loud hailers

  • hollywood hotel
    The Loud Hailers.
    Hollywood Hotel, Surry Hills, NSW
    Thursday, August 14, 2023 

    Photos: Nick Bleszynski 

    Sydney was once a dangerous place.

    As a teenager from the bush, I had read about live music venues like French’s and The Southern Cross Hotel; actually being there was a baptism of fire. 

    It was the music that attracted me to the inner city in – particular, Surry Hills. It was the heart of a city where there was a pub with music on every corner, and where you could see your first band at 8pm and move from one venue to the next. You could still be watching a band at 3am in Kings Cross – even on a week night.  

    It was dangerous yet romantic, a place of beauty with a view of its Harbour but one with a dark undercurrent of lawlessness, corruption and gangs that went back to the Rum Rebellion.

  • edwin garland 2023

    I have been making lists and, damn, it has been a huge year of music for me; so many records and so many gigs.  I cannot think of a year so jam-packed.  I could have made a Top Ten list by August this year. Best that I don’t count these off or it could be limiting.

    1. Loud Hailers at the Hollywood Hotel, Surry Hills, NSW
    Ben Fink
    is one of the most tasteful and sonically powerful guitarists in town, evoking Blind Lemon Jeffersonand Jimmy Page. Then there’s drummer Jordon. And vocalist Christa Hughes,who mixes it up, referencing everyone from Nina Simone to Lydia Lunch to a deranged Lisa Minnelli. Confrontational and soulful. Their gigs at the Hollywood set the place on fire. The Sydney inner city band to catch in 2024.

    2. Fabels at the Hollywood
    Ben Alyward and Hiske Weijers have been making music together for 13 years and have developed a cult following both in the inner city and Europe.  It’s a creative, surreal form of shoegaze with a huge palette of influences. They sit in their own space and avoid the pub rock tradition, forging their own identity and sound.