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Pig City
Brisbane 14 July 2007

The Saints,  Regurgitator,   The Riptides,   David McCormack, 
The Parameters,  Pineapples From The Dawn of Time,  Ups and Downs,  Kev Carmody,  Screamfeeder, The Apartments and, uninvited ...
The Black Assassins

<a href="BApigcity.mp4">[View QuickTime Movie]</a>
Black Assassins at the 4ZZZ tent at Pig City   video: Della Churchill
You'll need Quicktime Player on your computer to watch the above video of the Black Assassins performing uninvited at Pig City, otherwise you can watch the YouTube version embedded at the bottom of this page. To download the latest version of QuickTime Player click here.

Pig City was an all day festival held at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, on 14 July 2007 celebrating the punk music of Brisbane from the '70s and '80s when Queensland was a police state run by corrupt premier, Joh Bjelke Petersen. The event took its name from the book "Pig City" by Andrew Stafford, and the song "Pig City", by '80s Brisbane band, The Parameters, which detailed the on going kinds of harrassment and bad behaviour by the Queensland Police that people experienced back in the those days

The Pig City gig as part of the Queensland Music Festival was ironically put on by the Queensland Goverment which 25 to 30 years earlier put its resources into trying to stop this kind of music happening, including having a special police squad, "Task Force", dedicated to raiding punk band gigs and shutting them down.

Pig City saw stunning perfomances by The Saints, The Riptides, Pineapples From The Dawn Of Time, Ups and Downs, Kev Carmody, The Apartments, in fact all the bands on the bill did really great shows.

Brisbane's "ugliest" band of the period, The Black Assassins, weren't invited to play at Pig City, but knowing no shame, decided to play anyway. The orginal plan had been to do a stage invasion during a change over between two of the other bands during the day, and play until they were kicked off. The Black Assassins had done stage invasions (taking over another band's instruments) before back in the early '80s (see the Campaign Against Nuclear Power Benefit at Caxton Street Hall) but the security at Pig City was really tight and the stage, inside a huge marquee, was too well protected with huge bouncers everywhere.

With no access to the stage, PA, or instruments it was going to be hard, but the Assassins found a way. Brisbane's community radio station 4ZZZ-FM was the only Brisbane radio station playing punk music in the '70s and 80s and Triple Zed journalists lead the fight in exposing the corruption of the Bjelke Petersen regime and crimes of its police force at the time. Fortunately, 4ZZZ had a tent at Pig City with a small PA playing music to the festival site. The Black Assassins smuggled a guitar and a small amp in past security at the entrance (try putting an amp or guitar under your shirt some time), and with the aid of 4ZZZ, played one song in front of the 4ZZZ tent just before The Apartments went on inside the marquee.

The Black Assassins guerilla performance at the 4ZZZ tent at Pig City                                                                                                 photo: Vikki McLeod
Three members of the band (keyboard player Sirhan Chapman didn't make it due to a stint back in prison) delivered one of their traditionally ugly performances to a crowd of 200 to 300 people between the 4ZZZ tent and the bar. Back the early '80s Black Assassins' shows often featured life-size dummies of politicians of the day like Queensland Premier, Joh Bjelke Petersen or Police Minister, Russ Hinze. This performance of the song "Death Take Me Now" at Pig City features the Assassins' drummer, Lee Harvey Hinckley, having fun with an effigy of Prime Minister, John Howard, and later enthusiastic members of the crowd joining in.

People watching The Black Assassins play in front of the 4ZZZ tent at Pig City , Brisbane July 2007The crowd  in front of the 4ZZZ tent watching The Black Assassins play their song Death Take Me Now at Pig City , Brisbane July 2007
People watching The Black Assassins sing "Death Take Me Now" at the 4ZZZ tent at Pig City                                                               photos: Vikki McLeod

YouTube version of The Black Assassins at Pig City           video: Della Churchill

You can read reviews of the Black Assassins' performance at Pig City here.

You can read a lot more about Brisbane music and politics of the the '70s and '80s in Andrew Stafford's book, Pig City, published by University of Queensland Press

You can see more Black Assassins' videos on their YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/blackassassins