On a roll from their success in Sydney, News commenced a fierce round of work back home. Their first show back was at Bernhardt's with Young Charlatans on April 11th. On the 16th, they played to hundreds at a Movement Against Uranium Mining (MAUM) fund-raising benefit at the Collingwood Town Hall. The bill also included Sports and XRayZ.
On the 18th they were playing Bernhardt's again, supported by the Proles. News and The Proles were connected in many ways; Gavin knew their guitarist, and News had inspired The Proles to the point where they were musically influenced by them. The Proles also had a political stance, lyrically and practically. "They modelled themselves on us - they had the same kind of sound for a while, then our paths diverged. They weren't bad" [Gavin]. John Murphy also remembers The Proles well: "They played a lot of the same bills as us and came to our gigs. They weren't quite as proficient, but quite a good band". Most of the bands that were playing Bernhardt's, especially News and The Proles, were followed by a crowd that constituted a different tendency in the Melbourne scene. They were not at all fashionable, unlike many followers of other Melbourne bands. "We had plenty of people that came to gigs, people that weren't as much into the dressing up side. They were more alternative than the hairdresser crowd that went to see Boys Next Door, a bit more political" [John].
For News, political concern was even manifest as opposition
to local punks aping the English fetish of wearing swastikas.
Julie told the Melbourne Times: "I think it's frightening.
They don't know what they're getting into" [2.78]. The subject
was covered in the News song '
'. Julie was also practicing a kind of feminism, especially
as it related to women in music - she encountered some opposition
to the idea of a girl being in a punk band and answered it thus:
"Fuck you mate! I'm going to play music and it can be fast
and loud if that's what I want!" [National Student 10.78].
In the same interview, Julie explained how basic politics and
being involved with, call it what you like Punk, New Wave reflects
the changes that are going on in the society generally. "Political
concerns however were never meant to be most of what News were
about. As Gavin told Spurt: "People step on our toes, as
the Fraser Government has; but we're not going to take it lying
down, we're going to fight back. But, we want to keep it Pop!"
[4.5.78]. As he told me:
As he told me: "Always the first thing was the band, the music". At the same time, bubblegum covers were still in the set, now including a version of 'Green Tambourine'! In between writing dozens of punk/pop songs, Gavin was also working on 'Salome', a rock opera!