Melbourne’s live music scene is only as good as the number of patrons that fill the many awesome venues we’re lucky enough to have. And even as good as the owners who look after these little goldmines.
Melbourne’s live music scene has suffered some blows, what with last year’s closure of The Arthouse, the uncertain future of the Prince of Wales Hotel band room in St Kilda due to new ownership, and now the East Brunswick Club is closing its doors at the end of February.
Two years ago we saw the SLAM (Save Live Australian Music) rally, with a 20,000+ strong crowd, march through Melbourne’s CBD (to AC/DC’s Long Way To The Top!) along with many well known musicians, in response to the detrimental effects liquor licensing laws to curb city violence were having on small live music venues in particular, the closure of The Tote kicking it all off.
What seems to have come from the first SLAM protest in 2010 is a stronger live music scene and a community more appreciative of our live music culture, with local support growing. Many new and re-vamped smaller venues are now setting the stage for some decent live music. And as we saw with the Tote, if we cry loud enough, sense will prevail!
Watch: Scenes, interviews and speeches from the SLAM rally in Melbourne, 23 February 2010.
SLAM are calling on live music communities all over Australia to unite and support live music culture on 23 February 2012, the two year anniversary of the pivotal rally, by hosting National SLAM Day live gigs and encouraging live music fans to get out there and support their local artists and venues in the area. Visit http://www.slamrally.org/ for a list of gigs being held on SLAM Day in your state.
I also highly recommend getting your arse to the East Brunswick Club for an intimate gig and pre-gig palma before doors close. Check out http://eastbrunswickclub.com/ for gigs and tickets.
Mr Paul Kelly summed up the importance of our live music culture pretty well when he spoke at the SLAM rally two years ago:
“You don’t learn how to write a song at school, you don’t do a Tafe course on how to play in front of an audience, small venues were my university. I still go to music pubs and cafes all the time to do some study…a refresher course”.