Local Sydney, Australia Music Scene
Sydney is the biggest city in Australia, making it the most vibrant music scene in the nation. It's a coastal city that shares many of the same regional acts as Brisbane, which is about a ten hour drive up the coast. Some of the most legendary performers from Sydney include INXS, Midnight Oil, AC/DC, Icehouse, Hoodoo Gurus, Divinyls, Mental As Anything, Natalie Imbruglia, Easybeats, Single Gun Theory, Def FX, Wolfmother and The Vines. The Church originally came from Canberra but played in Sydney on their way up. Since the city is an international tourist attraction, many regional acts enjoy playing for a global audience and can gain attention by selling CDs at shows to travelers.
Background music at jazz venues such as The Basement does not need a dance scene, because it works just as well in a place like a pool hall or pub where people are joking with each other. Many places in Sydney cater to background music as well as rock and roll or hip hop, as restaurant music does not need a heavy pulsating repetitious beat, as it is more wide open to different styles of music. Dance music, however, is more restricted in its nature and is more carefully arranged to fit trends, especially hip hop or electronic music. Dance rock also follows certain molds that rely on familiar rhythms and chord progressions.
A common dance formula among Sydney cover bands is a repetitious beat with a "I - IV - V" chord progression. It's the type of sound that's very recognizable to both musicians and music fans. Most bands have dozens of these songs in their repertoires because it works. It's the familiar chord progression found in many popular hits and it can get good crowd reaction even if the song is unfamiliar. The 4/4 beat is also very standard in pop music and is more likely to get people dancing than a unique off-beat time signature. Def FX is a band that used electronic dance beats in a very creative way to gain attention throughout Australia.
The problem with bar band music in general, especially in Sydney, is that it usually has a narrow scope of musical possibilities. Every experienced DJ or band knows over time that certain music keeps a crowd dancing or a vibe happening and certain music doesn't work with crowds, especially if it's unfamiliar. Usually the more artistic a piece of music is, the more of an acquired taste it is to get crowd reaction. That's why some of the best music ever written becomes overlooked, because it never gets the chance to work in public. At the same time, Sydney has had a vibrant history of alternative music for many years.
Every populated region of the world has radio and television stations that serve as cores for pop culture entertainment. Sadly, these media outlets usually resist promoting their own local scenes because they work too closely with national entities that use their marketing power to dominate programming. The top 40 format, for example, does not mean the top songs from Sydney. It usually means the top Australian songs in the region. Yet songs by local acts such as Rose Tattoo and The Clouds have been legendary.