Heading south of the lake for music struck many cloistered Inner Northicans as a strange idea.
But for the tribute concert to the late great Baterz (who’s ghost can still be heard doing 2XX promos) we were willing to take a chance.
No-one was willing to drive so a cunning plan was hatched to meet at The Phoenix, catch the Drunk Uncles set, and then get a taxi to the Italian Club in Forrest where the gig was to be held in the Folkus Room.
Slightly late the taxi was piled into and we were seamlessly delivered to the venue.
My first impression was “wow, this is a really big room and a big stage”. I’ve become used to bands playing in corners and the bass player decapitating anyone trying to get to the toilet.
My second impression was that everyone was sitting down around tables as at a formal dinner.
My third impression was that we were late. Music that one can be late to is not a concept one normally encounters in the micro venues of the north. I was even startled to be informed as to where my seat was.
Live music events in the Inner North normally involved people standing at the back talking, people in the middle sitting intently and listening, and people up the front dancing.
Here the whole audience was in the sitting and listening mode. Talking people were asked to be quiet.
For an event marketed as “great big squiddy fun” it wasn’t quite what I had in mind, although maybe the squid do prefer being a passive audience.
It’s not a criticism at all. A big audience solely engaged in listening to the music is a wonderful thing. It just took some adjusting to. They really do thing differently south of the water.
Up on stage the music provided all the madcap hysteria one would expect from a tribute to Baterz. Songs about hanging out in Target for the air conditioning, teenage face sucking and goonbag swilling, giant squid, arms turning into crabs, and the social niceties of heroin addiction.
The bands mixed, matched, and interchanged constantly.
The amazing tribute CD, featuring the likes of Tex Perkins and Deborah Conway, is available from Fizzygo Records.
UPDATED: As promised here’s some video of the night. If you like what you hear you’ll love the tribute album: