Hi, Tony here with my second posting on the Fugitive Microbes. I mentioned in the last blog that the Microbes were fortunate in being able to play on a relatively regular basis during the band’s short life span. This gave us the opportunity to develop our own distinctive sound. Also, it was a lot of fun, and this was reflected in the positive energy of our sound, in contrast to the often darker tone of the lyrics.
Here are two of our songs, one of mine, Blackest Heart, and one of Kristin’s, Alice.
Here are some of the gigs I can still remember:
The Bye Bye BCAE Breakup Bash at the Kelvin Grove refectory late in 1989, with Oscar still on drums, and Irena on her Roland Jupiter 8 synth. Kristin had just started writing her own songs, and had one song only (A Man) in the set, the rest were mine and Irena’s.
Sacrificial Virgins, which was upstairs at the Roxy in the Valley. The handbill shows that we played there on Thursday 26 July. This was a late night venue, starting about 11 pm and continuing until well after 2 am, so most of the action was after midnight.
World Environment Day. This was held at Albert Park on Sat 2 June. Kristin wrote a song “Don’t Fall On Me” especially for the event. Colin’s daughter Emily, then only about 3 or 4, ran out on stage and started playing on the hi hats.
Story Bridge Hotel, as part of a regular monthly poetry, performance and music venue held there for some time, “Talk It Down”.
4ZZZ live to air. These were a regular weekly event at the time. The Toowong studios were decidedly pokey, and we were all crowded into the one small room. There were no headphones, vocals were monitored by wedge as in live on stage, so levels had to be carefully balanced to avoid feedback.
The BC Club. Held at the then Campus Club bar upstairs at the QUT Gardens Point campus. We played there four times. This was the regular venue for the Brisbane Band Collective. I remember attending a number of meetings at 4ZZZ to set this up. The Fugitive Microbes were one of the original member bands. Oscar and Irena (by then in Airborne Toxic Event) were heavily involved as well. The collective served a dual purpose, as bands desperately needed a place to play, and 4ZZZ needed a regular venue and a supply of bands for it.
We played on the opening night of the club, Friday 31 August. The poster above lists the seven bands on the night – Goats In The Machine, Idee Fixe, Hooray Henries, Fugitive Microbes, Post No Bills, The Mad Parade, Custard – quite an impressive list. The second time we were the main support act for the Celibate Rifles. On both of those occasions Oscar was still paying bass, and there were upwards of a thousand people there. The last two times we were there Peter Adams was on bass. I managed to find the poster for one of those nights (Fri 9 Nov) on Airborne Toxic Event’s web page. (http://members.optusnet.com.au/~toxicoh/atepage.htm) as they were on the bill as well.
Like most bands, we played at quite a few parties. Two in particular stand out. On December 2 1989 a Queensland state election was held, and the Nationals lost power. The Livid Festival was on that day and TVs were set up around the venue to catch the election updates. During their set TISM couldn’t resist the opportunity to pay out on the Nationals Premier Russell Cooper. Afterwards we played at a party where I was living in Vulture St which turned into a wild celebration. It was also my brother Shane’s birthday. The other occasion was Kristin’s twenty-first birthday party on 11 August 1990 at her parents large acreage place – a huge gathering of friends and relatives, copious food and drinks. We camped out overnight.
In 1993 we reformed especially to play at a HEMP fundraising concert at The Zoo. We had one rehearsal in a storage unit set up as a practice room. Somehow we remembered all the songs, and were surprisingly tight, and got a very enthusiastic reception from the crowd. As the flyer above shows, the other bands were Splat Acrobat and the Tooth Fairies – also an impressive lineup.