Urban Guerillas

Urban Guerillas are an independent rebel rock outfit based in Sydney, Australia.

Formed by singer/songwriter/guitarist Ken Stewart, the Urban Guerillas sprang out of the pub, punk scene in Adelaide, South Australia, in the eighties. Through various lineups the band has experimented and grown in prowess and stature continues to front up as an energetic and formidable live performance unit. Playing their own brand of relentless rockin' power pop they predominately run their own tours and shows but have also shared the stage with Mental As Anything, Spy Vs Spy, Baby Animals, Mark Seymour, the Radiators, the Screaming Jets and the New Christs, and toured Melbourne with the Saints. 


The Urban Guerillas have a strong sense of social engagement with their songs often providing a focus at rallies and on the coal face of change. They have played at Sydney Airport to 6,000 workers stranded when Ansett Airlines collapsed, Peace Rallies in Sydney and Brisbane, No Racism, No War Rally to 50,000 people in Sydney's Domain, Corroboree Sovereignty for indigenous rights in Canberra, Woomera 2002 Festival of Freedoms, May Day celebrations of worker's rights, National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration and the Hiroshima Day Rally.


They have also played for Greenpeace, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Wilderness Society including Rock for Rights at the SCG with the Hoodoo Gurus, Missy Higgins, Richard Clapton and Youthgroup. The band has recently released an EP “My Kind" with songs inspired by, the dreams, frustrations and passions of working Australians struggling to make sense of the globalizing economy and the disturbing evolution of elitists' politicians.  "Viva la Revolucion!"


The Urban Guerillas are Ken Stewart guitar / vocals, Phil Paviour bass / vocals and Mick Elsley drums / vocals. 


-- Get to know our sub musos -- 

First time you ever listened to 4ZZZ:

October 2001 when the Urban Guerillas first played in Brisbane

First time you were ever played on 4ZZZ :

1987 with "Here Come the Americans"

First gig you ever played:

Tivioli Hotel in Adelaide January 1981

Funniest on-stage f##k up:  

Stage f##k ups are never funny at the time but hilarious afterwards.  Maybe the time all the set lists were different and we each started on a different song. Luckily all in the same key. A quick look around and we straightened up on the vocal lines.

If you could play with one band/muso (dead or alive) in the 4ZZZ carpark who +why:

Not too interested in jamming with a corpse and jamming with someone bought back from the dead would freak me out a bit. But if I was transported to a time when they were all alive it would be Joe Strummer from the Clash.

Why Joe Strummer and the Clash. I like the non-genre approach to music and his ability to have a style of music that fit the temperament and the location of the song in time and physical place.

What is the kewlest/ most definitive feature of  your group/ musical project?  Urban Guerillas, like the Clash, the Jam, Midnight Oil and Spy V Spy are able to present accessible pop / punk / rock music without any adherence to any formula but rather a song that reflects the world in which it was created. The politics of the day are entwined with the moment of inspiration, frustration or celebration of the moment. The kewlest part is that serious entertainment communicated well can be a load of fun for both the band and the audience.

If you were to turn out your pockets at the end of a tour, what is the most common thing you would find?

Jim Dunlop 88 plectrums

If you/your band/your music took the form of an emoji, which one would it be: There isn't one that covers the spectrum of emotions. It would need to show focus, determination and joy with the tongue planted firmly in the cheek.