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No more Devine music

By Kerces - 9 August 2005 31

Tilley’s is closing its doors to regular live music acts at the end of October.

Owner Paulie Higgisson told The Canberra Times (and also here) that it just isn’t viable for her to keep the performance side of the business going.

“Besides the extra staff needed for concerts, there are other associated costs in doing shows – advertising, copyright – that just aren’t covered by the ticket price. We’ve been carrying that now for over 20 years,” she said.

Also because of their policy of no food or drinks served during shows (a policy which is adored by both performers and audiences), gigs tend to be an unproductive time in financial terms for the cafe as well as a pain for people wanting a meal.

With Toast probably also closing down in October it will be a tough time for live music in Canberra. Ms Higgisson said the lack of live music venues in Canberra was a hard part of her decision.

“It’s the reason I’ve put this decision off for a couple of years. Someone does need to do a baton-change with us, but I don’t really see anyone on the horizon. But I’ve come to the realisation that I’m not here to provide wonderful music to the public at any cost; it’s not a public service. I’m just hoping that there’s somebody out there with the stamina and integrity to run that kind of venue.”

Tilley’s will still host the occasional gig, such as during the Multicultural Festival next February, but mainly they’ll just be another inner-north restaurant and cafe. Which could be good news as many potential patrons have been turned off by having to either keep track of the gig timetable or ring and check if they are able to come for a meal.

The final concert series finishes on Sunday 30 October with blues singer Pat Thompson and the Ragtag Jazz Band.

What’s Your opinion?

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31 Responses to
No more Devine music
el 12:58 pm 10 Aug 05

Was anyone else lucky enough to have seen the Dirty Three there? Possibly the best gig I’ve seen in Canberra (toss up w/ Sonic Youth.)

Sad news to hear anyway.

RandomGit 11:53 am 10 Aug 05

You may be able to get an arts grant for that.

My co-worker who sledges Tilley’s mercilessly has been musing on this for some weeks now.

xman 11:20 am 10 Aug 05

Sad to see this happen to Tilley’s. I was obviously oblivious to the “pretentious, conceited, elitist, precious and stuck up” Tilley’s scene. I just went there for a decent feed and to see bands that never seemed to play anywhere else in Canberra.

Some great nights with the Weddos, My Friend the Chocolate Cake, Lucksmiths and Tex. Even Paul Kelly playing bluegrass!

Oh for a spare million to start up a similar venue (size-wise at least!)

Spitfire3 10:48 am 10 Aug 05

David, why is she a stupid fucking dike?

David Heidelberg 9:28 am 10 Aug 05

dyke2 of “dike” ( P ) Pronunciation Key (dk) also dike n. Offensive Slang

Used as a disparaging term for a lesbian.

I hope that you learned something from this. I certainly haven’t. I also have nothing against lesbians; some of my favourite movies feature them prominently.

Rafe 9:09 pm 09 Aug 05

and that should be ‘above’ not ‘baove’ – which is a kind of cow

Rafe 9:08 pm 09 Aug 05

the baove comment is not by Rafe – ID left on computer

Rafe 9:08 pm 09 Aug 05

I think it is “dyke” not “dike” – you total fucking moron. Hope you feel like a big man now you have made a total dick of yourself

Vic Bitterman 8:38 pm 09 Aug 05

Awwww my heart bleeds for the poor lesbians.

David Heidelberg 7:37 pm 09 Aug 05

Stupid fucking dike.

johnboy 6:36 pm 09 Aug 05

Certainly a set day would be good.

Or drop the cover, allow service while the music is playing, and get smaller acts playing for significantly less.

I just hope this doesn’t put pressure on local artists trying to get a show in the remaining venues.

seepi 6:16 pm 09 Aug 05

Very sad. Music nights at Tilleys were great – and often sold out. Counld’ tshe just do Fridays only, and put the prices up?

True Wayfarer 5:01 pm 09 Aug 05

Yes it is a shame there’s to be no more live
acts at Tilleys. The performances staged
were always quite unique and eclectic acts
that wouldn’t necessarily fit in very well
in another venue. Still, it can’t be
forgotten just how pretentious, conceited, elitist, precious and stuck up the entire Tilleys scene is. I do find it incredibly difficult to believe Paulie Higginsons claim that in 21 years she’s never had to call upon an act to peform – they’ve all come to her. Sorry to hear about Toast, too. Brian the Proprietor is such
a lovely guy. So it’s the Waldorf over the road
then, that’s causing continual hassles
for him?

tom_crumz 3:44 pm 09 Aug 05

I don’t think it makes much difference to the local music scene, but a pity about touring acts.

areaman 3:03 pm 09 Aug 05

Sad but understandable. Less understandable is the way Toast is being harassed by the Waldof (through workcover). I’m not a massive Toast guy, but considering the dearth or good venues in Canberra it’s bloody disgrace.

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