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Battle of the Sounds

Battle of the Sounds

In the late 1960 and early 1970s radio station 2SM and confectionary maker Hoadleys staged an annual Battle of the Sounds to discover Australia’s best band. In 1970 the bands competing include Flying Circus, Freshwater, the Cleves, Pyramid, NZ Fantasy Band, Autumn, the La De Das, Pirana, Elm Tree, and Clik.

Jands provided a column PA system and lighting for the heats and finals of the Sydney events.

In an essay on the ABC website Ed Nimmervoll wrote:
As long ago as Johnny O’Keefe, Australian rock and roll had hoped for international recognition. Now it became an obsession, catered to by a national competition called the Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds. The prize was a boat trip to London.

It’s impossible to imagine anything like the Battle happening now or ever again. Each year the nation’s biggest bands – and quite a few just looking to be noticed – pitted themselves against each other in a national contest sponsored by Hoadley’s and organised by host radio stations in each capital city. Every band was given three minutes on stage. The judges awarded points. The final saw all the state winners run the same gauntlet. Another three minutes to show their wares. Another set of judges.

The Twilights won the 1966 Battle, even though one of their two singers couldn’t perform with them. The rules only allowed five members.”


3 responses to “Battle of the Sounds”

  1. Oh thats brilliant… I was the drummer from Elmtree and remember our role very well. Do you have any more photos to share….possibly of my band.

    Thanks for putting this bit of history back up there.


  2. Pam H says:

    3 Minutes? Hardly any time at all to show off any band’s best! I always thought it was a “2 song competion”. Guess they were very short songs, even shorter than the radio play standard of between 2.00 – 2.30 minutes common in the 60’s, early 70’s.

    1970’s Battle, won by The Flying Circus I believe. They did not go to the UK. Broke the mold by travelling to the USA & on to Canada where they established themselves & released 2 or 3 more Albums, and 3 of the original lineup successfully settled into the Canadian music industry.

  3. Craig N says:

    2SM also ran “Battle of the Bands” in the early- mid 80s. I was in a band called The Crocodiles and we won the entire thing in 86, only to break up into oblivion a year later.
    The previous band who won, a few years before, fared slightly better. Inxs or Inks or something. Who knows, kids eh?

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