Inhibitions are thrown to the wind as soon as you step through the front door of the Exchange Hotel. The generous serve of obscure covers, legendary Australian rock’n’roll, French pop hits and the full gamut of cheese from the 60s to 90s will festoon your ears, as the sport on the telly sets melt into vintage Australian television commercials. Five dollars gets you a drink with change, and here you can focus on throwing shapes rather than obsessing over your hair by the bar. Head honcho Garry Drougas reveals his playlist faves.
1. The Church ‘Unguarded Moment’
My personal conduit into the Aussie ‘alternative’ garage scene in the 80s. A timeless tune which surprisingly draws a diverse crowd onto the dance floor.
2. Bo Diddley 'Sixteen Tons'
Great R&B tune from 1960 that was originally played as a listening number to complement the end of the working week. Has become a regular dance and sing-along anthem.
3. The Andrea True Connection 'More, More, More'
This is played as a tribute to the circumstances leading to the song’s recording as opposed to its potential impact on the dance floor. As well as proving to be a great disco dance number, it has also become a talking piece with punters... i.e. what do you get when you combine a cash-strapped LA porn star, a shonky property investment scheme in Jamaica, a political coup and a copious amount of narcotics? More, More, More.
4. John Murphy/David Hughes 'Zorba the Greek'
Our humble tribute to cheesy multiculturalism in the 'burbs. Originally played as a social experiment as oppose to a dance number, it has proven to be one of the biggest ice breakers with the punters. By the time the tune has ended, all punters are in the process of knowing each other’s name. A total surprise.
5. Sex Pistols 'Anarchy in the UK'
Forget gangsta rap, this was and continues to be our dedication to suburban angst. The song surprisingly resonates well with many of our punters and has attracted groups as diverse as drag queens, wharfies and local members of the Somali community to the dance floor.
Exchange Hotel, 28 Napier St, Footscray. Fridays 7pm–1am.