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DO IT YOURSELF CULTURE- Reclaiming Sydney's streets with DOOF!


“Reclaim da streets!”

By Ian Browne Shamrock News

The political activist PUNK birth of ‘doof ’ in Sydney

Apparently the term DOOF was coined by a German lady in Newtown who complained to a neighbour about the sound emanating from a party announcing …

“What is this doof, doof, doof all night long?”

As pictured, my friend Deb invited me to the screening of a film-doco at Kulcha Jam in the Byron Bay Arts and Industrial Estate by Peter Strong which explored Sydney’s DO IT YOURSELF CULTURE history. This included a pre-screening Dj mix up with Abel El Toro. Sadly, I couldn’t make it to the screening, but I caught up with Deb at her store Music Bizarre in Lismore to photograph her with the shirt and CD portraying the history of the do it yourself party culture spawned from within Sydney’s Newtown, a place I once called home.

The birth of do it yourself culture: Back in 2014, fearing the destruction of a creative community, Pauline Lockie found love in the arms of the WestCONnex Action Group, developed to protest against the State Liberal Party’s plan to buy out and level 80 residential homes to ‘upgrade’ a two lane Campbell Street into a six lane highway, through Newtown, an urban Sydney village known for its alternative lifestyles and community spirit. It was during this time that Pauline met a member of Reclaim the Streets Chris Lego, and a partnership between the two parties was forged. Together they held protest parties involving as many as 3000 people around the Newtown, St Peters and Sydney Park areas where WestCONnex had planned to demolish. Their first party saw a giant turd blocking traffic along Campbell Street!

The streets of older Sydney came to life to the sound and sights of community activism through art and music. Since the 90’s as part of a global movement to promote bike use as a way to celebrate the vibrancy of urban life, Critical Mass embarked on an inclusive, social coordination to protest against increases in bike use fines, and the mainstream’s addiction to motor vehicles, which diminish the public use of space, and further molest the city streetscape. They too shared the do it yourself ideals of equality for all and organised folk to protest against the heavy hand of the nanny-state.

“Tune Technology to Ecology!” As a left-wing musical movement against the corrupt mainstream, popular NSW punk outfits like Tutti Parzi, along with Deviant Kickback and Fred- Nihilists, built a platform for ‘electronica’ to rise against those to be distrusted. The Jellyheads and Mahatma Propagandi, later Non Bossy Posse, spread the politics and angst of punk, with a hip- hop/techno sound as its vice. I was working for and partying amongst some of the punk crossover to various more funky music fusions at the time, and I can tell you that many from the old Sydney punk scene hated the change in music culture. None-the-less change did occur and a soundtrack to the RAVE-o-lution history known as the Do It- Yourself Culture ‘DOIC- double album’, and other do it yourself paraphernalia- such as the shirts pictured- are now available. This includes the punk-hip hop-techno revolution which sprung to life during the 90’s from within Sydney, and up along the subtropical coastline to the Northern Rivers. On this exciting CD, outfits from various movements within NSW sing- out against the tyranny inflicted upon indigenous rights, deforestation and other associated corrupt activities.

What a great way to remember such an inspiring, creative human mobilisation, instigated to rise against those that would happily dismiss cosmopolitan landscapes, and the passions spawned within, while also eagerly allowing for the destruction of biodiversity and the ancient lineage of guardians within.

Included on the DOIC double album are Northern NSW’s Amino Acid, Fatty VS Mo and Snake- Thing. From Sydney are Mashy P, Rob Joyner, Sample Minds, Grumblemash, Black- Chanterelle, Non Bossy Posse, Electric Teepee, Itch-E & Scratch-E, Insectoid, Ben- Binary, Monkey Marc, Combat Wombat, D7’s, Ali Currung, Charlie McMahon, King- Rataxes, Cherry2000, Svelt, Massive, Fuji Collective, Isaax, Daniel Thomson, Philippe- Vincent, Phantom Harmonies and many more.


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