12 months ago PBS was ramping up for another exciting week of Drive Live with 15 artists set to play their finest live set for both a studio audience and all the PBS listeners out in radio land.

A lot has happened in the past year and for those reasons, and as we start to pack away our Easey St station for the big move to Collingwood Yards, Drive Live will be taking a little rest in 2021.

Instead, we are celebrating live music by pulling together some of our all time favourite Drive Live moments from the last ten years. And we are kicking off with the words of PBS Production Manager Paul Maybury...

Have a favourite memory of Drive Live you’d like to share? Scroll to the bottom of the page and drop it in the comment box!


"We all love to throw a party, but it can be nerve wracking! What if no one comes? What if people don’t get along? WHAT IF THEY DON’T LIKE THE MUSIC? Have we stocked up on toilet paper, cups, napkins etc? How much beer should we get in? DO WE HAVE ENOUGH ICE!??

These are all important questions and apply equally to PBS’s Drive Live week long live music party every February. Now that sounds fine and reasonable if you say it fast.

But I’ll say it again slowly. Week. Long. Live. Music. Party.

Phew, can you imagine? What were we thinking! Really, this the best fun time at PBS! We get to invite people into the station and show them how we do radio. And not just any radio, but LIVE MUSIC BROADCASTING! 3 bands over 2 hours, every day for a week.

It’s a time when all of our departments pull together for one event, when the goal of every working day is to throw a fantastic party, and make the performers feel and sound great! Like any great party, you want to have a diversity of people and entertainment. You want something for everyone. No one’s having fun unless everyone’s having fun, right? A LOT of work goes into achieving this every year. Also like any party that you throw, you don’t register how much fun it was until it is over, the empties have been recycled, the tables wiped clean, the dishes done and the last of the revellers are seen off in a taxi safely. It’s good to look back and reflect on the all the amazing artists who have lent their talents to this great cause." Paul Maybury, PBS Production Manager


"Watching Kid Koala beat juggle two identical records at the same time. Turntable's switched off – just his fingers and the vinyl – magic. He PLAYED those turntables. Made'em sing and dance. Mouth dropped. Never seen anything like it." Ruari, FANG IT!


"I have so many Afterglow favourite Drive Live moments. When Hiatus Kaiyote performed in 2014 just after their song 'Nakamarra' was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance. They were on cloud nine and gushing with excitement, it was such a special time for them. In 2018, we had powerhouse vocalist Kaiit perform just before she completely exploded into the neo-soul scene. She looked incredible, styled to the max and so confident and talented. In 2020, there was the heaving rhythmic vibes of the Public Opinion Afro Orchestra – so much sweaty dancing, both inside the studio from the band and all of us in the crowd! And then there was the next level performance of Cash Savage and The Last Drinks in 2017 – when I swear I thought Cash was going to go through the glass and spill out into the crowd the delivery was so powerful. The crowd were on their feet and responding like fire! I will miss walking through the crowd this year and meeting members who turn up for these special occasions, that's always a magic moment. Chatting and sharing the room with other music lovers. Being the last one at Easey St too, damn. Next year - 2022 is going to be HUGE!" Lyndelle Wilkinson, The Afterglow


Cash Savage and The Last Drinks tearing down the studio walls:



"A lot of my favourite moments have been interviewing the artist who just played in studio 5 with my in-studio musicians providing live background music. Interviewing Sampa The Great with live classical piano backing from Evelyn Ida Morris. Interviewing Gentle Ben with the full Ukeladies Orchestra in the room providing a lush cocoon. I also have fond memories of both BJ Morriszonkle and Waterfall Person doing their inimitable things in studio 2, being ignored by most of the crowd who had just watched some popular group in Studio 5 but blowing the minds of a curious few who were crowded around." Richie 1250, Stone Love


"I broke my wrist in late January 2019, only one week before Drive Live. During the week-long mini-festival, as my PBS colleagues and wrangled the bands in and out of Studio 5, I would cheekily ask the musicians to sign my cast. They were all so good-humoured and generous about it and I was lucky enough to have my cast signed by some true legends of the Melbourne music scene. Sadly, there wasn’t enough space to have every member of the 17-person Public Opinion Afro Orchestra sign it, but I did get a lovely message from Sampa who wrote, 'You are great! Sampa The Great.'" Firas Massouh, PBS Music Coordinator


Watch Sampa's performance of 'Flowers' now:

Sampa The Great 'Flowers' (featuring Remi) - DRIVE LIVE 2019


"Early days before I even had a show on PBS, I would volunteer at most Drive Live nights. The thing I loved about them was that I would see bands I had never heard of. The real up and comers of the Melbourne music scene. The announcers and station have always done such a great job of curating an eclectic showcase of talent - the next wave of artists. I remember seeing post punk outfit Hi-Tec Emotions and loving how catchy their songs were; the pure mastery of solo artist Corin, who I am still a fan of today; and having my ears assaulted in the best of ways by Tropical Fuck Storm. My first ever Drive Live as a radio host is something I'll never forget. I had been a fan of opening act Jaala for a long time, and her set was so unexpectedly tender. Every night is special in that small space which transforms itself from 5pm five nights of the week in Feb!" Elle Young, Headhunters


Tropical Fuck Storm 'You Let My Tyres Down' - DRIVE LIVE 2018


"I’ve witnessed Drive Live since it first began and there are a lot of highlights such as emerging talents: Waterfall Person, Habits, Kaiit, Murlocs teamed with bonafide legends like Spencer P Jones, I could go on. Once year we had a volunteer who was an international student. She caught Kim Salmon for the first time. Upon viewing his explosive solo performance she stood and declared “Yes! This is what it’s f$%n all about!” But the biggest highlight for me is the convergence of musical communities coming together in one place, musicians, punters, PBS listeners, industry folk, live music boffins, hangers on and their friends. Where would we be without the real stars – the volunteers who helped run the show? They may be behind the mic, greeted you at the doors, served you at the bar or the merch desk? Then there’s the behind the scenes crew, social media, interns, soundies, photographers, videographers. We had a time, and that time was FUN. What a privilege to be there, and part of it in music mad Melbourne." Mara Williams, PBS Volunteers Coordinator


"I loved the diversity of music coming out of Studio 5 during Firewater for Drive Live last year. Birdz was absolutely incredible, really clever and powerful rhymes - he owned the space. Angie McMahon gives me goosebumps every time I hear her voice and she sounded even more amazing live on the radio. Such a contrast to Bad//Dreems who tore it up with fun rock n roll that left both the band and the packed out audience in the PBS office space sweaty. All three of the bands have really impactful songs in different ways, telling stories through their songs in styles that work for them and connect us as listeners. I loved being able to showcase that in a live space that sounds ace and being able to see the studio audience enjoying it at the same time is nice. Drive Live is always really fun and that 2020 was a standout for me." Claire Stuchbery, Firewater


Angie McMahon performing 'Keeping Time' at Drive Live 2020:

Angie McMahon 'Keeping Time' - DRIVE LIVE 2020


"Trying to nominate a single highlight after more than 100 Drive Live performances in my time at PBS is an exercise in futility...every Drive Live has been a highlight. Possibly my most memorable Drive Live moment though was the magnificent set from Ben Frost in 2015. Frost requested a very specific, and very big amplifier for the session. We put the call out on social media and within hours a PBS listener (thanks Miles!) dropped off an amp about the size of a commercial refrigerator. Ben plugged in, turned it up and delivered a set of jaw-dropping intensity. I’m sure the cracks in the plaster here at PBS date back to that session in Feb 2015!" Owen Mckern, PBS Programming Manager


"Watching Private Function tearing up studio 5 live during Fang It! a couple of years ago. Phil (the prince of darkness)


"Peep Tempel doin their 'Tales' set." Nico Tooze