Illawarra bands get golden ticket to record

A recording studio owner may hold the golden ticket to rejuvenating Wollongong's music scene.

Adam Jordan, of Main Street Studios in Fairy Meadow, has been involved in the city's music scene for about a decade.

He said the scene had become more fractured since the Oxford Tavern closed down. While the Oxford once hosted a diverse range of genres, Mr Jordan said today's band venues seemed to be creating a house style, tending to book bands of a similar sound.

Rather than hanging out at the same venue, bands were playing in different places and their paths were less likely to cross.

"There was a bit of unity to the scene [in the Oxford days] whereas now it's a little bit more fragmented," Mr Jordan said.

"The main thing I find today is that bands within their genres don't talk to other bands any more. So they don't know what other bands are doing or who's in the other bands."

To bridge that gap, Mr Jordan came up with the idea of the "golden ticket", which offers a discounted recording rate valid until the end of the year.

He distributed 20 of these reusable tickets to bands in Wollongong with the proviso that they get moved around should another band want to use it.

When a band asks for a ticket, Mr Jordan makes sure to send them in the direction of an act which plays a completely different style of music.

"I've had it so that, for instance, Beaten Bodies are a jazzy sort of band so Nick from Dlinkwnt which is hip hop, gave his ticket over," Mr Jordan said.

"I've got a country band who has just given their one to a rock band from Sydney. That way they then start to know of what other bands are around."

Mr Jordan also has started up a TV theme tunes project where a local band can come in and record their favourite theme free and have it placed online alongside others involved in the project.

The idea is that the band's fans will go on to listen to the song and then check out the other tunes and learn a little about some of the other bands in the scene.

Putting his money where his mouth is - in terms of free or discounted studio time - makes Mr Jordan a bit of a rarity in a local scene that seems to forever be talking about what should be done but seldom actually does anything.

"Actions speak louder than words," Mr Jordan said.

"For the music scene you can't just talk about it, you have to be out there doing things. Today a band will promote their gig on Facebook and go 'there, we've advertised our gig, that's done'.

"No, you're not - get out there and tell people."

Main Street Studios owner Adam Jordan records the band Go Away, Everyone. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

Main Street Studios owner Adam Jordan records the band Go Away, Everyone. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON