Howard Duggan

Howard Duggan

Howard is the Founding Publisher of Scene Magazine and Director of Eyeball Media.

Sunday, 17 February 2013 15:08

Time Capsule - Part 6

Scene Magazine celebrates 20 years on the streets in 2013. Each week this year, in this column, we're looking back at what we, and you, were doing.

flares96-pp1996 - Everything old is new again ...

One of Brisbane clubbing's time-honoured events was Jon Griffen's Flares. Jon-E worked his funkalicious magic at the city’s and Valley’s hottest spots, spanning the sounds of four decades. Long weekends were often a treat for devotees, where back-to-back nights were served with different genres.

Flares was knocked-off (badly) by a short-lived Step Into Flares — and yes, the events went head to head — and no it didn't end well; but thankfully everyone survived to tell their version of tale.

Bohemian, indie and low-fi offerings abounded. The Alley Kat Café (32 Burnett Lane, City) hosted the mandatory Poetry night (Tuesdays, when else?), X-Files screenings and DJs including Mark Briais (Tube).

Popscene, Brisbane's homage to Britpop had relocated from the CBD to Channel 13 (briefly) at 230 Wickham Street, Bleach’s indie dance at the Lands Office Hotel (Capsule 5), and The Valley Twin Cinemas (most recently incarnated as The Globe, 220 Brunswick St, Valley) would let you in for 8 bucks, while Abigails (16 Robertson St, New Farm) “Toasted the rise of the dressed-up, downtown, easy listening lifestyle ...”.

Babble-On (Elizabeth Street, City), was likely ahead of its time when Circuitree billed Aurora, Matt Kitshon, Pip, Jandy Rainbow, Alphanaut and a certain Kazu Kimura. Bam!

And in November 1996, our own Café Scene opened on the corner of Ann and Brunswick Streets, Fortitude Valley, where Universal Store stands today. More on that next week ...

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Thursday, 07 February 2013 14:49

Time Capsule - Part 5

Scene Magazine celebrates 20 years on the streets in 2013. Each week this year, in this column, we're looking back at what we, and you, were doing.

scene-mag060By late '94 we'd confirmed our electronica bent; and both reader and advertiser demands were growing.

Needing to catch the wave, we reluctantly said goodbye to the seductive gloss that had made dance and fashion artwork pop, and said hello to the disposable grime of newsprint!

Our first foray wasn't tabloid though — we elected for a square tabloid affair — and it was awful! The rationale was both economics and a desire to hold on to our smaller and more portable origins.

It lasted 15 tortured editions before we went the whole hog — and on the 4th January, 1995, The Scene hit the streets as fully-fledged, tabloid, newsprint, street press.

Advertisers included alternative dance club, Bleach, pioneered by Mark Gregory, who today runs Happy High Herbs (Fortitude Valley and Southport); and Outer Limits Productions whose edgy offerings will be covered in more depth in coming Capsules. For now, check black and white artwork for Strawberry Fields 2 and Oxygen at Grand Orbit!

Roger Wheelahan had joined us as our first real ad exec (see previous Capsule!) in our newly-occupied offices at 17A Skyring Terrace, Newstead, shared with Darren Clarke's Shawthing Entertainment and Suzanne Snape's The PR Company.

Most of the artists in 1995's Big Day Out Boiler Room spread # (#63) had already graced our front covers, including Southend, who months earlier had released a Top 10 ARIA hit with 'The Winner Is … (Sydney)'. See Tube below.

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Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:53

Time Capsule - Part 4

Scene Magazine celebrates 20 years on the streets in 2013. Each week this year, in this column, we're looking back at what we, and you, were doing.

scene-mag044Issue 45: September 14, 1994. The last of the initial A4 gloss format before a switch to the dreaded newsprint! But more on that next week. First it's worth looking at just the five preceding issues as so much was happening in our pond, and at such a pace.

Covers: were as diverse as Vision 4/5 & Lollie (#45) juxtaposed with Prince (#41).

Editorially: we were featuring Central Station Records’ Top 10 every week. CSR was a powerhouse operating above Hungry Jacks (Queen St Mall) and run by the perennial Harry Katsanevas (Family/ Fluffy) with assistance from Edwin (The Beat/ Sexing The Cherry).

Scene Magazine's present-day support of gay news is not a new-found thing: Bent Vent was a wrap of the gay/ music scene, written by gay-scene identity and promoter Gavin Waller (RIP) and the vivacious Dixie Lloyd.

Personnel: Neil Richards had become our first editor. A consumate professional, very well respected throughout the music industry (then and now), and certainly not prone to the all-too-common sniffy and tortured tastemaking that afflicts so many in that role. Ten years later, Neil edited the Melbourne edition from our offices in Johnson Street, Collingwood.

Jenni Juckel (DJ Jen-E) was writing the weekly Dance Directions and full page features on all things electronic, while holding down her five-night residency at The Beat.

And in a little-known nugget from the annals, emerging Brisbane musician Tyrone Noonan (George and in his own right), was Scene Magazine's advertising man — albeit not for very long!

Advertisers: Kimberley Davis (Annalise Hartman character in Neighbours) was appearing at Club LQ. Quite what she was doing is anyone's guess, but I'm sure it made sense at the time. The 3rd Brisbane Blues Festival (by promoter Rob Hudson — another hard-wired perennial industry pro) feat. Mick Hadley (RIP) & The Shakers and Lil Fi and The Delta Rhythm Kings. You could catch Hunters and Collectors + Dave Graney at The Roxy for $16 and D:Ream @ Festival Hall (RIP) for $26.

And things for Scene Mag (and D:Ream) were certainly getting better!

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Monday, 07 January 2013 07:34

Time Capsule - Part 1

Scene Magazine celebrates 20 years on the streets in 2013. Each week this year, in this column, we're looking back at what we, and you, were doing.

scene-mag001Issues 1-20
27 October 1993 to 23 March 1994
Issue 1: You wouldn't recognise Club Scene Magazine as street press. Certainly not as the magazine that 10 years later, in 2003, would boast more magazines on the streets of Australia than any other title, being published weekly in Melbourne and Brisbane.

The editorial format was a hybrid of today's Scene Magazine, City News and something akin to a tourism booklet. The first edition was an A4 spot colour job sporting a nebulous cover image and spruiked an editorial direction: "Informative, Decisive, Stylish". Seriously!

On a more promising note, the inaugural edition foreshadowed Scene Mag's future as Brisbane and the Gold Coast's clubbing bible. Advertisers included NASA 2 at The Site (back cover and wrap), Subway (not the food chain, but the venue which became The Tube, The Underground Nightclub (where Paddington Barracks stands today), Mary Street, The Gig and yes Transformers!

Fashion was a weekly feature of the first 20 issues. Advertisers and editorials spanned The Mask, Fashion Fatalé, Anon (managed by Ultra Suite's Mykl Notman), The Valley Markets, Hyaena, Young Designers Showroom and Bessie Head. (Read more on ravewear in Time Capsule - Part 3).

By Issue 15, we'd introduced gloss front covers (the first of a number of Scene Mag firsts for street press not only in Brisbane, but Australia) and by then we were even starting to look like street press!

 

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Monday, 14 January 2013 20:08

Time Capsule - Part 2

Scene Magazine celebrates 20 years on the streets in 2013. Each week this year, in this column, we're looking back at what we, and you, were doing.

scene-mag21Issue 20: March 30, 1994. It’s the Gurus on the cover of Club Scene Magazine, a publication searching for its niche in a city with two balls-out rock street papers. The advertising strip at the base of the cover was for Argon II rave feat: DJ Sasha.

Somehat incredibly, the mag didn’t actually have an editor yet — it was being cobbled together out of a residence in Bardon by the brothers Duggan; Rohan who was the catalyst for the project, and Howard who’d been seconded for his advertising experience with News Ltd.

The lone staff member was Damien Herse (production), with a contributor list including future editor, Neil Richards, and Nick Black, who 20 years later will run Play Nightclub in Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley — a mere 40 metres away from the present-day Scene Magazine offices.

Issue 32: June 15, 1994. Name change to The Scene. Front covers of The Gurus, Skunkhour, Jimi Hendrix and KISS notwithstanding, the inside of the mag was starting to cook with vibrant art for club nights, raves and fashion — all in a full gloss format (just as it is today, but not before a number of format changes, including the dreaded newsprint, but that’s for another day).

The magazine was well and truly being drawn to the underground.

 

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Tuesday, 22 January 2013 10:49

Time Capsule - Part 3

Scene Magazine celebrates 20 years on the streets in 2013. Each week this year, in this column, we're looking back at what we, and you, were doing.

amass1994: While The Site (see last week’s column) was setting a frantic pace, the (underground) dance scene was burgeoning. Directly opposite (yep 15 metres), The Roxy (Arena today) presented a vast fare of raves, sometimes with head-to-head dates and nearly always with controversy including whether acts would appear: Boy George - he did; Sasha was billed at both venues! The real one, (God is a DJ) appeared at The Site, while the ‘ring-in’ appeared at The Roxy.

Dome Dance Bar opened in Park Road Milton boasting open-air roof (later The Toucan Club) with resident DJ the late and much-loved Stuart Dufty, while the Gold Coast’s unique dance scene was spearheaded by Tunnel which presented club raves such as Arctic.

Australia’s longest-running dance club, The Beat (still going today and still 7-nights-a-week), was nigh on the height of its powers feat. Angus (RIP), Kesson, Edwin, JenE, MC Control and Angie.

Thief’s driving hardcore series, Roundabout became a regular fixture at venues in the CBD, The Dome and The Roxy.

Rave gear was available at Chi Chi Deluxe (who were also running The Chi Chi Dancers), Hyaena, Blonde Venus and The Mask, while made-to-measure iridescent lycra! and PVC were on order at Young Designers’ Showroom (YDS), the first retail outing for respected Brisbane fashion identity, Natalie Denning, whose present stable includes Bessie Head (Wintergarden), Dirtbox and Fallow.

 

 

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