It was a variable first birthday for the Canberra Musicians Club on Saturday night.
The new venue of McGregor Hall (Corner of Marcus Clarke and Barry Drive in the city) has a lot going for it.
Unusually for a hall it has a high gabled ceiling which does wonders for the sound (at least compared to long, low ceilings).
The set up was good with lots of space for the bar and gear room for the bands.
And the bands brought the excellence we’ve almost come to take for granted on the local music scene.
On the down side, it’s a really big room. So a crowd that would have made The Front or Phoenix seem packed were a little sparse when spread across the wider landscape. Howling arctic weather probably kept some punters home on the night too.
Worse yet a city location brings city problems. I had left around 1am but there was trouble with large gatecrashers later, which saw a club member (who was also an off-duty police officer) hospitalised with what one witness described as “A head exploded like a pumpkin”.
(Cat scans have shown no serious damage and once the bruising goes down and the stitches are out he should be as good as new.)
RiotACT has contacted the CMC for comment and will publish it when we receive it, but we understand that an unfortunately needed upgrade of security is now planned.
It would be a very great shame if thugs are able to drive music out of the city centre.
(Slideshow of the bands below, all photographs courtesy of the wonderful ‘Pling)