It’s December 1979, Selina’s – Coogee Bay Hotel. The crowds have started to arrive, the bands are backstage going through final preparations and waiting for their call to the stage…

A challenge was issued and 32 of Australia’s best pub rock bands from the 70’s have answered the call, gathering in one iconic location for a massive “battle of the bands” and a celebration of the music that dominated the hearts of rock fans for a decade.

Overwhelmingly the sentiment from the fans as they pile through the doors is that even though it’s a knockout style event, the only losers in this competition will be those who didn’t make the journey to witness the massive amount of awesome Aussie rock music on display.

Ok, first off for those who are old enough to have been around the pub rock scene back then and were like WTF? How did I miss this? No, this didn’t actually happen. This is purely a fantasy “what if” scenario…

What would happen if?

The concept was born from a run of great seventies songs on the jukebox and the subsequent conversation fuelled by a few too many drinks one night here at The Mahi Mahi Room. With the wheels well and truly greased we got to talking about our favourite Aussie pub rock bands from the seventies and who would win if they went head-to-head in an old fashioned battle of the bands. Challenge accepted…

Let’s make it happen

So we picked 32 of the best Aussie pub rock bands from the seventies and drew their bracket spots at random. Some bands missed out because they were only active for the last few months of 1979 but went on to represent in the 80’s (INXS, Matt Finish etc) and others missed out because they were only active for a short while at the other end after featuring during the 60’s.

Only the songs and performances from the seventies were to be considered when judging bands. Hits and line-ups from the sixties and eighties were to be ignored. This was purely to do with the seventies.

Being a bit too young to have been around the pubs to see these bands live we threw the voting over to a favourite music group of mine on Facebook “70s 80s 90s AUSSIE Pub Rock”. Many of the members saw plenty of these bands back in the day and are well suited to being able to shed some light on how good they were, especially live.

And go!

Follow along below with the match-ups, music and results. The music videos were selected to give a feel of what each battle might have been like should they have actually happened. We hope you have as much fun reliving the journey as we did creating it.

If you want to skip the formalities and jump straight to the music you can enjoy all the great tracks in order of performances on our YouTube playlist


Round 1B Round 2 Round 3 Semi-Finals Finals

Round 1A – Heat #1

Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons --- vs --- Blackfeather


Round 1A – Heat #2

Ol' 55 --- vs --- The Sports


Round 1A – Heat #3

Cold Chisel --- vs --- Stevie Wright


Round 1A – Heat #4

Buffalo --- vs --- Flowers


Round 1A – Heat #5

Radio Birdman --- vs --- Split Enz


Round 1A – Heat #6

The Saints --- vs --- Coloured Balls


Damian: Hard one, both amazing and so different

Renay: Not that hard one band has one of the greatest guitarist ever and the other doesn’t have Lobby Lloyd lol …

Round 1A – Heat #7

The Angels --- vs --- Jimmy & The Boys


Round 1A – Heat #8

Mondo Rock --- vs --- Supernaut


Round 1B Round 2 Round 3 Semi-Finals Finals