garema Pl, City ACT 2601(02) 6248 9220?

Rockerchick 9:22 am 09 Feb 10

Hazza said :

1. No
2. ebay
3. Melbourne

Should be Wowza, not Hazza!!!

No there isn’t a regular “hardcore” rockabilly venue in Canberra, but there are a number of great rockabilly acts that put on events that will be more atuned to your tastes. Charlie Greaser is a good starting point – Check the gig guides and check out their myspace: – I’m not sure how the “My Face” thing works but I’m sure that there’ll be other like minded Canberrans in there!

Clothing is a bit more of a Challenge – Hazza’s ebay suggestion ain’t a good one in my opinion. Ebay changed their listing rules back in September and you now have to trudge through listings of super low quality Chinese made rubbish. I personally don’t like buying clothes online! Even if the sizing looks right on paper, you never know how it’s going to look on you. I also like to feel the garment quality.
You have some great shoe options in the rockabilly / pinup style: Red Path in Civic have some great stuff – Like soooo many Canberra retail businesses, they don’t have a website!
Also, it may seem a little odd, but some of the adult shops in Fyshwick sell amazing shoes! Adam and Eve stock Pleaser, which are a range of pin-up style shoes ranging from classic to wild to stripper! Again no site -arrrrrggggh!
We might not have much in the way of Rockabilly / Pin-up style clothing here in Canberra but there’s Hoola Hoop in Braidwood (about an hour away). It’s one of the best shops of it’s kind in Australia and a hell of a lot of fun – Well worth the drive.
On the music front – when I was at Hoola Hoop last week, I was told about a “Rocka Hoola” event that’s being planned in one of the local halls for late March or April. Apparently it’ll be a dinner show with a multi headline bill of hardcore Rockabilly and Hawaiian grooves – something tells me that there’ll be a delightfully kitsch vibe to the whole thing!
As for tats – why would anyone suggest that you’d have to got to Melbourne? Tattoo Extreme in Queanbeyan is excellent! Now, I know it’s Queanbeyan and you might expect nothing but tribal armbands and Holden logos, but they excell in the “Old School” styles – up there with the best! See Matt or Katie.

OK, Canberra might not have the world’s most Rockin’ scene, but there’s a good time to be had if you’re willing to make the effort!

Chupachup 9:06 am 09 Feb 10

Hi Rocker Chick

I’m a fan of psychobilly/rockabilly music and culture but I’ve never been searching for the scene myself. My girlfriend and I are swing dancers here in Canberra and I can tell you all about that and my knowledge of the cross over between the cultures.

1. Swing dancing is different from Rockabilly but it’s where Rockabilly evolved from so if you wanna come check that out Jumptown Swing run regular classes and social events. Otherwise it’s just keeping an ear open for the bands when they come to town and going to whatever venue they play – usually Psychobilly bands play The Basement in Belconnen, and the Old Canberra Inn used to have some Rockabilly/Blues bands every Friday night but there is no regular Rockabilly venue that I know of.

Check Out:

2. As for Rockabilly/Pin-Up style clothing there is nothing much here Felt in Civic might be worth a look and there is a great shop called Hollahoop in Braidwood which is about 40mins drive away, also the Darling Sisters sell some vintage products and run various vintage workshops. Otherwise King Street in Newtown Sydney has plenty of great shops or of course wait for Melbourne when you’re three.

3. I have no personal experience but many of my friends have had tat’s done through Tattoo Xtreme & BodyPiercing in Queanbeyan and they all say great things about them, I knew people who would travel from Sydney to get their tat’s done there so they might be worth a call. That said I’ve also had friends travel up to a famous place in Bondi to get their tat’s done (can’t remember the name sorry)

Also last year the Canberra Roller Derby League kicked off which attracts a lot of people from the Rockabilly scene so might be worth checking that out to find like minded people

Hope that helps and all the best 8:25 am 09 Feb 10

Charlie Greaser is NOT from Canberra, he’s from across the border. 🙂

Vote 1 Charlie Greaser for Queanbeyan Mayor in 2010! 🙂

T1G3R 4:52 am 09 Feb 10

Sorry but I don’t think you’ll find any of that here other than possible the tatts. Clothing I think you can find but your gonna have to look in all the unusual places haha.

Ms Villain 10:56 pm 08 Feb 10

Oops, I forgot to mention that Charlie Greaser is playing at the Basement on 27 February.

Ms Villain 10:50 pm 08 Feb 10


The Rockabilly scene in Canberra is quiet small but you can catch a couple of gigs at the Basement in Belconnen. One in the future K C & The Moonshine (Canada) on 19 March at the basement with supports are Rehab for Quitters (Canada) Australian Kingswood Factory (Melbourne) and Rumjacks (Sydney)

As for clothing, Ruff N Ready (Canberra) sell a range of Lucky 13, Sailor Jerry, Dirty Devil, Falon & Gasoline clothing (Kustom Kulture) with 50’s pinup dresses, t-shirts and so on. You can add them on facebook Ruff N Ready (Ruff NReady) – they also advertise any upcoming gigs as they happen for punk/hardcore/rockabilly/psychobilly etc.

Hope to see you round!

Hazza 9:45 pm 08 Feb 10

1. No
2. ebay
3. Melbourne

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