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Brisbane Bands Of The Early 80s

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This compilation was put together by friends of John Spresser for "Spresserfest" in 2006. Here's the original write-up:

Be a spunk and support Spresser.

Anyone reading Time Off Magazine in the late 1970's and early 1980's would be reading about venue's such as: The Curry Shop, The 279 Club, Hotel Brisbane, Sally's, Sensoria, Pinocchio's, The Outpost, The Tube Club, The Love Inn, Amyl's Nitespace and 4ZZZ Joint Efforts at Qld. Uni. to name a few. Part of that musical era was what became known as the Bremerbeat, a group of bands from Ipswich.

These bands included, The Toy Watches, Vacant Rooms, The Pinups, The Colours, The Skeletones, The Lemmings and the Pits to name a few.

Spresserfest is named after John Spresser, one of the guitarists from the Toy Watches and the Skeletones who as a result of a work place accident has an acquired brain injury and is paralysed down one half of his body.

John's claim to fame started with the Toy Watches, the first independent band from Ipswich to release a single. They also made a film clip produced by Cheree Bradshaw- sister of The Saints Bass player Kim Bradshaw.

The Toy Watches were a punk/pop band based in Ipswich and Brisbane between 1979 and 1981. A popular live prospect, they were picked up by inspirational label Peanut Republic Records. The iconography on the label starts with a map of Queensland (let's be thankful they weren't Tasmanian). Bursting through is state premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the kiwi of Dutch extraction who ruled the state from his farm in Kingaroy, the state's centre of peanut production. Don't be fooled by the cheeky grin, as detailed in many places, it wasn't fun politically. The band was popular on the live circuit before breaking up. John went on to play with the Skeletones, another popular band on the live circuit who later relocated to Sydney. They released a single, Pothole, and appeared on 2JJJ compilation record sets, Cooking With George.

Initially in a nursing home, John now resides in Youngcare, a home for young people.

Youngcare was established in 2005 following the inspirational story of one woman's battle to find relevant and dignified care. Currently more than 6,500 young Australians (under the age of 65) with full-time care needs are living in aged care simply because there are few alternatives. There are also 700,000 more young Australians being cared for at home by family and friends, often with limited support. All young people deserve to live young lives. Youngcare is committed to raising awareness of the issue across the nation so that they can drive change and create real choices for young Australians and their families.

Ian Davies, (Guitarist Toy Watches/Pinups/Colours and now Skeletones) says the idea behind Spresserfest was to get old friends to catchup with John, and for John to relive some of his old memories. At the same time it puts a little bit of cash in his back pocket. John has good long term memories and can tell silly antidotes of days gone past. Unfortunately his short term memory is not so good and John needs 24/7 care. As Nigel Kimber from the Lemmings has said "this is an opportunity to see middle aged men play songs they wrote as teenagers". Or as someone else called them Spunks (Senior Punks).

The bands who performed at Spresserfest have donated these recordings for those who want to remember those days.


released July 30, 2006

Toy Watches
Shaun McGrath - vocals
John Spresser - guitar
Ian Davies - guitar
Noel Howe - bass
Cameron Howe - drums

The Colours
Ian Davies - guitar
Andrew Palmer - guitar
Mitchell Kunde - vocals
Russell Sky - bass
Dave Harden - drums

Mark Bowden - vocals
Nigel Kimber - guitar, backing vocals
Lee Faulkner - guitar
Robert Crawford - drums
Tom Yallowley - bass

Vicious Kites
Gerry Lachea - vocals, guitar
Darren Lalich - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Ian Davies - guitar, backing vocals
Luke Jacobs - bass, backing vocals

The Pits
Peter Macpherson - guitar, vox
David Macpherson - keyboards
Greg Wadley - bass
Greg Gilbert - drums

The Pinups
Ian Davies - guitar
John Mitting - guitar, vocals
Russell Sky - bass, vocals
Cameron Howe - drums

The Skeletones
Shaun McGrath - lead vocals, harmonica
Noel Howe - bass, vocals
Brad Cox - drums, vocals
John Mitting - guitar, vocals
John Spresser - guitar, vocals (1981-1986)
Ian Davies - guitar (2006 - Present)


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