Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /homepages/7/d309872558/htdocs/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 293
Quantcast
 ed

I Used To Skate Once 6 live @ The Zoo, 24.06.10

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

With the best part of 90 minutes to kill before Hope Sandoval is due to start her set at The Tivoli, I Used To Skate Once 6 down the road at The Zoo means that I have something to do whilst I wait. Although previous years’ events have always been in my diary, this is the first time I’ve managed to get there.

Arriving a little after 8pm, it’s a surprise just how busy the place is. And by the time I leave at about 9:20pm it’s one in, one out and there’s already a queue forming down Anne Street. When I pop back in on the way home, after the Hope Sandoval show has finished, to catch the end of the excellent Songs, it’s still busy, considerably busier than your average Thursday night at The Zoo when there’s no big name act headlining (even then, there are more people there at 11:15pm than there have been at some of the international bands I’ve photographed at The Zoo in recent times).

What’s the secret to filling venue all night long on a week day night? Obviously that it is an ‘event’, and more than a normal gig gives it a huge advantage and the organisers have worked hard over the last five years to build it up to the successful night it has become. But is that all? Does it help that it’s free? Does that it starts early, more or less straight after the normal working day (for most) has finished, draw in more people?

What’s the secret to filling venue all night long on a week day night? Obviously that it is an ‘event’, and more than a normal gig gives it a huge advantage and the organisers have worked hard over the last five years to build it up to the successful night it has become. But is that all? Does it help that it’s free? Does that it starts early, more or less straight after the normal working day (for most) has finished, draw in more people?

Free is an advantage; I remember seeing The Cops at The Columbian a few years ago (all the way back in 2006 by the looks of it) on a Saturday night and there was maybe 40 people there, with tickets around the $10 mark. Maybe six months later Triple J put on a free (and heavily advertised on their radio station) show at The Zoo on a Wednesday or Thursday night with The Cops headlining. Before the doors were opened, the queue went from the front of The Zoo all the way up Anne Street and around the corner to New York Pizza on Brunswick Street. But maybe that says more about Triple J’s unhealthy power than it does about people being too tight to pay $10 to see a band on a Saturday night. But free isn’t the only answer: there have been plenty of free gigs recently – soundslikebrisbane, Label Parties, Unconvention – as well as free, live music 7 days a week at Ric’s, and the people watching are easily recognisable as the same people you see at gigs any night of the week anyway.

Regular readers of this blog will already know about my thoughts on late starting gigs (and there’s a separate post on the way for some more thoughts about that on its way).

It is noticeable that The Zoo is full of people who you don’t normally see at gigs in the Valley and at venues like The Zoo. And especially not on week nights. The crowd look more like they’d be at home somewhere like GPO. It’s a very, very sceney and fashionista crowd; there are too many girls in heels and socks, far too many guys in three-quarter length skinny jeans and brogues.

It’s just one of the mysteries of life, at least it is to me: why people don’t go to gigs but will often be happy enough to pay obscene amounts to go to over-priced and usually underwhelming festivals and if they do go to gigs they will be ones by bands with songs heavily promoted by radio and TV. People like music. People will go to gigs and buy CDs and download music but so many seem to have to be spoon-fed what to listen to. They won’t check out a local band until they’ve been validated by heavy rotation on Triple J, they would never dream of seeing that same band when they were playing for free at Ric’s a year earlier or paying $10 to see them in one of their early shows, maybe on the bill with a few other local bands. A great example is when Ric’s put on a double bill of Cut Copy and The Presets (sadly before I moved to Brisbane, although I did see The Presets and Expatriate at The Hopetoun in Sydney, which was probably around the same time they were playing Ric’s). You could have seen it a tiny venue with probably less than 100 people; last time The Presets played in Brisbane they were headlining The Riverstage in front of over 9,000 people. Ric’s is free; The Riverstage gig was probably going on for $100. All this has been brought further into perspective from talking to a few people recently and hearing that friends of theirs consider that “Brisbane doesn’t have a music scene”, are surprised when told that it does but still aren’t really that interested in it anyway.

That The Zoo can max out its capacity on a Thursday night for an exhibition of skate board art and some small, not-that-well-known bands is fantastic. But what the Brisbane music scene needs to do to connect with a lost generation that doesn’t think that Brisbane has a music scene and that has little interest in going out to see some bands for the other 364 days is the year remains the million dollar question.

All Photos ©2010 Justin Edwards. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.