Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll #156 All Australian Special – 1st May 1996

Arriving in Sydney, Australia I soon made it an objective to find the punk scene here. I found the record stores, the pub venues and slowly fell in with those making it happen. It wasn’t exactly the same as I was used to in Southampton but close enough.
One of the first people I was introduced to was Sean No Deal (his record label was called No Deal) and Bronwyn and I hung out with him, his girlfriend and friends around Newtown sometimes. Everyone was friendly but obviously, I was the outsider and it wasn’t easy to break into this group’s inner circle.
Coming from cold England where we kept ourselves busy doing things so as to stay warm I sometimes found the laid-back attitude of Australians a little frustrating. I thought I could take advantage of this and get involved somehow in making things happen a little quicker. I just had to figure out a way.
I’d already been up on the Central Coast and got into DJing on the local license-seeking PCR-FM where I played the most out-there music that I could find. I’d also stumbled upon the folks behind Phlegm and the soon-to-be-launched What Is Music? Festival.
In hardcore punk terms though, Sean seemed to be the one guy everyone told me to talk to and after doing so I found out that he’s pitched to Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll about doing an All Australian issue of the fanzine and had already started work on it. Awesome – that sounded like something I could really help out with. I threw around some ideas which were agreeable – ie – go for your life!
In keeping Sean up to date with my ideas I asked for all the contacts he had around the country and then to see what he’d done so far so that I didn’t double up. This is when I found out that next to fuck-all had been done so far and some of that was already out of date. It surprises me that Australians ever get anything done sometimes but that’s also one of the things to love about their laid-back attitude.
I took everything Sean had and decided now was the time to throw myself into something. Bronwyn and I were back in Sydney from the Central Coast, with a baby on the way and me just starting my career in IT. I needed to get this done before the baby was born and do it I did.
About four months after sending off a package of papers, pictures and floppy disks a free copy of the fanzine arrived in our mail and I was quite proud of what I’d managed to achieve in such a short time.
In the end, there were many other contributors who provided scene reports, interviews and information and I was really just the focal point to bring it all together to make it happen.
I’ll add some posts here with some of the interviews I did and the whole magazine is available at

Proud to be alongside these legends. In the following decade, I would also meet Mykel Board and Adrienne Droogas along with Lawrence Livermore again.