August 30, 2019 11:36:42

Leanne de Souza was a driving force behind the new exhibition. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

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The city known for being a hot-bed of music is giving fans a backstage pass to Brisbane’s enormous contribution to the international music scene.

A 30-year catalogue of Brisbane’s biggest music moments has been captured in a new exhibition, titled High Rotation, at the Museum of Brisbane.

White costume on a mannequin in front of a photo.
One of the costumes that Kate Miller Heidke wore at Eurovision appears in the project. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

Photos, music videos, posters and costumes from artists such as Powderfinger, Sheppard and The Grates, along Kate Miller Heidke’s unique costume that she recently wore at Eurovision are on show.

Curatorial advisor and music industry stalwart Leanne de Souza said the project shows Brisbane’s true love for music.

“It’s a retrospective of the popular music scene,” she said.

“I started about 18 months ago to help the museum open doors to the music industry and it’s been a great honour.

“We started with deciding who the artists were, along with the people who worked behind the scenes like artist managers and venue bookers.”

From artists to backstage

Ms de Souza said the aim of the project was to capture the insights of the people who built the music scene.

“I’ve been working in music in Brisbane since 1992 and in some ways it’s like my history too as I’ve been in this world for so long,” she said.

“I did different interviews with industry greats like Paul Piticco who started Splendour in the Grass and people who built the industry up here in Brisbane.

Powderfinger performing at Riverstage in 2010. (Supplied: Stephen Booth)

“The willingness of these people to speak honestly about their music community was amazing.”

More than 100 artists are included in the exhibition through both imagery and sound.

“Cultural memory-making is so important and it enable us to tell the story of Brisbane,” Ms de Souza said.

“It’s really important to hold onto this history, although many of us think we can look music up on YouTube and see everything, it’s not actually like that.

“This shows the memories of how it felt to be at gig or when you bought your first Savage Garden gig.”

People looking into display cabinets near a music poster.
Music fans can listen to music and view memorabilia from bands past and present. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

She said one of her favourite items in the exhibition was from electro-rock band Regurgitator.

“The original Regurgitator demo of Unit, which was sent to producer Richie York who has since passed, shows how they were early adopters of technology,” Ms de Souza said.

“There’s also a guitar that has no neck from Violent SoHo — there are stories behind the stories.”

Black guitar without a neck in a display case.
A guitar without a neck from the band Violent Soho. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
‘Goosebumps seeing amazing artists’

The exhibition also includes a complete hallway filled with music posters, photography and videos from various festivals and gigs since 1989.

“I hope people take the time to watch the videos which includes our amazing Indigenous hip hop and seeing that culture about our First Nation performers,” Ms de Souza said.

Bright pink costume in front of a photo of a lady singing.
Patience Hodge’s costumes while performing with Brisbane band The Grates. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

“We want people to learn about the underlying stories that really make Brisbane music special.”

Brisbane band Shephard are featured and said they were honoured to be alongside such huge international acts.

“I’ve gotten goosebumps seeing the amazing artists and talent and they’re all from Brisbane,” Emma Shephard said.

Two ladies standing by a poster.
Emma and Amy Sheppard with their single Geronimo which is on display. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

“For us, Keith Urban has been a big part of our career, and we’ve learnt so much from him.

“We toured with him 2015 and he is such a humble guy and an incredible musician.”