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Rethinking Dickson Tradies – the Austen Tayshus monologue

By Furry Jesus - 20 December 2010 23

I discovered last week that Austen Tayshus was appearing at the Dickson Tradies last Friday, so I decided to get a ticket. A friend did some publicity work for him in Adelaide recently and raved to me about him, and I saw him on tv recently on a banal reality show about aspiring standup comedians in which he reduced one of them to tears, so I thought this has to be worth a look, even in that dive. I haven’t been there since my only visit in 1995, when I had the worst meal of my entire life, with a ham steak that appeared to be a mass of barely ham-flavoured pieces of string glued together, and vegetables that had long ago lost their will to live in that bain-marie. I still shudder…

I couldn’t book online, so I had to go there to get my ticket. Imagine my surprise to find that the whole place is being renovated, and is actually looking quite modern, with more light than the interior has seen since it first opened.  There’s even a new chef running the bistro, although its new name (Essence by Livio) sounds more like a skin cream than a place to eat.

I was also surprised to find out that they were offering a ‘two for the price of one’ deal on the tickets, which immediately alerted me to the fact that tickets weren’t moving well. As the man himself had publcily threatened to knife my friend when only 20 people turned up to one of the shows he did in SA, I thought that the prospect of blood on the floor was getting better and made a mental note to sit up the back when we got there.

Sadly, as they used to say in merry old England, you can’t make a silk purse out of a cow’s ear. The food at Livio’s wasn’t too bad, although the fact that the ‘legendary’ Tradies schnitzels are still on the menu was an ominous sign. At least the salad in the salad bar looked fresh and edible, unlike the sad offerings I found last time I was at the Southern Cross Club at Woden. The choice of wines was woeful for this town and this day and age, although the bar is a small temporary one and stuck in a corner. This may improve when the new and much larger bar area is finished.

The inadequate publicity, and I assume the lingering reputation of the Tradies, meant that only 8 tickets were sold, and the club management attempted to pad the audience with a number of Tradies staff and regulars being offered free admission.  It was obvious that Tayshus was pretty pissed off from the start, so the smattering of drunks and patrons with questionable mental health histories who attempted to heckle gave the rest of us a good view of the man’s capacity for savage mockery. Why the management had staff sitting there was a mystery, particularly when he kept segueing into caustic diatribes about what a god-forsaken place the Tradies is. The two young guys I saw him talking to before the show started, who looked like junior management, were not enjoying themselves, that’s for sure, although the other young floor staff were having a great time watching them squirm.

The new look might win them some accolades, but they have a hell of a long way to go in turning the Tradies around, and making it a place that will attract new members.  Still, can you have a better time than watching  a drunk  tip over the table he’s sitting on and end up on the floor drenched in the beer from all the glasses that fell off with him?

What’s Your opinion?

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23 Responses to
Rethinking Dickson Tradies – the Austen Tayshus monologue
New Yeah 6:41 pm 20 Dec 10

I have spent many hours at the Tradies, starting in 1985 when we used to go in for a Pepsi after riding on the BMX track next door. Its charms were always dubious, but you can’t beat having a meal in a Tram for ambience. And a club with a bike museum, good stuff.

I went back in about 2006 and unfortunately many of the trams were gone. What a loss! Canberra needs less identi-clubs, not more.

EvanJames 5:20 pm 20 Dec 10

Polishing a turd, once again. They spend a fortune club-ifying what was an adequate club, while they miss the main point: Food. Good, cheap club food. Everyone loved the schnitzels, why did they change that?

When they dispensed with good food and began serving inedible rubbish, they lost their market. Whoever was responsible for that stupidity should be outed and abused.

sepi 4:50 pm 20 Dec 10

Noone goes to the Tradies for modernity of decor and cutting edge food.

In trying to gain that market they have just lost all their original customers, and haven’t picked up any of the young trendies.

Bring back the trams and the pennyfarthing!

jenny green 4:49 pm 20 Dec 10

No publicity? Facebook was showing me an ad for this gig all last week… Scary what being a fan of Sweet and Sour and Raiders Lime can do…

georgesgenitals 3:55 pm 20 Dec 10

The Tradies is about as interesting and inviting as an office toilet.

imarty 3:10 pm 20 Dec 10

And he was only funny because he had Billy Birmingham’s material…

Mr Intercourse 2:36 pm 20 Dec 10

Austen Tayshus recently “performed” at the Canberra Casino recently as well. Must have been poor ticket sales there as well because they were giving away free tickets

Kerryhemsley 2:35 pm 20 Dec 10

The inadequate publicity, and I assume the lingering reputation of the Tradies, meant that only 8 tickets were sold,

Austen Tayshus should stop lingering. No amount of publicity will help the one trick pony from the early 80s.

johnboy 2:15 pm 20 Dec 10

As someone who was a tradies member for many years after the day of my 18th birthday I just couldn’t be arsed renewing a couple of years ago.

Constant refits scraping away all of the character until nothing is left but an unstatisfactory replica of an airport departure lounge.

shadow boxer 2:10 pm 20 Dec 10

yeh, agreed, my kids used to love going to “the train club”, poke around the bike museum for a while, have a schnitzel in the tram, wander over to macca’s for a 30c soft serve.

We don’t bother anymore, just another sterile bistro now.

gospeedygo 1:32 pm 20 Dec 10

The damage has already been done. God forbid we have at least one interesting place in this town.

Thumper 1:29 pm 20 Dec 10

Austen Tayshus was hilarious!

About 30 years ago….

astrojax 1:21 pm 20 Dec 10

i hope you hung around til gum left… d’oh.

KB1971 12:59 pm 20 Dec 10

As for the food, its a club, not Alto. You pay for what you get & their schnitzels are far better than say at the Chisholm Club on Tuesdays, go there & tell me the Tradies is bad…..

As for Austentayshus, you should have youtubed, you defintatly would have saved your money then. He was only funny onece

Felix the Cat 12:36 pm 20 Dec 10

You are right about no publicity, only eight paying customers! I would of gone if I’d heard about it, not that I’m a fan of the Tradies club bistro either.

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