Painters and Dockers

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Painters and Dockers
OriginMelbourne, Australia
GenresRock, Pub rock
Years active1982–1998; 2014–present
LabelsAu Go Go
Big Time
White Label
Associated actsDili Allstars
Past memberssee Members list below

Painters and Dockers are a rock band formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1982.[1]

Paul Stewart, singer-songwriter and trumpet player,[2] Dave Pace and Mick Morris are all original members in the band which was named for the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union when they performed an early gig at a pub rock venue in Port Melbourne frequented by the union's members.[1] Some members of the band went on to form the Dili Allstars.

Their best-performing album Kiss My Art, peaked in the top 30 of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums charts in 1988.[3] The album included two top 50 singles, "Nude School" and "Die Yuppie Die".[4][5]


Painters and Dockers formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1982 with five members, Vladimir Juric on guitars and backing vocals, Andy Marron on drums, Phil Nelson on bass guitar, Chris O'Connor on guitars and backing vocals, and mainstay Paul Stewart on lead vocals and trumpet.[1] One of the earliest gigs for the unnamed group was at a pub rock venue in Port Melbourne frequented by members of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union so they chose Painters and Dockers for the event and retained the name thereafter.[1][6] In their earlier years, they were the headline act at the Port Melbourne Community Festival, and in a government initiative called Rockin' the Rails, where they played songs from the back of a train, as it stopped at various Melbourne stations, including Ringwood, Camberwell and Flinders Street. Painters and Dockers first recording, "Mohawk Baby", appeared on independent label, Au Go Go records' compilation album, Asleep at the Wheel early in 1984.[1] Soon after, Marron was replaced by Colin Buckler on drums, and they released their debut album, Love Planet, which was produced by veteran hard rocker, Lobby Loyde and released on Big Time Records in 1984 and contained the tracks, "Basia!", also released as a single in March 1985, and "The Boy Who Lost His Jocks on Flinders Street Station". Joining after the album's release were Mick Morris on tenor saxophone and Dave Pace on trumpet / backing vocals, and with Stewart the horn section was called the Brassholes.[1] Music historian, Ian McFarlane, describes their sound as "adding an earthy R&B edge to the band's raucous, punk-infused power pop".[1]

A four-track EP, Kill Kill Kill was released in 1985 containing cover versions of "Kill Kill Kill" originally by The Sacred Cows on "The Groovy Guru" episode of US comedy TV series, Get Smart; Australian group Supernaut's "I Like it Both Ways"; The Ramones' "Do You Remember Rock'n'Roll Radio?" and The Saints' "Know Your Product".[1] Their first single, "Basia!", released in March 1985 on Big Time Records, was a paean to Basia Bonkowski—lyrics include "B she's so beautiful, A articulate too, S sensual, I international, Ay Ay" and "She's sitting there with her multi-coloured hair / She's sitting there with that multi-cultured stare"—who was presenter of SBS' music television show, Rock Around the World from 1982 to late 1984.[7][8] A live album, Bucket, released in October 1986 on the band's own label Dock Records (distributed by Shock Records) and Big Time Records, featured one of their live pub rock performances.[1]

The band's second studio album, Kiss My Art, was released in August 1988 on White Label Records (a subsidiary of Mushroom Records) and peaked at No. 23 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums charts in September 1988.[3] The album spawned four singles, "Nude School", "Die Yuppie Die", "Love on Your Breath" (video clip featured cabaret performer Peaches La Creme and directed by Salik Silverstein) and "Safe Sex", and the first two achieved top 50 chart success.[4][5] and were accompanied with video clips directed by ex Hunters & Collectors Geoff Crosby.[9] The album was again produced by Lobby Loyde,[2] except for "Nude School" which was produced by Francois Taviaux aka Franswah.

Their next album, Touch One, Touch All, was released in December 1989 spawning the related singles, "Dirty Filthy Rock'n'Roll" in November, and "Eat Shit Die" in May 1990.[1] Neither album nor singles peaked into the top 50.[5] Morris left in 1989 and Darren Garth had replaced Juric on guitar by early 1990; the band undertook a Canadian tour promoting the album.[1][2] In December 1991 they released the mini-album, Hickory Dickory Dock with its track "Merry Christmas, Carol" and the single, "New World Order".[1] Nervous '90s appeared in June 1992 and contained six studio tracks and three live tracks recorded with the Salvation Army Brass Band.[1] During 1992 they became involved in Performers Releasing Information about Clean Syringes (PRICS), which included running workshops and gigs on safe sex and drug use.[1] In 1993, Garth left and Colin Badger joined on guitar and backing vocals, Painters and Dockers undertook the Australia-wide Return to the Love Planet tour and released a pro gay CD-EP, I Know Better Queens than That in December which comprised four tracks, including an acoustic version of "I Know Better Queens than That" and two tracks taken from the live album Bucket.[1] An EP, Hickory Dickory Dock, and the album The Things that Matter followed in 1994. A mini-album, Advance Australia Where?, was released in August 1998 with the single "You're Going Home In The Back Of A Divi Van".[1] By that stage, original members, Nelson and O'Connor had left, mainstay Stewart now with Badger and Buckler were joined by Paul Calvert on bass guitar, Sonja Parkinson on trombone and backing vocals, and Jenny Pineapple on saxophone and backing vocals.[1] This line-up appeared at Mushroom 25 Live concert in November to celebrate the record label's anniversary, their track "Divi Van" appeared on the related VHS release, Mushroom 25 Live: The Concert of the Century.[1]

The Painters and Dockers released seven albums between 1984 and 1994, which featured a selection of sarcastic and amusing singles, such as "Die Yuppie Die" from 1988's Kiss My Art and pro-queer and anti-monarchy "I Know Better Queens Than That" from 1994's The Things That Matter. Their greatest chart success was achieved with 1985's "Nude School" which received air play on a number of commercial radio stations and which was marked by its controversial lyrics and video clip. At one time, The Painters and Dockers even co-owned a vinyl record pressing plant.

Paul Stewart's brother Tony Stewart was a sound recordist in the Balibo Five, a group of five journalists, killed in 1975 in East Timor. Painters and Dockers members, Buckler and Stewart, went on to form the Dili Allstars in early 1990s with East Timorese musicians. The Dili Allstars, together with various artists, released Liberdade: Viva East Timor in 1999.[1] In 2009 Stewart featured on the ABC Compass religious program following a liver transplant with the episode featuring Painters And Dockers songs Nude School and Die Yuppie Die.

On 20 November 2009, early members, Paul Stewart, Chris O'Connor, Colin Buckler, Vladimir Juric, David Pace and Mick Morris, with Michael Badger (not an original member) reformed for a one-off show at the Prince Bandroom in St Kilda, Melbourne, where the band was inducted into The Age newspaper's EG Hall of Fame.

In 2011 former members of the band performed under the moniker Painters and Dockers trio – composed of Paulie Stewart, Colin Badger and David Pace – more details are available on their Facebook page.

On 19 February 2012 Painters And Dockers members Paulie Stewart, Colin Badger and Michael Badger got together with several other musicians in a band called The Transplants to perform a special show for ORGAN DONATION week. Most members of the act had had life saving liver transplants. They were joined at the gig, held at the Oakleigh Caravan Club, by controversial 'Human Headline' Derryn Hinch who sung along on the Dockers song 'You're Going Home In The Back Of A Divi Van'.

On 20 February 2012, the reunion line-up, without Chris O'Connor, played a gig for the ABC show, Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight at the Oakleigh RSL in Melbourne. The show was recorded live for broadcast on 22 February 2012.

On 4 March 2012, the Dockers played a benefit gig at the Melbourne Arts Centre 'SpiegelSeason', for the Jesuit Social Services Just Music Album Launch. The Dockers trio worked on a new track "Lets Give It A Go" with young African duo The Flybz.

On 22 June 2014, they were part of the music line-up, playing a blistering post match set, at the Reclink Community Cup.[10] Following this the band were asked to play at Punkfest Brisbane 2014 and at the Meredith Music Festival.

The band were back in the news on 9 October 2014 when Violent Soho frontman James Tidswell was not allowed to board a plane because he was wearing a Painters and Dockers black T-shirt printed with the name of the band's 1990 single 'Eat, Sh--, Die'. When he was told he could not get on the Virgin flight, Tidswell told Fairfax Media he was shocked when he was told new terrorism laws meant he could not wear the shirt on the plane. But a Virgin Australia spokesman said the T-shirt was simply deemed offensive, not a threat.


Painters and Dockers members:[1][2]

Member Instrument Years active
1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Disbanded 2014 2015 2016
Vladimir Juric guitar, backing vocals
Adam Marron drums
Paul G Roberts keyboards, vocals
Phil Nelson bass guitar
Chris O'Connor guitar, backing vocals
Paul Stewart trumpet, lead vocals
Colin Buckler drums
Mick Morris tenor saxophone
David Pace trumpet, backing vocals
Darren Garth guitar, backing vocals
Colin Badger guitars, backing vocals
Paul Calvert bass guitar
Sonja Parkinson trombone, backing vocals
Jenny Pineapple saxophone, backing vocals



  • Love PlanetBig Time BT7046 (1984)
  • Bucket – Dock/Big Time DOC-R002 (October 1986)
  • Kiss My ArtMushroom MUSH32274.2 (August 1988) AUS No. 23
  • Touch One, Touch All – Musicland MUS LP2011 (December 1989)
  • Hickory, Dickory, Dock (1991)
  • Nervous '90s – Mushroom (30 June 1992)
  • The Things That Matter – Dock DOCKCD6000 (1994)
  • Overt and Deliberate (Live at the Gluepot Auckland 1988) (2009 released as part of The Age 'EG' Hall of Fame)
  • Advance Australia Where? – Dock/Shock (1998)

Extended plays[edit]

  • Kill Kill Kill – Big Time BTB-910 (1985)
  • Nude School Limited Edition, Mushroom Records (1987)
  • Hickory Dickory Dock (December 1991)
  • I Know Better Queens than That (December 1993)
  • Advance Australia Where? – Dock/Shock DOC10000 (31 August 1998)


  • "Basia!" – Big Time BTS-1448 (March 1985)
  • "Bend Me Shape Me" Dock (1985)
  • "Die Yuppie Die" – White Label K 411 (1987) AUS No. 49
  • "Nude School" White Label K265 (1987) AUS No. 29
  • "Love on Your Breath" White Label K495 (1988)
  • "Safe Sex" White Label K603 (1988)
  • "Dirty Filthy Rock 'n' Roll" – Musicland MUS SP 2012 (November 1989)
  • "Eat Shit Die" – Musicland MUS SP2016 (May 1990)
  • "New World Order" (December 1991)
  • Let's Give It A Go with The Flybz (March 2012)
  • Holiday On Ice/ Tangent released June 2018


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Painters and Dockers'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 1 October 2004. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Holmgren, Magnus; Miles, Richard. "Painters and Dockers". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Painters & Dockers – Kiss My Art". Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  4. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  5. ^ a b c "Discography Painters & Dockers". Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  6. ^ "Painters & Dockers". Nostalgia Central.
  7. ^ "Zoom Info entry on Basia Bonkowski". Retrieved 10 January 2008.
  8. ^ "Top 40 TV". Retrieved 10 January 2008.
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links[edit]