Sydney live music icon The Basement is set to return from the grave, following a surprise intervention from a Melbourne musician and business owner.
Albert Dadon, who runs Melbourne jazz club Bird’s Basement, has bought up the name and assets of the legendary Sydney venue — which shut its doors suddenly last month — and he apparently plans to reopen it ASAP.
However, Dadon has also told Broadsheet that he “doubts very much” whether he’ll renew the lease on The Basement’s current Circular Quay premises, meaning the venue will be relocating to a brand new home after more than 40 years.
“I was saddened to see The Basement close its doors,” Dadon says in an official statement. “It was a loss to the cultural health of the city and Australia. I hope that with the help of those who are committed to retain and reinvigorate Sydney’s music scene we will find an ideal new location of The Basement.”
The property developer (and keen jazz guitarist) has further confirmed that he’s looking to reestablish the new club either “in the CBD or very close to it” and model it off his Bird’s Basement venue in Melbourne, which was established in 2016 as a sister venue to the legendary Manhattan club, Birdland.
“The idea is to do something like Bird’s Basement in Sydney,” he said. “It would be good to have a place where there is a hotel in close proximity or the bar of a hotel above the club.
“It’s a tough space but we are doing it well in Melbourne and we think we can do it well in Sydney,” he continued, adding that the new venue’s food menu would be upgraded to make it “second to none”.
Not only was The Basement a Sydney live music institution, it was also the oldest jazz and blues club in Australia, and news of its shock closure was met with massive public outcry, including a #savethebasement rally at state parliament.
And while it seems the venue’s legacy will now continue, at least in name only, what will end up happening to its physical remains at 7 Macquarie Place remains to be seen.