Bogans love commercial radio. But, with the limiting nature of only liking five different artists (selected from; Pink, Snow Patrol, U2, AC/DC, Nickelback, Coldplay, Green Day or any remix of anything. The Beatles are also allowed, to convey an understanding of musical history, while some outliers like Franz Ferdinand provide extra rock cred), the bogan can quickly grow bored. Commercial radio does what it can, by playing these artists on constant rotation, but still there is a void. Particularly when it comes to live music. Pink’s constant defilement of major arenas notwithstanding, major international acts rarely venture to the antipodes.
Enter the cover band. You know them. They were the guys who formed a band in year nine, playing gigs at lunch to 30 kids who then got booted out of the auditorium for crowd surfing. That was, until the point they formed a cover band, the highpoint of their lives. It’s Darren, Sam and Clint, plus Clint’s younger brother who they recruited to play bass because their old bass player’s wife won’t let him out on weeknights/their old bass player got hooked on ice and disappeared in Darwin/they never see their bass player anymore. And, in a desperate attempt to reclaim the euphoria that is live performance, they go to the same pub, on the same night, every week, and play the same songs. To the same bogans.
And bogans love it. Having only five artists to listen to means that opportunities for attending live rock performances (is there another kind?) are few and far between. Sport notwithstanding, communal entertainment is usually designated as being for ‘other people’. Opera (“poofs”), dance (“poofs), non-rock music (“poofs”), comedy (“is it Hughesy? No? Poofs”) and the theatre (“poofs”) are all for a cultural subset that is not bogan, leaving only whichever Fast and the Furious film is in cinemas, or the pub with a cover band. Those five artists mentioned above can be re-created without the talent, verve or originality of their original members but, importantly, the cover band will mimic each song down to the 16th beat.
Thus, the bogans can bounce around, singing only to the chorus of ‘Betterman’ and ‘Jessie’s Girl’, while screaming for post-Californication Chili Peppers, and feel inordinately cultured. Meanwhile the boys from ‘Jet Black’ or ‘Crazygarden’ reel out “hit after hit”, and the bogans continue to regret that they jumped in to the loud bit from ‘Blister in the Sun’ one measure too soon.