Almost a year ago I wrote this fairly impassioned piece regarding the state of hardcore music in this country, and internationally. It did the rounds and was generally met with murmurs of agreement. We’re now one year on and I’m currently living in the heart of the Fortitude Valley. In my limited time here I have seen the best and worst it has had to offer. I’ve woken up with used syringes and broken glass on my balcony, and I’ve experience the homelessness problem afflicting the town and the constant dangers of the 3am lockout at play. With all that said I’ve never really felt all that threatened. Then last night happened.
So I went for a nice dinner with my mother out in the ‘burbs (I had lamb shanks in a rich jus and mash, fucking delicious by the way) and came back to catch the end of a small gig at the Jubilee hotel. All pretty standard so far for an evening in the life of Thomas. The gig finishes and I accompany a friend on her adventure for a late night slice we’re forced to walk through the valley metro, out the front and onto the main drag. Already it is fairly obvious that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark, so to speak. Then I remember, “Ah… Amity Affliction”.
I’m fairly used to Police presence in The Valley but I’ve never seen them so prolific before. A few Paddy-wagons line the street and a few more out the front of the normally crowded Police Beat. The fuzz mill around as if in wait, “an overreaction surely” I think.
More an annoyance at this point than anything else, we’re swamped by neck tattoo’d thugs leering and flexing to impress the complete lack of attractive women around. We narrowly dodge the start of a small brawl between a pack of bogans and Straight edgers and continue on our way. We pick up some pizza and walk back down Brunswick street to turn into Alfred. Its about 11:20 (if I recall) and clearly the flood gates have opened. The first thing I notice walking past the front of the Valley metro again is a man angry but subdued, an open wound on his head bleeding profusely surrounded by a bevy of Brisbane’s finest.
Walking further down the street and past The Globe it becomes more apparent the extent of the ruckus. Corner after corner, be-fringed miscreants loiter, some being questioned by police, other sitting calmly with their hands zip-tied behind their back. Arrogant shouting punctuates the disquiet like artillery fire. Not drunk, happy shouting either. This is the aggressive and discomforting shout of a sober man not getting laid tonight.
Finally as we reach my turn off, I feel a small splash underfoot only to realize I’ve just trodden in the pool of blood collecting near the gutter. Looking around a police officer cringes at me and beckons us to leave. I get home, lock the door and thank all that is holy that I don’t have to go out there again tonight.
So that is a relatively unbiased recollection of my evening. Now, onto my opinion.
Get the fuck out of my town you cock nosed, arrogant little pricks. You want to fuck each other up? Go to your unfortunate venue and do it. Don’t you dare pollute my streets with your aggressive, homoerotic displays of masculinity because I will not put up with it. I don’t care that you came all the way from Toowoomba for this, you are a piece of shit for contributing to the already dangerous conditions of the Valley at night. Anyone that knows me, know that I can be quite distrusting of the police, but they’re a necessary evil and you putting even further stress on their under budgeted department hurts them, it hurts you and me and guess what else? It hurts local music.
You’re all big fucking proponents of that I’m told. Save the local scene you say? Go home and jerk off to isanyoneup.com because you’re a hindrance and a nuisance. Leaving your venue to wet your whistle elsewhere? Hurry up and do it, Snitch is just a few hundred meters away and just aching to separate you from your centrelink money so you can drink and bitch about how bad everyone else there is in the sack. To make this town more dangerous en masse by your presence alone? This is worthy of a solid kick to the nuts and/or the fleshy patch where your sack used to be before that unfortunate windmilling incident.
That’s all I have to say on the matter.
O, and go fuck yourselves.
O me o my what long time it has been since I’ve felt compelled to satisfy my borderline nonexistent audience. Apologies for those that missed me, an antagonistic sentiments that feel I wasn’t gone long enough. The primary reason for my absence has been my organisation of Dr Strangerawk. I recently turne the big 21 and this is to be my birthday party. In a bid to avoid embarrassing stories, photo montages and riotous drunk relatives I have taken my party into my own hands and decided to use it as a great excuse to organize my first ever gig. This entry is to chronicle exactly how it went down, things I learnt, and things I would do different next time. Part I is written on the 11th of November, 2 days before the actual event. Part II will come into formation after it all is finished and I can succinctly surmise the whole ordeal.
Because I am nothing if not brash, I jumped in headfirst from a logical angle. I knew I wanted a gig that could be a bit rowdy, it needed to be as cheap as possible an accessible to anyone and everyone. I started gathering quotes from venues. I found that even 4 months in advance many venues were prebooked with club nights. I settled on The Jubilee Hotel (upstairs) with the reasonable cost of $300 for both room and PA (and use of sound engineer). My target audience is familiar with the venue and most of (if not all) my favorite bands have played sets there. As for the bands…
I wanted it to be my perfect gig. A gig I would see and think “christ almighty thats going to be a fun night”. I contacted 5 bands, 4 of whom confirmed. I’m lucky enough to be dealing with friends in this instance, guys that are some of my best friends or at least friendly acquaintances which has made the process much easier. The unreliable band stereotype has not (yet) proved to be accurate. Featuring on the evening shall be Whiskey and Speed, The Jon Experiment, The Vampers, and D Rouser and the Dastardly Duo. Casual readers will know just how much I fucking love these bands.
I opted for a simple, easy to remember run order, as below.
7:30 – 8:00 doors + soundcheck
8:00 – 8:40 Whiskey and Speed
8:40 – 9:00 Setup and Soundcheck
9:00 – 9:40 Jon Experiment
9:40 – 10:00 Setup and Soundcheck
10:00 – 10:40 The Vampers
10:40 – 11:00 Setup and Soundcheck
11:00 – 11:40 – D Rouser
Promotion was probably the easiest (but labor intensive) aspect of the process. I had a rather talented graphic designer willing to do a flyer for me as a favor, however this feel through as his schedule was too busy to commit, which is perfectly understandable for a chap of his skill and profession. I begrudgingly decided I would try my hand at designing my own flyer, keeping close to the overriding theme of Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove.
Lazily (and effectively if you ask me) I simply modified the original Dr Strangelove poster with all the information required. I began digital promotion well ahead of time, encouraging the bands to do the same. Facebook is my friend, to say the least. I can’t stress enough the usefulness of this tool for budding promoters/organizers such as myself. I had not intended on any physical promotion, but was able to secure 800 A5 flyers for a very reasonable price (a bottle of Makers Mark) from a generous friend in the industry. In the past few weeks I have painted the town red with these flyers hitting every gig and store I frequent en masse.
All that remains so far are the small details, organizing a door person (again a recruited, reliable friend), and a sound engineer. My only faux pas thus far is not organising a backline, and in all honestly I was unsure how to do so. I’m hoping this won’t be a problem, only time will tell.
That is all for now. I’ll see you on the other side friends.
Welcome back! Well, what a weekend it was. I half expected to come back to you with tales of woe and disaster, about how everything collapsed at the last minute and how amazingly lame the whole evening was. It was not. It was fucking bitchin’. The folk at the Jubilee such as Gareth (manager) and Zack (our bartender) were just fantastically accommodating and patient with the antics that occured. Belle, the Jube’s sound engineer was happy to help on the decks, but also happy to stand back and let my guys do their thing. The bands were on time, friendly and professional (or as professional as dirty punks can be). We sung, and danced and drank until our hearts were content. Finally, and least importantly, I made my money back (with a little bit on the side), which really leads me to think I should be running more gigs as I essentially got a free night out with my best friends and favorite bands.
If nothing else, this should stand as a testament to the fact that the music industry in Brisbane is in the hands of the punters. Nobody has an excuse to say there is nothing to do on a weekend. If there isn’t anything to do, make yourself something to do. Call some bands, call some venues, these people are in the business for the same reason as you are and (most likely) will help wherever they can. This city lives off its DIY culture, and organizing gigs is just one more facet to that. It could well be the start of something wonderful.
In conclusion, rape.
Because I’m one lazy sumbitch, please find attached a review I did of Strike Anywhere when they were recently in Brisbane. It was intended to be in the launch issue of hysteria magazine, but wasn’t afford the space this time but hey, we won’t hold that against them. You should definitely tear it up this Friday night at Shed5 for the launch party.
Also, I’ve broken down and created a page, for this here little digital tome. I’m a little startled that it took off as well as it did, so if you’re one of the very few readers that aren’t on my Facebook anyway, you should like it and you’ll be regularly updated with news of my new posts, and other links I find of interest. Also, anyone that “likes” this page will receive discounted entry to a gig I’m running on November, but more on that later. Without further ado, for your consideration, punk rock.
As may have been apparent, I’ve been feeling particularly uninspired lately, having little to ponder since the Dead of Winter festival. A creative spark has flared again but, in the wake of a gig held on Saturday afternoon, in a little carpark in the far corner of Fortitude Valley.
I’ve a strange taste in my mouth today. Its difficult to describe, tangy but entirely ineffable. Tastes like a million peoples hands, wallets and cocaine. O yeah I know that taste, its my mother fucking money. My money and my mouth are to become one, in what is my promise to any and all readers of this tribute to selfindulgent musical romanticism.
Its been an idea in the pipeline of my mind for some time now, that while I do criticise (at length) the multitude of anuses (anii?) of the Brisbane music, I don’t show just how much time I’ve spent TRYING to enjoy the things I really don’t enjoy at all. As such I, Thomas Fiend am attending… a rave.
One of my oldest friends recently invited me to a gig of his, to be held at the X and Y bar. I jumped at the chance, never having previously had the opportunity to see a gig since his old experimental (to put it lightly) highschool endeavour The Ortons. Lewis, as he is now known, seems to have been making quite a name for himself in the indie community, having up until recently been a member of the much lauded Swamplords (who’re soon to be supporting BlueJuice at the hi fi). However now he is making his own music with his self titled effort Lewis O’Leary and the cucumbers. Supporting on the evening was another band I was unsurprisingly unfamiliar with, going by the moniker Knee Chin.