I don’t know what to say about this so I’m putting it here in a hope of inciting some discussion. A bit before my time really. This was emailed in. Thanks John!
A few thoughts about the beginning of punk in W.A, by John Hondros.
Bilbo played together from 1969 – 1971. They were regulars at dances and
an occasional pub but never really broke through as their “punk” sound
and long extemporisations had yet to find a musical home. The band
consisted of Paul Blackbee on guitar, Johnno Podmore drums and John
Hondros on bass. Ironically their biggest success came at their last
impromptu performance at the James St Art Tech “Rock it Out” dance
attended by the art and music fraternity of Perth at the end of 1971.
Paul Blackbee managed to talk the night’s lead band (Fatty Lumpkin) into
letting them hand over their instruments during a break and it went on
from there with nearly 20 minutes of solid “new wave” sound until the
guys from FL stepped in to end it. The crowd was not happy it ended and
FL were not happy to follow what they thought would be a disaster.
In a moment of ironic brilliance Paul Blackbee renamed the band (that up
until then had been Thrash for the previous 18 months or so) as Bilbo
(playing on Fatty Lumpkins use of a Tolkien name). The audience raged.
In the good old techy art way the crowd loved it but howled down the
lead band for ending Bilbo Baggins. It was one of those nights musos
spoke of for months. Anyway, Johnno Podmore went on and did some
drumming with the Troubadours and then many other NSW pub bands. Paul
Blackbee later joined the “Swinging Blue Jeans” playing sax, I believe.
John Hondros joined the small cohort of “singer songwriters” of the day
such as Christopher May (now deceased), Ross Ryan, Piers Partridge and
Keith MacDonald doing wine house gigs.
Have to say that Thrash (AKA Bilbo) was one of the best bands no one had
heard of except for other alternative musos of the day. This was the
real and forgotten beginning of a “new wave” of music before The
Scientists and it all happened on one Saturday night in late December 1971.
Hope this might add a small something to the picture.