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HomeLifestyleEvents and ExhibitionsAllniters bring the party to Dee Why RSL on 4 November

Allniters bring the party to Dee Why RSL on 4 November

The Allniters, veteran pioneers of Australian ska – the irresistibly danceable music of Jamaican origin that is characterised by an emphasis on the second, or ‘up’ beat – bring their finely-tuned show to Dee Why RSL on 4 November.

With support from Northern Beaches bands Bobby Sox and Rust, surf-rock and street-punk respectively, the event should prove to be a welcome opportunity to scuff the shoe soles on the dancefloor.

Manly Observer caught up with dynamic vocalist Brett Pattinson, who, along with fellow singer Peter Hill-Travis, has fronted the joke-cracking, crowd-pleasing live show since the band’s inception in 1980 during the heady days of the Sydney Mod revival.

Allniters at Narrabeen RSL with vocalist Sara O’Connor, a successful jazz singer in her own right. Photo: Alec Smart

How’s life in The Allniters’ camp?

“The Allniters are all fine and dandy. We have had a few set-backs lately, due to Covid – we had to cancel a few shows – but apart from that we are all great and ready to put on a great show at Dee Why RSL.”

Anything noteworthy we can look forward to for your 4 November performance at the Dee Why RSL [eg: new suits, new members, new dancing shoes?]

“We will be playing quite a few new songs in the set…. some classic ska songs and a few of our own from the past. Yes, new tunes, new jokes (well maybe not, ha! ha!); it’s going to be a great show and our last one for 2022.”

The Allniters have always enjoyed a dedicated following on the Northern Beaches. What was it like playing on the beaches in the days when it was a breeding ground for live music, with bands like Midnight Oil and legendary venues like The Royal Antler, The Venue in Dee Why, Mona Vale Hotel, Manly Vale Hotel, Palm Beach ‘Rissole’ RSL, Hotel Manly etc..?

“We have always called the Northern Beaches our second home. Some of our best ever memories are at shows on the north. The Manly Vale for instance was just an awesome venue. The surf community loved us and we loved them; I think the surfer rude-boys originated on the Northern Beaches.

Pete and Brett goofing it up onstage at Narrabeen RSL. Photo: Alec Smart

“We held the house record at many venues on the Northern Beaches and have always been grateful for the support shown by the good folk there.”

How did The Allniters come to film your famous, chart-topping ‘Montego Bay’ music video in 1983 at Palm Beach, Pittwater?

“Well, we couldn’t take the whole band to Jamaica (ha! ha!), so we had to find a location that looked like Montego Bay and we loved the Northern beaches – such a great location for a beach party!”

Scenes from Allniters’ 1983 music video Montego Bay, filmed around Palm Beach and Pittwater.

Any tales, scandalous or otherwise, from recent or past experiences on the Northern Beaches?

“I have a lot of great and very funny stories from the Northern Beaches, but If I started telling stories we would be here all day, not to mention I might end up in court being sued by certain people! Also, most of our stories involve sex, drugs and rock n roll.

“One memory I have: in the early days we had a big skinhead following in the city and a big surfer following on the Northern Beaches, but because of this we had quite a few clashes at our shows.

“We were playing at Manly Vale and it was a sold-out show well before the gig, but we had heard that the skins were planning on a brouhaha with the surfers.

“So, we decided that the only way to defuse this was to confiscate the skinheads’ DM’s [Doctor Martens’ steel-capped, lace-up boots, worn by most skins]. So, they weren’t allowed in unless they left their ‘Docs’ at the door – which, funnily enough, worked! And the show went on to be an absolute belter!”

Allniters’ trombone legend Dan Barnett onstage with original guitarist Stuart Crysell. Photo: Alec Smart

Anything you’d like to add?

“Not really; all I can say is come along! It’s going to be a great show. Also, we have special guests Bobby Sox who were local Beaches’ boys back in the day and are still a great band, and also RUST who are a newish band [also from the Beaches] that have been building up a solid following.”

Event tickets


The Allniters


Bobby Sox




Concert flyer for the 4 November event at Dee Why RSL