There is no video available for this entry. Instead, I want to share a story.
Poinaz Dare were an all-female, three piece (‘punk’? again, I’m not good with genres and labels, so that term may not be at all useful here) group from Canberra. They played a few shows at youth centres and, from memory, they did pretty well in the Canberra Unearthed competition that happened around 1997-98. I had seen them play live only two or three times but I loved their music. To everyone else, they were perhaps best known for their cover of ‘Land Down Under’ that got some airplay on Triple J.
Poinaz Dare released a demo tape around that time. a friend of mine purchased it but I didn’t for some unknown reason.
In year 10 music class we were asked to do some sort of assignment and I decided to interview Rae, Poinaz Dare’s lead vocalist/guitarist. We had talked a little after a youth centre show so it wasn’t completely out-of-the-blue and weird, but I was still quite nervous and awkward. The assignment went well (I got 100% for it, thanks for asking, but as you can tell that doesn’t really mean I’m qualified to write about music) and the interview process was quite fun.
One thing we discussed during the interview was old groups, projects and songs, and it became clear that Rae, and perhaps the whole group, were a little embarrassed about their previous work. There may have been an explicit mention that ‘I’d love to get hold of our old demo tapes so I can burn them’. (I can understand that feeling, having a VHS tape in the garage labeled ‘Andrew Singing’ that I want to pretend doesn’t exist while at the same time being unable to destroy because it means ‘killing history’ in some way.) This raises an interesting discussion around reputation management and the right to delete, but I won’t go into those here.
This was a little sad, especially remembering this sentiment a few years later and realising I’d never be able to get a copy of that old demo tape, let alone anything else recorded by the group. I lost touch with the friend who bought a copy and, if there’s an active desire to pretend old songs don’t exist, there’s little chance of it being made available online.
However, there is a partially happy ending to this story. While conducting the interview I recorded the whole thing on tape and Rae was nice enough to play two songs with the crappy guitar setup I brought over. So while I don’t have a copy of any of the group’s professionally recorded music, I at least have two live tracks – ‘Take No Credit’ and ‘Let You In’ – that I have since digitised. They’re both great songs and I feel privileged to be able to listen to them whenever I want to.
Poinaz Dare weren’t together for too long and Rae (now using the name ‘Rach Green’) has recorded and released other music since. I just wish I could go back to 1998 and see another live show and, this time, buy a copy of the demo.
Kids these days with their smartphones don’t have this problem.
This entry in my countdown is for Poinaz Dare, and Rach Green specifically. But it’s also dedicated to the many bands and artists that we all loved at some point in our lives whose music has been lost to us.