Thursday, December 21, 2006

St Kilda Bastards

I really detest going to gigs in St Kilda (barring the always brilliant Espy). This is not a standpoint I have arrived at lightly, as some of the venues are wonderful, well designed, welcoming places that always provide a great environment for bands to perform and connect with the crowd. Said crowds, however, need a lesson in 'how-not-to-be-a-complete-twat-at-gigs'. Urgently.
Last night I rocked up to see Augie March at the Prince of Wales, an august venue with a proud history of live music, and the scene of some of my best music memories, such as Coldplay (pre crap) in 2000, George in the same year and The Cat Empire a number of times. Having seen Augie March a number of times also, I knew what to expect and it was always going to be heartfelt and entertaining, if a little ramshackle. But such a great band rarely fails to please. In fact, the previous time I had seen them was at the HiFi in Melbourne a few months earlier, which was far and away the best Augie gig I have been to. And here's the thing. The music itself was not really much different between that show and last night. The difference was the crowd. At the HiFi, the audience hung breathlessly on every word, stayed silent during the quiet songs and applauded madly every time a song finished or something cool happened. It was a great crowd, genuine fans who were there to see the band.
Unlike last night at the Prince.
Pretentious, toolbag, disrespectful wankers abounded at the place that on Saturdays turns into 'OneLove' nightclub, aka the Ecstasy capital of Melbourne. During what would have been the highlight of the night, the woozy, literate and beguiling 'The Keepa', half the crowd decided to hold conversations. Whatever they were talking about, it's reasonably certain that it wasn't about the wonderful sound texture created by the band in a live setting. More likely it revolved around haircuts, alcohol and the OC. Wankers. Then, along came 'One Crowded Hour', and suddenly, the whole place came to life! Young women stopped chatting long enough to sing along (mainly just to the chorus) and then clap and cheer madly at the end. No doubt they then bought a T-shirt on the way out and are today wearing it proudly proclaiming themselves to be 'real fans' who 'liked them before they were popular'. Fuckers.
Anyway, if a band you like is playing more than one gig in Melbourne, see them in the city, Fitzroy, Brunswick or Northcote (or even Belgrave - go Ruby's). Leave the scum where they can congregate and be 'cool' together.
As for Augie March, good show guys, hold your heads high, there was at least one bloke in the cowd who paid attention.


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