It’s been many a year since I darkened Hippo’s door on Garema Place. I had a very strange night there years ago* and always found other places to be thereafter.
But with an unexpected influx of free time I decided to go check it out.
Don’t be fooled, this is not a second night of Bootleg Sessions. The vibe of the bar is very different, as is the crowd that comes in. I’ve never seen so many non-caucasians at a local music event and it was great.
With the audience all perched on low padded stools at least it was easy to see the performers, even in the absence of a stage.
On the night my $5 got me performances by Amazing Brainboy, Glenroy Heights, The Bluffhearts, and The Blue Ruins.
Glenroy Heights was a revelation to me, if you like Elliot Smith you’ll love Glenroy Heights.
The bar staff, (a pair of easy-on-the-eye young ladies) on the other hand, clearly wished the punters would just drop dead and leave them free to facebook on their laptops.
Bar prices are at Hippo’s customary stratospheric level. You may as well just order the cocktails and make a night of it because an $8 Corona won’t satisfy like a mojito.
Anyway if you’re looking for something to do on a Thursday night it’s a classy setting to soak up the music, just make sure you have a couple of cheap drinks before you head in.
Slideshow and reminiscence below:
* So if you’re interested it went a little like this:
It was a Friday night and it felt like a million people were crammed into the small room that is Hippo.
As much as anything I remember a haze of cologne, perfume, incense, and the sickly sweet stench of drying liqueurs. I was blurry from a string of gin and tonics and sweltering in the extreme heat that only too many bodies crammed together can generate.
Somewhere in all that I was talking to a well presented woman still in her power suit from her office. Some time around midnight she suggested I come back to her place to keep talking.
In the taxi back to her apartment in Belconnen she kept poking me with her sharp fingernails saying “We’re just going to talk”. I kept agreeing, as much as to stop the poking. I was starting to wonder what the hell I was getting myself into.
Somewhat predictably the minute we were through her door she was ripping my clothes off.
What followed was a nightmarish succession of tears, vomit, punching (of me, not by me), screaming, and occasional moments of intimacy.
As the sun rose she finally fell asleep and I quietly dressed and made it away on my toes hiking 10k back to my place of that time.
I’ve never been quite the same man after that.
Very little of that is actually Hippo’s fault, but it certainly made me nervous. Last night was just good music and good times with good people.