Intriguing news in of the expanding music program at Smiths Alternative Bookstore:
The Melbourne Building in Civic is home to some sensational restaurants and cafes and it’s about to have an unlikely new live music venue, under the guise of Smiths Alternative Bookstore.
It’s almost part of the furniture, Smiths books, established in 1976 and a regular hangout for book-lovers, writers and poets to find rare paperbacks, launch their novels or quote their prose.
Recently Smiths expanded its repertoire to include a licensed bar and café and now, it has some mood music to boot. Local outfit Paperback Sessions is starting a series of live music sessions over winter beginning with Karma County’s Brendan Gallagher on Friday, 8 June.
The aim is to bring touring artists in once a month, in an intimate setting that both artists and audiences relish. Smiths Bookstore may be an unconventional live music venue but it’s got a historic, authentic ambiance that you can’t buy. And no pokies.
The cosy store has got all the makings for an alternative musical evening, nestled amidst the bookshelves boasting everything from best-sellers to obscure titles, left-leaning politics, feminism, gay and lesbian issues, paganism and Jungian psychology.
Gallagher has promised us two full sets for the inaugural gig (he hasn’t played in Canberra for almost a decade) and the limited seating guarantees a small crowd that can chat with the two-time ARIA winner between sets.
Gallagher’s produced more than 20 albums, including Karma County’s ARIA-winning Into The Land Of Promise (2000) and Jimmy Little’s ARIA-winning classic Messenger (1999). Over his 30-year career he’s recorded with David Bowie, Jimmy Little and Kylie Minogue.
Brendan Gallagher plays at Smiths Alternative Bookstore on Friday 8 June, 8pm. Tickets $20. Bookings essential: www.smithsbooks.com.au