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When most people think of punk rock, they think of London in the late 70s and bands like The Sex Pistols and The Ramones. It’s a surprise to many Australians that there was a band in Brisbane that was pioneering the punk sound even before it took off in the UK: The Saints. Chris Bailey, Ed Kuepper, Ivor Hay and
Kym Bradshaw
played at parties, gigs (if they could get them) and at their house on Petrie Terrace, dubbed Club 76, before their first recording ‘(I’m) Stranded’ launched the group into the international spotlight. The band travelled to London before imploding not long after, but they had achieved something special – the first Australian album to be internationally recognised as a classic.
Ed Kuepper, Chris Bailey and Ivor Hay will reform to play the Pig City Festival on 14 July, 2007 a celebration of Brisbane music from the 1970s to the present that includes the likes of Brisbane indie royalty Regurgitator, Screamfeeder and
Dave McCormick
. The Saints’ drummer Ivor Hay for one is looking forward to the gig, the first for the band in over 10 years.

After The Saints, Hay went on to play in The Hitmen, before leaving the music industry and working (in very unpunk fashion) as a public servant, and later as a consultant. Although he has clearly moved on from his days in The Saints – after leaving the music scene he says he “never really got back into it” - the drummer’s (and the rest of the bands’) arms hardly had to be twisted when asked to reform. “Ed, Chris and I were quite accommodating,” he says, although he warns of some residual “tension” between singer Chris Bailey and guitarist Ed Kuepper. The band will have time to smooth things over as they travel to Brisbane the week before the Pig City gig for rehearsals. The Adelaide-based Hay is looking forward to returning to his home town – “it will be great to catch up with people and do all of that”.
  The Saints. Chris Bailey, Ed Kuepper, Ivor Hay. AusNotebook Music & Creative.

The Saints (early days)  -
Above photo provided by The Shock Factor

Predictably Hay is looking forward to the Pig City gig – “it will be a fun night, we’re going to give it our best” he says. He doesn’t know the other bands on the bill – they were still virtually in nappies when The Saints were doing their thing – but is sure this won’t take away from the night.

Although Hay hasn’t read Pig City – Andrew Stafford’s excellent book about the Brisbane music scene’s evolution from the 1970s to the present day – The Saints drummer affirms that politics was an influence on the band in their day. “Although we weren’t overly political we were aware of what was going on, of how gigs were getting shut down and people weren’t allowed to march…so it did have an influence on us as a band” he says (referring to Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s conservative reign as premier of Queensland).

When told about Brisbane being named one of the music hotspots of the world by American Billboard magazine, Hay isn’t really surprised. “There’s some really good music coming out of Australia at the moment” he enthuses. However, The Saints aren’t likely to be included in the mix as it looks like the Pig City show will be a one-off. “So far there haven’t been any discussions about getting back together…but we are really looking forward to the gig, it will be a great night”.


The Saints - Ivor Hay.  Photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
Ivor Hay today

Article written by Miranda Forster for AusNotebook, Music & Creative 9/7/07
Ivor Hay photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative


Ivor Hay supports Trees for Life


Associated article:  Pig City