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Go back to the ‘80s at the National Museum of Australia

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Are you a child of the ‘80s? Wish you were?

On Saturday 18 May, the National Museum of Australia (NMA) is taking you back to one of Australia’s most diverse musical decades for its Absolutely 80s concert.

It was the time of perms and leg warmers, of long-haired dudes and neon…lots of neon. However, it should be noted that while Australia welcomed so many of the USA and UK’s cultural exports with open arms (Madonna! MTV! Star Wars!) Australia also had its own unique 80s culture— and its own music scene.

Kids in the Kitchen, Uncanny X-men, Models and Chantoozies are four such bands who brought a homegrown sound to stages across the country and it’s these bands that will bring that slice of Australian 80s culture to the NMA during this very special two-hour concert.

Kids in the Kitchen. Image via Facebook.

For Scott Carne, frontman of Kids in the Kitchen who will be performing at Absolute 80s, the defining feature of the 80s in Australia was its thrilling live music scene.

“Australia was quite unique in the sense that there was a rich culture of live music—that’s what people did. People came out and listened to unrecorded material—it didn’t need to be on the radio. People were immersed in listening and making up their own minds from the outset.”

It’s this up-close-and-personal experience that Scott hopes guests enjoy at Absolute 80s, with the NMA transformed into an eighties discotheque, complete with prizes for best dressed (time to dig out those shoulder pads!) and an all-important bar to get you in a dancing mood. And dancing there will be, as it’s a stand-up-and-dance concert, with only limited seating available on the night. But as Scott puts it, that’s all part of the authentic vibe.

Scott Carne. Image via Facebook. 

“[Guests] can expect to step back into the 80s-time machine, with all the original acts from Australian 80s culture,” he explains. “We all start with our signature songs then we perform everything from our huge hits to our back catalogues and then we have some surprises.”

Scott says that guests will be able to close their eyes and feel like they’re back in the ‘80s—there’ll be no stripped-back acoustic covers here. Although he recommends you open your eyes once in a while too, as the concert’s location–Gandel Atrium–is one of the most striking venues in Canberra.

“It’s about reminiscing and reliving the 80s—or for young people it’s a great introduction to the stars of that period. There’s a lot of wow factor.”

And to finish? Well, Scott is keeping things close to the chest, but hints that you may just see all your favourites artists together on stage…

the essentials

What: Absolutely 80s concert
When: Saturday 18 May from 7.30 – 9.30 pm
Where: Gandel Atrium, National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton
Cost: $30-40
Tickets and more information: nma.gov.au/whats-on/absolutely-80s-concert

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