UOW academic focuses on Oxford Tavern's history

University of Wollongong academic Dr Rob Carr is another taking a look at the continuing legacy of the Oxford Tavern, contributing a chapter to a new book on the relationship of history and film.

The Occy, a 2012 documentary on the Oxford by local filmmaker Nathan Burling, is compared by Dr Carr to the seminal Hype, a 1996 doco on the Seattle grunge movement in the new book Bringing History to Life through Film: The Art of Cinematic Storytelling.

He said such "rockumentaries" provided not just a comment on the music they documented but also a wider narrative about society at large.

"Both films introduce audiences to the artistic spokesperson for a community, to those who are the deal makers and breakers of opportunity for the bands, and how city politics impact cultural life," Dr Carr said.

"The Occy is invaluable as a 'history from below', as an alternative to other official histories of Wollongong and in giving a perspective on the music scene."

Dr Carr said the legacy of the Oxford was still significant to the Illawarra music community, and was even now viewed a spiritual - if not physical - "home" for many veteran Wollongong musicians.

"It is important to look at the history of the music scene for the same reasons we venerate other aspects of Wollongong's history.

"Our history is more than crimes and corruption," he said.

"The Oxford is still 'ground zero' for a lot of musicians, particularly for at least several generations of live music advocates who held regular meetings in the beer garden."

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