Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fridey at the Hydey – Trash Band 1987

This year RTRFM presented Gimme Some Truth, Australia’s first music documentary festival with 10 films over three days from Friday 29 November to Sunday 1 December at Luna Cinemas in Leederville. 

The doco that I was most excited about seeing was Fridey at the Hydey.

 You can watch the short 7 minute version of The Hydey released in 2010, Fridey at the Hydey is the extended 50 minute feature version.

Fridey at the Hydey screened to a sold out audience at Luna Outdoor Cinemas on Sunday night and throughout the doco there was plenty of reactions from the crowd (cheering) as the story of the Hydey and its place within the Perth music scene was celebrated, and the reality of its regrettable demise hit home again (boo to Woolies).   

For those of you that don’t know about the Hydey and what happened to it, here’s the deal - the Hyde Park Hotel or the Hydey as it was affectionately known as by its regulars, was a Perth music institution. A pub that became a local music venue with live music 7 days a week, playing host to anything and everything from punk, pop, rock, metal, indie to reggae and dub ‘n’ ska. Every band in Perth has probably played at the Hydey at some stage and it launched the careers of many of Perth’s finest bands. In 2007, the Hyde Park Hotel was sold to Woolworths by longtime owner Paul Higgins. Higgins explained in the doco that an offer was made and if he had refused to sell, Woolworths would have brought up another place nearby to set up a Dan Murphy’s which would have driven the Hydey out of business as they have their own little bottle-o. After Woolworths acquired the Hydey, original live local music ceased to be. It closed for renovations in 2010 and reopened in 2011, and now it’s just your average run of the mill pub with no soul.  

So things change, and venues will come and go. But there was something really special about the Hydey, evident when you talk to people about it and see how much emotion and nostalgia it brings out for those that experienced the Hydey back in the day. Friendships, bands and the development of the Perth music scene may not have evolved as such without the Hydey there to nurture it, and foster connections and relationships.

I know that I probably sound like one of those people who just wax lyrical about the past like it’s the only thing that matters, but the Hydey was important to me. So I will share why, my story and connection to the Hydey, and you will see why my friends and I vow to never shop at Dan Murphy’s (it’s the largest big-box liquor store in WA).

 Hydey pre-2007

So what made the Hydey unique?


Located on the corner of Bulwer and Fitzgerald street, the Hydey was pretty central and had a big carpark which made it more accessible.

Since the Hydey closed, other centrally located small music venues have popped up like The Bird ) and YaYa’s. Both are located in the heart of Northbridge where parking can be an issue and walking through Northbridge late at night is um interesting to put it nicely…

Plus, the Hydey carpark formed a place for people to take a breather outside between bands, and after gigs finished people lingered on in the carpark…drinking, smoking, conversing, making plans for the rest of the night… The value of bonding in parking lots should not be underestimated, see Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

The Space

The Hydey front bar was small, making it an intimate space where you could play to 10 or 50 people and it didn’t feel empty. The bands played on the floor so there was no stage, no barrier between the band and the audience. It felt like you were playing in someone’s lounge room and for bands starting out, it's the best kind of environment to play in. It was also a special experience watching bands play at the Hydey, as you could get so close that it felt like they were just playing only to you.

Cheap but cheerful

Everything was cheap - the beer, the pool, the carpet, the gigs (usually free!) the décor….it was an old school kind of pub, a bit shabby and rough around the edges with cracks in the wall, the carpets where sticky and looked like they didn’t get cleaned (I fell over on the carpet once and got a nasty rash), the toilets were on par with the public toilets you find at the bus station ….but this kind of all added to its charm as there was just no pretension and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Hydey ceiling - fancy disco?

A place for everyone

The Hydey was like unconditional love where any band could get a gig and anyone was also welcome, and in turn the punters loved it for what it was.

But what makes the Hydey particularly special for me? 

Trash Band 1987  

When I was a teenager, I got into music in a big way, it was my refuge and escapism from my strict Asian upbringing. I got into alternative music. I bought a guitar and taught myself how to play it. I started going to gigs – first to big music festivals like the Big Day Out and Rock It, then to see the shows of national and international touring acts.

Then I would discover local music and the Perth music scene, and I would start going out more to local gigs, often on my own but I found that I wasn’t alone. There were also people out there like me who loved music and seeing bands, and we would eventually connect. Perth is small with a handful of venues that serve the local original music scene, so if you like certain bands or go to certain type of gigs be it punk, indie or metal, you end up seeing the same people at them again and again, and this is how I forged a lot of friendships, to the point where I can say that my close group of friends right now are not people I went to high school or uni with, I didn’t work with them either, but we are friends through the local Perth music scene. 

The Hydey played a big part in fostering this through its casual sharehouse like vibe, cheap drinks and free gigs. It’s not a stretch to say that I was pretty much living at the Hydey every weekend for while and from this I befriended Karen and Leonie through our mutual love of local Perth band The Tigers. I would go and see The Tigers every time they played (frequently at the Hydey) and without a doubt I knew that Karen and/or Leonie would be there so it wouldn’t matter if I was going alone. 

Finding common interests and all being the same height, we decided to form a band. 

Trash Band 1987 (we had aliases), clockwise from the top - Betty Lee (Karen), Aurora X (Ai-Ling), Mother Russia (Gemma) and Talula 3000, formerly known as Talula Scholtz (Leonie).

Although the genesis of Trash Band 1987 happened at the Swan Basement in Fremantle on 25 May 2003, where three short chicks decided that night while watching The Tigers play that we would form a band which would change the face of Perth music…it was at the Hydey that Trash Band 1987 made our mark (on the toilet doors), found our fourth member, got our mojo and played our first show.

The Hydey – where bands are born

When the idea for Trash Band 1987 was conceived, we thought – wouldn’t it be funny to hype up a band that didn’t exist? We wanted to be that band that everyone knew about but didn’t play any shows. 

How? Toilet propaganda. 

First Trash Band 1987 graffiti at the Hydey “Trash Band 1987 kicks someones ass not sure who's ass”.

More Trash Band 1987 graffiti at the Hydey “JOAN JETT GAVE HER RESPECT TO TRASH BAND ’87…HAVE YOU?” 

Comment by someone else “Bin day is Monday night?”.

You know you’ve made it when people start dissing on you – graffiti by non-trashers, trashing the trashers.

More Trash Band 1987 graffiti around town at the Rosemount “TRASH BAND RESPECT YO MAMA!” and someone else wrote under TRASH BAND 1987 - “are gonna have my babies” !!

There was over two months of toilet door graffiti before we got together for our first jam which happened because Karen acquired a tattered, duct taped drum kit from a friend who was moving to Melbourne, and suddenly we realized that we had the complete array of instruments required to kick out the jams and did so one Sunday afternoon at Leonie’s parents garage in Karringup.

Trash Garage

Excerpt from my livejournal 3 August 2003…

“Fuck! I can't believe it actually finally happened but me and red_riven bought all our equipment to joanjett0farc house today and we had our first 'Trash Band' jam and rocked out her garage with her organ beating out kooky tunes, a black and white tv making static noises and Jerry Seinfeld monologues in the background. It was mad and we had no idea what we were doing or how to make our instruments sound together. I didn't realise how hard it is to play with other people, so used to just playing on my own. Towards the end we got better, the sounds we were making started to come together. After months and months of being just talk, talk....TRASH is finally happening for real. I'll have to practice a lot on my guitar and try to come up with some cool riffs.”

It was through toilet door scribblings that led to Gemma joining the band. One night at the Hydey during general chit chat between bands playing, Gemma mentioned Trash Band 1987 in the vein of “who the fuck hell are they?”… “I see them everywhere on toilet doors”…the answer was “that’s us”. Then three trashers became four.

More Trash Band 1987 Hydey graffiti – our motto "BANDS! TUNES! DRUGS! ACTION!"

On the Hydey toilet! TRASH BAND 1987!
The Hydey – where you get your mojo

Talk Graffiti is cheap. It would only be a matter of time before we got our shit together. Turning point would happen at the Hydey one night. 

Excerpt from my livejournal 1 September 2003…

“Saturday night at the Hydey us Trashers were talking to Chris Cobolis (from The Tigers) and somehow it slipped out that we were in a band and he was asking us what we play? what we sound like? and we told him and he said we sound cool and we are going to be his new favourite band and next time the Tigers play he's totally gonna put Trash Band 1987 for support. We came to the conclusion though that he was probably drunk and wake up the next morning thinking........Trash what? and not remember our conversation........... But fuck it got us so motivated to jam Sunday arvo and we fully got our shit together, we have like 3 and a half songs. I recorded some of our jam on my dictaphone and it sounds really dodgy, sounds kind of fuzzy but you can still sort of make out the songs. Love the little ambient melody we created for 'Lick My Love Pump'.........I was humming Love Pump in my head all day.”

The Hydey – where everyone gets their first gig

About six months after we first got together, Trash Band 1987 played our inaugural gig at the Hydey on 16 November 2003 with The Tigers, Ten Speed Racer and Maple. 

 This is a photo of Trash Band 1987 playing our first gig!

Trash Band 1987 - Hydey Memories

The Hydey green room where Leonie models TB87 underwear merch
DIY band merchandise
Besides underwear, we also had tshirts
Trash Band 1987 bar flies
We played many shows over our existence (frequently at the Hydey), bombarding audiences with knickers, explicit spoken word, and both intentional and unintentional distortion 
A Friday at the Hydey - Sabretooth Tigers, Trash Band 1987, 
the Amputee Pornstars, crazy steve!

Photos of Hydey gig posters taken from my scrapbook
The Hydey – where dreams are made

You can’t say that you have being in a band until you have recorded and release something right? This is the aim right? Otherwise what have you got to show for it? 

Well our Trash Band 1987 line of underwear didn’t really take off…

Left - Freud can suck my cock.... Right - Stalin

Trash Band 1987 had our first and only CD launch at the Hydey – putting out a 3 inch CD single for the track “At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul” on 12 August 2005, recorded by our friend Dr Greg in his loungeroom. 

I made 50 CDs and we sold about 30 on the night – various covers and TB87 badges!

Packed out Hydey front bar for Trash Band 1987 CD launch - 12 August 2005

Disclaimer: Listen at your own risk!

Trash Band 1987 - At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul

So while venues will come and go, what kind of impact will they have?

One thing that’s certain for me is that the Hydey was important to my experience of the local Perth music scene and the formation of Trash Band 1987. The Hydey was a place which allowed a little all-girl band to emerge from the garage in Perth, we were not music to everyone’s ears but that didn’t matter.

My story is probably just one of many that the Hydey enabled of friendship, musical discovery and rock’n’roll. This is something that the current Hyde Park Hotel will never have and this for me is the saddest part about the closure of the ‘Hydey”.

Do you have a Hydey story to share?  

R.I.P. Trash Band 1987, inflicting noise on the Perth music scene from 2003-2006.


  1. Amazing post Ai-Ling. I had no idea that you were in a band and secondly, I wasn't aware that Woolies had purchased the Hydey! I had a fleeting thought some months ago that it had been ages since I went to a live gig there... but I never really thought about why. It all makes sense now (sad times with the supermarket duopoly). Anyway, this is a fantastic tribute to the Hydey and the band-that-was. I like the sound a lot.

    1. Thanks Laura :) It was quite some time ago, I couldn't imagine being in a band now. I like to see bands play live more than playing in one.

      The whole vibe of the Hydey has changed now that Woolies own it, it's a shame but memories will live on!

  2. This was such a great post, Ai-Ling! I had no idea you were such a rockstar. I had a similar experience of the live music scene in Adelaide where it was totally ok for a young woman to go out alone and run into any number of people - in fact it's how I met my partner, Paul. I'm sorry to hear your local has been sold off though, that truly sucks - at least you'll always have the memories! :)

    1. Thanks Erin :) I didn't know you are into live music too and good to know I wasn't the only one that went to gigs on my own!

  3. I loved this post! I knew how passionate you are about music but I never knew you had a band, and with such an awesome edgy, raw sound! I have new found respect for you girl! xx

    1. Hello Martine! Yes, in my pre-food bloggers days I was in a band! I wonder what your pre-food blogger life was like? I'm sure it was crazy :)

    2. LOL. Oh yes, you know me well my dear friend, you know me well. ;)