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How To Celebrate Australia Day Without Being a Cliche

Australia Day is best known for being a day of binge drinking beer, over-indulging in delicious barbeque and wearing the Australian flag in as much inventive ways as possible, whilst exposing as much flesh as possible.

Who really has the time of day for Captain Cook (well, it was actually Captain Phillip who led the first fleet), in our fast-paced modern day society of selfies, facebook and instagram?  Australia Day should be about us, right? Well, that’s what Generation Me would say. Personally, I’m more in accord with the Aboriginal renaming of Australia Day to Invasion Day, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit at home and cry. But you certainly won’t find me at the beach wearing an Australia Day bikini and sombrero.

Go see a live band.

There’s a host of cool bands playing shows this Australia Day weekend, so why not abandon the barbeque for a good show?

The fun starts as early as Thursday with psychedelic sixties group The Good Sports playing Alhambra Lounge with support from similarly retro outfit The Furrs, for Lambda's ‘Sports Day’, which involves free entry for anybody dressed up in sport attire (I’d rather pay $5, personally).

Or if psychedelic sixties isn’t quite your thing, head over to the new Dive bar (633 Ann St. aka Mustang Bar). Now don’t laugh at me. I know, Mustang Bar is all things nasty, but Dive is a completely different animal - more Sunday Rock n Roll bbq than Mustang. The twist? Every week they have a secret headliner. Last week Velociraptor kicked off the partying, this week remains a mystery, but Little Casino are scheduled to play.

If you want to do the triple j hottest 100 thing twice, or just can’t wait until Sunday for the coutdown, then you’re in luck as Oh Hello have a warmest 100 night planned.

On Friday you can head over to the new Underdog Pub to check out garage rock veterans Cannon and Keep On Dancins or if you feel like dancing, Sun City, Palindromes and the Pigeon DJs will be doing just that at Alhambra Lounge. Or maybe you'd rather celebrate Tibet instead of Australia and check out The Tibetan Festival, which starts Wednesday and has stuff happening until Saturday. On Friday night Brisbane Powerhouse will host  '...In The Between', in which the Tibetan Book of the Dead will be brought to life through selected readings, musical meditations and sound illuminations....technically it's live music!


For those who went out on Thursday and are ready to go out again on Saturday, sixties songbird sirens The Madisons will be playing their first gig in ages at The New Globe Theatre. Joining The Madisons are Some Jerks, Screamin’ Stevie and The Barmaids, for what will no doubt amount to a retrospective night of good clean fun (yeah, right…)

Now for Sunday, the last chance you have to see some live music and drink away your feelings. Black Bear Lodge are putting on an Australia Day party (kind of) that promises no triple j hottest 100, but plenty of good tunes from Tsun, The Furrs, The Ottomans and new kids on the block Salvadarlings.


If you can’t stomach the thought of venturing into The Valley for Australia Day, then at least throw a damn good party. Forget the Australia Day branded shit and just make sure you’ve got some good people and good beer. And I mean good beer, don’t waste your money and gut on a tinnie of watery vile. It's probably not very original at all, but if you’re one of those people with a permanent hard on for triple j then set up a good sound system and host a triple j listening party.

If you have lots of money then you might entertain the idea of checking out some of the oh so cool bars and restaurants at Gasworks, as they’ll be playing the hottest 100 too. ‘Official’ triple j parties will take place at The Normanby, The Exchange Hotel and Rics (the annual Ric’s Backyard party), but considering these venues all suck (except for Rics once in a blue moon…), then I’d vouch for staying home and having your own listening party.

Most importantly, don't be a cliche and start a fight or make a fool of yourself. If you want to celebrate 'Australia' then start by respecting it's inhabitants - all of them.

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