Into the groove: experiencing difference in the Perth nightclub scene of the 1980s
Taylor and Francis Inc.
School of Arts and Humanities
This article examines nightclubbing in Perth in the 1980s. The specific focus is on the ways ethnicity and race related to which nightclub people went to, and the kinds of music played in the nightclubs. The article is based on interviews. The article focuses on three specific clubs, Hannibal’s, where the Italo-Australians and other southern Europeans went, Palladium, where Italo-Australians mixed with white Australians, and Jules, where Anglo-Indians and Anglo-Burmese, who self-identified as black, would go. The clubs for Australians, white Australians, were Pinocchio’s and Gobbles. Official multiculturalism was established during the 1980s and helped legitimise the cultural diversity found in Hannibal’s, Palladium and Jules. Likewise, the gradual termination of the White Australia policy enabled the presence of people identified by many Australians as non-white, who thought of themselves as black and identified with African Americans and their music. When the American navy ships docked in Fremantle, the African-American sailors went to Jules. In 1990 Hannibal’s, Palladium and Jules all closed. It was the end of an era.