Formed in 1981 when guitarist Russell Bateman joined the established nucleus of Bernie Hill (lead guitar, vocals), Ken Allen (bass, vocals), Michael Woodward (saxes, flute) and Mike ‘Animal’ Hinchcliffe (drums, vocals).

The Bystanders became a popular attraction at local pubs and cabarets, playing a mixture of contemporary ‘new wave’ material, a few originals as well as the usual crowd favorites.

After winning a local battle of the bands, judged by the late Darryl Cotton, they recorded two original songs at Mike Brady’s Flagstaff Studios in June 1982. These recordings were pressed on an independent single which, supported by regular airplay on local radio station 3HA, became a regional hit, peaking at No. 23 on the 3HA Top 40, the only record by a local independent band to do so.

The Bystanders broke up after a memorable farewell gig at the Hamilton Hotel on March 5th 1983, the same night that local member Malcolm Fraser’s Liberal government was defeated in a Federal election by Bob Hawke’s Labor Party. On the live recording of this gig, Bernie can be heard at one point announcing ‘Labor one, Liberals nil!’


Available from our STORE:

CD-R:  ‘Found Guilty!’     

  •  A compilation of studio and live recordings

7” single THONG 001:     

  • Smalltown Lady/Token Resistance        
  • Available in a choice of 5 different coloured sleeves

Coming Soon:

  • Photo gallery, including posters
  • Single cover
  • Gig ads
  • Newspaper articles