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This Is Northern New South Wales

Sensory Feast



It is common for musicians to be magnetically drawn to music throughout their lives and Pat Davern is no exception. He began to play the guitar at age ten, the driving force growing ever stronger throughout high school and his adult life. Pat formed Grinspoon with Phil Jamieson, Joe Hanson and Kristian Hopes in 1995 after the members’ own groups split up in Lismore. Grinspoon thrived, winning the inaugural Triple J Unearthed with their song ‘Sickfest’ and later on, the coveted ARIA award for Best Rock Album.

Pat’s love for music has continued during Grinspoon’s hiatus – announced in December 2014 – with involvement in the Music Farm, the legendary studio set up between Pat and local artists Pete Murray, and Kurtis Rettenmaier who sings with Flight Facilities. You will also find Pat performing around Byron Shire with covers band The Hombres. When I asked about his current side projects, most are linked in one way or another to that original passion. “As a musician, you never stop doing music,” he said. Pat’s latest endeavour is Bangalow Books and Music, which he opened with partner Katya soon after daughter Frankie started day care.


More than a store, Bangalow Books and Music is at the forefront of a creative collective – literally and figuratively – at Station Street Studios where tenants include ceramicist Anna Karina Elias, graphic designers, Raw Vintage, and Byron Bay School of Art. The eclectic shop stocks a wide selection of vinyl and art books, stationary and music essentials from all over the globe. What makes this place so special is its boutique international products: Project Audio turntables from Austria, adorable Delfonics pencil cases from Japan, Palomino pencils from California, and poster wrapping paper from AHD Paper Co. Katya has sourced some stunning coffee table books that include anthologies from eminent galleries such as the TATE and MOMA as well as amazing works by artists and photographers including Peter Beard, Horace Gifford and Wes Anderson.



One of the shop’s specialties is its wide range of guitars – mostly geared towards beginners – all hand picked by Pat. The decision to stock acoustic rather than electric is a purposeful one. “We didn’t want to scare people off buying books with a guy on a loud electric guitar,” said Pat, who favours old-fashion nylon strings and vinyl records. This is echoed in a music selection that covers all genres from Country, Soul, Jazz, Blues and Roots to Hip Hop, Pop and Alternative Rock. Think old classics like Michael Jackson and The Beatles, to new phenomenon’s Alt- J, Pond, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. “Because we live so much of our lives online, people are going back to things that are tactile, that they can hold. They appreciate something simple like a vinyl record or an authentic art book,” Pat explained. Added Katya: “We have thirteen-year-old kids buying their first vinyl and others adding to their already large collections,” she said. “There’s something for everyone in here.”

Pat and Katya have made Bangalow Books and Music their own by embracing so many aspects of the artistic world. Walking out of the shop, I felt inspired, wanting to feed my creativity and produce. They’ve pulled together something truly wonderful, which will be greatly appreciated by the local community.

Writer: Common Ground Intern Jahlia Solomon
Photographer: Veda Dante

Bangalow Books and Music Shop
Station Street Studios
2, 10 Station Street Bangalow, New South Wales
Phone (02) 6687 1592

Rock’n’Roll Is Where I Hide
5pm-7pm Tuesday the 31st of March
Photography exhibition by Common Ground co-founder Kirra Pendergast
Featuring live music, drinks by Stone & Wood

Guitar Lessons
Starting after Easter and running during school terms. Call 6687 1592 or drop in to the shop to book a spot with Pat

Book Signing and Q&A
In late April/May Ex-Rolling Stones/Grateful Dead tour manager Sam Cutler will be participating in a Q&A with Pat Davern to promote his book You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Check for bookings and availability.