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Pel Mel


Pel Mel

Pel Mel came down from Newcastle (one of Sydney's steel producing neighbours) and caused quite a stir. You could tell they liked the early stuff of The Cure and Wire, exemplified by 'No Word From China', the only song to be featured on Countdown that had people in it I actually knew!

Poppy without being smarmy, highly energetic when they put their minds to it and quite musicianly as well, they showed that you could be experimental without being noisy.
Easily the most 'successful' of the bands playing in the inner city during this time, they slowly evolved to become a more funk influenced, hard working troop whose music started to suffer even as they tried harder and harder to break the bigger time. Although that sounds a bit disparaging, it should be noted that they were the only band amongst us who had even a smidgin of a chance at greater popularity and they did at least try.

There were two big houses at either end of Commonwealth Street, near Central Station, where most of Pel Mel, Wild West and associated friends lived in each other's pockets. If you didn't actually live there then you went there all the time anyway. Influenced by the 'little bands' idea from Melbourne, small bands would be formed on any evening after a few unsteady jams in cluttered rooms.

Probably the most long-lasting of these was The Limp which contained a goodly portion of Pel Mel (in slightly different roles) and who, therefore, created music in a similar vein but who also had their own lingering charm and success.

Although I've lost touch with almost all of these people, the central bunch have all retired from music as far as I know.

Photograph and Biography courtesy of Phil Turnbull.
Go to his site for all you ever wanted to know about
the Sydney punk / alternative scene.