The pub scene which hatched countless bands in the 1970s and 80s exists only in our memories, says Choirboys frontman Mark Gable.
He says when Choirboys play now most of the audience are there to recapture that pub rock music scene experience.
“It’s dead. It hasn't existed for 20 years like it used to,” Gable reflects, “that was what the past was, everyone used to meet their future ex-wives and future ex-husbands at the pub.
“And as a consequence all these bands started to develop and it’s what we did seven nights a week.
“It’s all gone, it only exists in reflection and in memory.
“People will actually go along to pubs – even though we’re doing the SS&A Club which is not a pub but the closest thing you can get – to experience what they grew up loving."
When Gable and his mates – Ian Hulme, Lindsay Tebbutt and Brett Williams – formed Choirboys in the late 70s on the Northern Beaches of Sydney pub rock wasn’t even a genre.
Choirboys are still a staple of Australian rock and roll and are still renowned for great live shows, not just for the music but also the atmosphere – the grafting, sweating, pulverizing, pounding, screaming and entertaining by spilling their hearts and souls onto the stage.
For the past seven years, Choirboys have been recording every live show capturing their classic original songs now released in their new album Pub Rock Live.
“We have fun playing rock and roll,” Gable says.
“There’s nothing to prove because we’re either been as successful as we’re going to be or it’s not necessary anymore to be as successful as we could have been so you just go ‘this is the way it is, we’re still alive and we’re having fun so let’s enjoy it while we can’.”
Gable says that in the early days, rock music attracted people who were looking for a place to exist, be happy and belong because they couldn’t find that in the normal world.
“They get into rock and roll and they realize, like everything else, it requires responsibility,” he says.
“It requires that they be on time, they have to be responsible and it tests them to the max.
“It is probably the most difficult career you could choose … rock and roll is unregulated.
“There is no one to ask ‘look, how do I do this so I don’t kill myself?’ I know so many people that it has destroyed; look what it has done to us. We were all young and beautiful, now we’re all old and ugly.”