A Sydney-based live music institution that bore witness to the greatness of acts like Nirvana, INXS and Cold Chisel over its near 40-year history is set for a resurrection.
Selina’s will make a glorious return to its ancestral home at the Coogee Bay Hotel in September, prompting speculation that it could be the hero that Sydney’s lockout-ravaged live music scene needs right now.
A tough old broad, Selina’s has — to put it quite bluntly — seen some shit. Back in February of 1992, more than one million people swarmed through her doors (not even an exaggeration) to see performances from earth-conquering bands like INXS and Nirvana:
Image Via Facebook/Selinas
Nirvana then returned in June of the same year to perform two more sold-out shows, and apparently had such a rad time that they canned their other Sydney gigs and put on an additional two concerts at Selina’s.
But the venue’s long love affair with rock and/or roll extends even further back to the ’70s and ’80s, when it hosted performances from icons like David Bowie and Elton John, plus Aussie legends like The Angels, Cold Chisel, Crowded House, Midnight Oil, Divinyls and Bodyjar.
I'll be sitting in on a couple of unfamiliar songs in an unfamiliar genre tomorrow night with @trentdavidcrawford and his punk rock hillbilly express. @joelcore will also be slappin da dbl bass. Feel free to come and yell shit. The worse that could happen is bodyjar play time to grow up and windsock. #getstocked #capo2ndfret #whatsabadrelgion @greggraffin #hillbilly #turdburger #turdicecream #selinas
Another fun fact: a spray-painted tag reading, “INXS was here 2/5/93” still exists on a wall of the hotel’s loading dock:
Selina’s live music tradition stretched well into the noughties too, with performances from the likes of Foo Fighters, Grinspoon, Powderfinger, Mental As Anything and too many others to count. But the infamous and beloved venue was forced to shut her doors in January of last year, citing the NSW Government’s tough new alcohol restrictions as the culprit.
“If you want business, you want numbers, but more numbers with live music, means more adrenalin and drinks which can lead to problems — those days are gone,” Coogee Bay Hotel owner Chris Cheung told News Corp Australia at the time.
“There’s no mosh pits anymore — we have to put safety first.”
But that hasn’t stopped them from giving live music one more crack. Selina’s will officially relaunch on Thursday, 1st September with new showcases every Thursday night onwards.
But for now, here’s some fan-shot footage of one of Nirvana’s full performances at the venue back in 1992 (which was incidentally the same year that saw them perform at the inaugural Big Day Out):
Watch: Nivana Live @ Selina’s 1992