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High Rotation @ Museum of Brisbane

Home > Brisbane > Performing Arts | Music | Museums | Exhibitions | Art
by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
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Turn up the volume
dead kennedys, may cross, mob
The Unforgettable Dead Kennedys (May Cross)


I got a backstage pass to the last three decades of Brisbane's epic music scene, at Museum of Brisbane's (MoB) latest major exhibition: High Rotation. My regular readers know what a big fan I am of MoB and this new exhibition is a cracker. It takes centre stage until 20 April 2020 and showcases some of Brisbane's most memorable musicians. Take a 30-year walk down memory lane and enjoy musical film clips, rare photographs, instruments, souvenirs and ephemera such as posters.

Internationally Successful, Savage Garden (May Cross)
Internationally Successful, Savage Garden (May Cross)


Special guests at the preview were Emma and Amy Sheppard (and their mum) from the eponymous family band Sheppard. This multi-award winning Brisbane group has enjoyed international success with the hit single "Geronimo" from their debut studio album Bombs Away. It is the first No 1 ARIA award song recorded in Brisvegas and one of the highest-selling, independent Australian singles ever. And you can see their platinum record from 2014 in the exhibition.

sheppards, bombs away, geronimo. mob may cross
Platinum Winners Amy and Emma Sheppard (May Cross)


regurgitator, aria, 1998, may cross
Regurgitator ARIA 1998 (May Cross)


There are more than 80 artists featured from pop and rock international stars such as Keith Urban, The Veronicas, and Kate Miller-Heidke as well as popular indie musicians like The Grates and Emma Louise. It also pays homage to heritage legends, including Kev Carmody, Powderfinger, Regurgitator and Savage Garden, as well as rising stars such as one of my favourites, Thelma Plum.

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Kate Miller-Heidke's Eurovision costume (May Cross)


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Keith Urban's Stratocaster (May Cross)


Some of the exhibition's bright and colourful highlights for me are:
Kate Miller-Heidke's Australia Decides Eurovision dress made from wire, satin and beading. She competed in Eurovision in 2019 (despite Australia not being in Europe) with her song "Zero Gravity" and came 9th.
Keith Urban's guitar (and a photo of him from about 1989 with a dodgy blonde mullet - nothing has changed). Keith frequented venues around Brisbane in the '80s and '90s before moving to Nashville and becoming one of the world's most successful country music singers.
Patience Hodgson, lead singer from The Grates, handmade her fun fake fur jacket which she wore on tour in 2015.
Savage Garden's platinum record. They are arguably the most commercially successful band to come out of Brisbane and I love them.
Bernard Fanning's (Powderfinger) guitar which his mother bought for him from a Bardon garage sale for $15.00! And he still uses it on tour today. That must be the buy of the (last) century. I hope he paid her back!

bernard fanning, powderfinger, guitar, may coss
Bernard Fanning's $15 Guitar (May Cross)


patience hodgson, the grates, faux fur. may cross
Patience Hodgson's Faux Fur Jacket (May Cross)


I met Madeleine (Maddie) Johns who is the curator of High Rotation. She also curated some of my favourite MoB exhibitions including Mao's Last Dancer, The Designer's Guild: Easton Pearson Archive and Life in Irons.

maddie johns, curator, mob, high rotation, kev carmody, may cross
Curator Maddie Johns (May Cross)


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Emma Louise Splendour Dress (May Cross)


Tickets
High Rotation is open daily from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm on Fridays.
Adult: $12,
Concession: $9,
Family: $30,
Under 12: free.
You can visit High Rotation absolutely FREE on Friday nights from 5.00 to 7.00 pm thanks to Hutchinson Builders who are big supporters of the local music scene. Just quote WeekendNotes and "Friday night freebie" at the MoB ticket desk to gain your complimentary entry.

reguritator, mob, may cross
The Humour of Regurgitator (May Cross)


Renee Grace, MoB Director, said, "High Rotation dives into the songs, stories and images of the Brisbane music scene, exploring a world of musicians and managers, labels and producers, venues and fans. Featuring highlights over the past 30 years, High Rotation will reveal a snapshot of how popular music in Brisbane exploded from the local scene onto national and international stages. From the people who made the local music industry what it is today, hear how Brisbane's popular music has adapted and responded to dynamic influences ranging from the social and political to the technological."

regurgitator, aria, 1998, may cross
A Gallery of Music Posters (May Cross)


Of course, it is not easy to capture the energy and emotion of the music industry through just static visual displays - as stunning and diverse as they are. So over 90 music videos have been included many of which contain rare footage. A main feature of the exhibition is the "listening posts" where you can hear all your old favourites and experience some new gems. The exhibition also has an interactive in-venue crowd DJ presented by Nightlife, which allows you to create (and curate) your own music festival via a Brisbane- based playlist.

sallyanne atkinson mob
Former Brisbane Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson Opened the Exhibition (May Cross)


Don't forget to have a look at the MoB Shop on your way out. You can pick up a High Rotation T-shirt, books about music and a diverse range of jewellery, fashion accessories, design objects and artworks.

tee shirt, T-shirt, high rotation, mob shop , may cross
Tees at the MoB Shop (May Cross)
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Why? a trip down musical memory lane
When: 30 August 2019 to 20 April 2010
Phone: 073339 0800
Where: Museum of Brisbane, Brisbane City Hall, 64 Adelaide Street, Brisbane City
Cost: See article for freebie or Adult: $12, Concession: $9, Family: $30; Under 12: free
Your Comment
Loved this article, May! Well done on the silver!
by Phoebe Hackett (score: 2|318) 36 days ago
Sounds great, May! Good photos too - really inviting.
by Lee Ellwood (EllWords) (score: 1|66) 36 days ago
Great article, May - a well-deserved Silver!
by Elaine (score: 3|6681) 37 days ago
Thank you Elaine.
by May Cross (score: 3|5382) 37 days ago
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