I’m on the train heading to the city for the Don’t Kill Live Music protest. I’m passionate about live music and doing something to stop the bullshit happening in this city where apparently the rights of developers to build apartments on every square inch of dirt wins over the right of Sydney to be a vibrant city.
It may not be much but I want to lend my voice and my presence to those trying to revitalize, reanimate the live music scene in this city.
Look, in reality, it’s not dead but it’s starting to smell that way and it’s getting harder and harder. Lock out laws and the clamping down on festivals are just some of the ways the live music scene is getting squeezed.
It’s a little poetic that this protest is happening in the week I’ve been to two memorable live gigs; one awesome, one not so much.
On Sunday I went to Frankie’s Pizza in Hunter Street in the city (not an area you’d think would host such a cool live venue) to see the Supersuckers. Man, I’ve been waiting many fucking years to see these guys. For one reason or another I’ve always missed them when they’ve been here before.
(Amusingly last time they played here was at Hughes BBQ and considering my current situation with Mr Hughes…well a story for another day.)
It was such a brilliant night. Firstly Frankie’s is an awesome little venue (reminiscent of Cherry Bar in Melbs). Entry was free. Yep FREE. So the whole evening cost me the price of two G&Ts. No fucking kidding. Oh and some street parking.
The unexpected added bonus was the two support bands. Linking back to my comments about live music…it’s not dead and young people are still making kickass rock&roll (not just that tepid nonsense I catch on Nova occasionally).
The first band Fox Company were brilliant. Really great…and I always have a soft spot for a bass player with rock moves.
Then came Eightball Junkies and wow, the singer takes his job seriously. Sort of a ranga metal Jim Morrison. I didn’t even mind getting covered in beer during one of his performance pieces. (Not overly impressed with the baby groupies flashing their tits at him in front of me.)
Then came the Supersuckers and it was worth the wait. This was their 30th anniversary tour and really they should be much bigger than they are. A serious back catalogue of awesome music ranging from twangy country to full on rock&roll with a few softer detours along the way.
Eddie writes a fucking brilliant song and they are just terribly undervalued imho.
Unhonourable mention to the chick who just had to elbow her way in front of me for Pretty Fucked Up (obviously her theme song)….and then again for Born With A Tail. Then go on to kiss Eddie’s hand at the end. Sigh.
As I walked back to my car at 1:00am through the dark, quiet city streets I thought about how wonderful it was to have seen three such great bands. I felt alive, tingly with excitement, adrenalin, life. If live, hot, sweaty, loud rock&roll isn’t life affirming I don’t know what is.
Hang on a minute. It isn’t life affirming when it’s guys who’ve lost their zing. That’s how I felt on Tuesday night when I rocked up to a much bigger venue (and certainly far from free) to see my beloved Red Hot Chili Peppers.
It’s been a love affair over close to thirty years and I fear this concert may have marked the final chapter. At least of seeing them live.
I don’t want to rip it to shreds but it made me sad. The song list was bland. The stage chemistry flat. I felt nothing and in comparison to how much I felt on Sunday night it was a huge let down.
I have so many great memories of seeing them live…of listening to their music. The disappointment of Tuesday night doesn’t take away from our many years of history.
So here I am on the train. To support the music I love…to defend it in my tiny little way. In the end there’s not many things in life that I love more.