Loud As Ever

Sound As Ever 90-99 is proud to reveal ‘Loud As Ever‘, the third in their Australian 90s Indie compilation album series.

Inspired by the spirit and memories of heavy and sweaty 90s Australia gigs at venues like the GB in Melbourne, the album features previously unreleased or currently unavailable tracks from The Meanies, The Mark of Cain, Fur, Headache, Cosmic Psychos, Girl Monstar, TISM, Budd, Nitocris, Big Heavy Stuff, Throwaways, Guttersnipes, Ricaine, Christbait, Fridge, Seaweed Goorillas, Area 7, The Fools, Midget & Dwarfthrower.

The album is available digitally and on limited edition, individually numbered CDs. Fans can also bundle up a range of merch items such as posters, t-shirts and stubby holders, all with the mental design of Ben Brown from the band Hellmenn.

The album features liner notes from Nick Wheelhouse, former publican of the Great Britain Hotel (1990-1995).

The pre-order window will run for 20 days and each day a track for the compilation will be revealed via the Sound As Ever 90-99 Bandcamp page and in the Facebook group.

All Praise Be to the GB

After the success of our first 2 Sound as Ever compilations, lovingly curated by Scott Thurling, we decided we needed to get loud and dirty for Volume 3.

One of my favourite live venues in the 90s was the GB, so using the much missed sticky carpet pub gig-guide as a template, I decided I’d curate the compilation as if I were booking the bands over a week. (Also ensuring some of our fave artists from other capital cities were included too.) We are truly grateful to all the bands who submitted their songs, Nick Wheelhouse for the memorable walk back in time and to famed artist Ben Brown who totally got the brief first go.

The Sound as Ever page is now a year old and currently boasts over 16K members. All 90s Australian music continues to be celebrated and adulated in the SAE community and Loud as Ever is the perfect snapshot of a time long gone but so loved.

Jane GazzoFebruary 2021


CDs, posters, t-shirts, stubby holders and bundles.

‘A Scene set to Explode!’

In April 1990, I became the publican of Richmond’s Great Britain Hotel. I was 22 years old and when I picked up the keys to the joint, there was no instruction manual – just a foolscap page of about 30 band names and their phone numbers. It had been a blues pub mostly back then, and I was keen to shake things up. I only had to book the Friday nights, so I randomly picked two names from the page that didn’t sound like blues bands (The Glory Box and Vertical Smile). As far as booking bands, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.

I’d run a couple of pubs prior to the GB, but when I took over, I had no track record to show and the GB had no cred. It didn’t even have a stage. It had a charm and an atmosphere that suited what it was, but as a live venue it was very limited. Why play in front of a ‘just extinguished fireplace’, (I heard a drummer caught fire once) with a 400W vocal PA to nobody when you could play the Richmond Club…or the MCG?

Everything changed once Bored played. The pub had never been so full until that night and it stayed full for the next 5 years. I’m indebted to them. (RIP Dave). There was a lot of camaraderie between the bands, so once you booked one band, the rest came to play or support their mates and the burgeoning scene. By 1992 we were selling more booze than Richmond’s 37 other pubs combined; supporting a roster of over 300 bands, with 15 to 20 of them playing each week; averaging 200 punters for mid-week gigs and over 300 punters every thu/fri/sat/sun night. There was a real sense of community and I truly felt I was in the right place at the time in a scene that was set to explode.

The Richmond cops were always on my case. They’d use any reason to harass me. Noise complaints were a favourite excuse of theirs and one night when the Cosmic Psychos were headlining, the cops bailed me up twice and threatened to close down the pub if I didn’t drop the volume. That was the Psychos one and only show at the GB but from a booker’s point of view it was a coup to get them. It still holds the record as one of the loudest gigs ever. My ears were ringing for days.

There was one New Year’s Eve when skinheads tried to take over the pub. Scourge were headlining when the place exploded. A dozen or more skinheads unleashed a military style attack they’d been planning for weeks. Here I was, tripping on acid, in a pub with no security! For a moment they got the upper hand. There was a few fisticuffs. But this was the GB! All the skinheads there that night got hurt. Some badly.

But the record for ‘most people crushed together to watch a band’ goes to the Powder Monkeys. I think it was a Friday night album launch. They already held the record, but on this night they smashed it. 412 payers in a room that held 150 comfortably at best. That doesn’t include the 50 plus on the guest list (their guest lists were always extensive) and the 200 plus people jammed into the front bar. Controlled chaos. It was so hot! And it went off.

When I think of those heady days, I see a crowded pub full of music lovers, sticky carpet, a veil of hazy ciggie smoke and a sea of flannel shirts. However, after 5 inebriating years, something in the scene shifted. The internet was in its infancy and rave culture was creeping in as well as the corporate record company suits looking to exploit independent acts and turn them mainstream. I was 27 years old and burnt out. It was time to do something else. I also needed to give my body a break from booze and bad habits. I walked away in 1995.

The GB was about so much more than great rock’n’roll…much more! It was about the people who drank there, the staff who kept it running and the myriad of punters who lived upstairs with me over the years. It was about bar fights, bomb scares, arson and death threats. It was my lounge room and I considered everyone in it my friend. If I could live those years again I wouldn’t change a thing.

Nick Wheelhouse, former publican Great Britain Hotel 1990-1995

Compilation concept and curation by Jane Gazzo.
Cover concept and artwork by Ben Brown.
Artwork/layout by Chris Rees.
Mastered by Ernie O at his Urban Fringe Compound.

Thanks to Scott Thurling for the guidance and advice, the bands for their submissions and ‘Sound as Ever’ members for their constant enthusiasm.

© 2021
Cat number: SAE: 3