Music in New South Wales - A History of Rock MusicTo Culture
Following the popular and rock music craze which swept across the world from America in the 1950s, catchy, accessible music which could be enjoyed by all has been the mainstay of musical culture in Australia. Local rock bands and singers such as Johnny O'Keefe and the Easybeats would enjoy international success early on, proving Australia’s place as a rock music nation.
As the popular and rock music styles became more divergently distinct, the sweaty masculine rock which was the preference of pubs and bars in New South Wales gave rise to the pub rock genre in the 1970s. This particularly Australian musical style was specific to local bands such as Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil and AC/DC and would be the beginning of the local rock music scene in Sydney.
Sydney has long been recognised as a rock music capital of Australia with many bands from neighbouring capitals choosing Sydney as their base to take advantage of the strong local industry including supportive venues and appreciative audiences. Whilst Melbourne would have a darker, more intriguing music emerge throughout the 1980s, Sydney remained the brash, bright cousin, with Men At Work and The Church making music with distinctly Australian themes.
Popular music and rock music alike have always been concerned with escapism and despite the political messages which permeated the music of Midnight Oil and others, rock music’s songwriters would retain their place as commentators on the mundane minutiae of everyday life.