Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Teddy Thompson Again

Teddy Thompson was so impressive the last time I saw him, I felt compelled to go and see him again. After all, the venue is only just up the road from where I live at the Northcote Social Club.

I went alone this time and got there early as usual to grab a good position up the front. Northcote Social Club band room is generally a standing only arrangement (though you can usually sit on the floor), so I was surprised to see that they had put out tables and chairs in front of the stage. Quite an improvement from the floor, I thought. So I grabbed one for myself and hoped other people would use the two vacant chairs, so that at least I could go to the bar and not lose my seat. Two very pleasant young women took the vacant seats and we discovered we had remarkably similar tastes in music. They had come from the coast for the event. I would imagine that it was worth the effort, for Teddy Thompson was in very fine form and just as impressive as the last time I saw him 11 days ago at the same venue.

I’m getting quite fond of the Northcote Social Club as a venue, as every time I have been there I’ve met friendly and interesting people. Melbourne audiences are polite and well behaved in general and genuinely love music. Melbourne has a reputation for being the live music capital of Australia and every day of the week there is plethora of live acts to choose from. You will have gathered that I love live music as much as I like the recorded stuff. Teddy Thompson is better live than recorded, though having seen his live act, I appreciate his CDs all the more as it generally works both ways to benefit the artist. I have discovered some previously unknown artists at live shows playing support for the main act. Such a one was Shane Nicholson who is virtually unknown in Melbourne.

Tonight I’m off to another show at a different venue. It is the Sunshine Harvester CD Launch at Manchester Lane. I’ve decided to go for dinner as well as that ensures me getting a seat for the show.

On the topic of venues, Melbourne music goers were spoiled for years by a wonderful venue called The Continental, which was situated in the Eastern suburbs. It was the perfect venue for the intimate music experience. The Continental was the first to offer dinner and show as a package. Many people took advantage of it as it ensured them a seat up the front. The food and service was first rate to add to the luxurious comfort of the venue and the artists who played there were always unusual and interesting musicians and also enjoyed playing there. Unfortunately the venue was closed several years ago due to the Continental managers being unable to secure the building in which it was housed. The building owner refused to sell, so the Continental was no more. It is still held up as the ideal venue. People say about new venues” It’s just like the Continental”, but it never is.

Manchester Lane sounds promising in this light – it just might be as good as the Continental.

Anyway enough rambling on about live music tomorrow brings another National Day of Action protesting the Howard Government’s erosion of worker’s rights with their new Industrial Relations laws. In Melbourne there is to be a big rally at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a large capacity sports arena close to the city. The catch cry is “Fill the “G”. I’ll be there with my camera and will report on what transpires.

For international readers who may be curious as to who won the Victorian State Elections, the Labour government was comfortably returned to power. Thank goodness!

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