Essendon Airport began as a duo in Melbourne in 1978 with Robert Goodge on guitar and David Chesworth on Wurlitzer electric piano, along with a home-made drum machine bought from the Trading Post.
They performed around Melbourne’s newly emerging post-punk inner city venues such as the Crystal Ballroom, various galleries such as the George Paton and the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre (CHCMC), a venue for experimental music, performance and film during this time.
The duo released the EP Sonic Investigations Of The Trivial in 1979 and Talking To Cleopatra/Lost In Madagascar, a single featuring vocalist Anne Cessna, in 1980 – both on Innocent Records, the label David Chesworth ran with Tch Tch Tch’s Philip Brophy.
Sonic Investigations Of The Trivial was described at the time as ‘…songs which combine many of the most facile and insipid kinds of music in a redeemingly dignified manner…creating new trivia out of old. All this takes place along with a kind of pedantic fetishism for small-repetition games – the music travels in circles, spirals and solid blocks of sameness and difference.’
The band later became a four piece with drums and sax, and finally a five piece with bass, before disbanding in 1983. The 1981 Essendon Airport LP Palimpsest (reissued by Chapter Music in 2011) documents their quartet lineup.
Chapter Music’s reissue of Sonic Investigations Of The Trivial includes both of their singles, a track from the New Music 1978/79 compilation on Innocent Records, and six tracks recorded live at Essendon Airport’s first live performance in 1979.