Lazy Luddite Log

3.4.06

Two Gigs Night

One night last week I went to two gigs. This is unusual as on most nights of my life I will have gone to 1 or 0 gigs. These two gigs were very different in a number of respects...

Nuclear Free Benefit

I attended a benefit for Nuclear Free Australia (NFA) held at the Corner Hotel in Richmond (an excellent bands venue). The event started with the screening of the documentary 'Blowin' in the Wind' by David Bradbury which reports on the use of Depleted Uranium (DU) in munitions during the Gulf War and the possibility of use of DU in munitions in coming military training exercises in outback Australia. Needless to say it was a tad depressing.

This however was followed by some decent live bands such as Bomba and Blue King Brown which improved spirits considerably. The predominantly feral crowd seemed to enjoy the reggae on tap which is hardly surprising given the unique way that reggae can be both relaxed and subversive at the same time. It was a successful funds and awareness promoting event but I had to nick off part way into it to get to another gig...

Burlesque Show

I then went off to a bar in Fitzroy for the performance of a burlesque artist by the stage name of Lola the Vamp. The performer herself is excellent. It helps that she is very photogenic. But more importantly she seemed to be an expert at the artform. The nature of the performance was such that your attention was drawn to more than just... um... T&A. A particular facial expression or a precise movement of a fan all contributed to the interest of the show. It was evocative and charming and funny all at once. The only criticism I can make of the performance itself is that it was too short (but then the door charge was low).

The context of the show however detracted from its effectiveness. It was held in a dingy venue. The audience of mostly goths was too small (there may have been only a dozen of us). They were a supportive audience but I feel that better numbers may have improved the atmosphere. The performances were accompanied by old-time music (lots of piano accordian) but betweeen sets the venue played full-on electronic music which just jarred for me.

I suppose my problem is that I have absorbed too much from the Zeitgeist regarding the setting and atmosphere of such shows. I imagine an 'intimate' yet well-attended venue with everyone at small candle-lit tables dressed for the night and throwing flowers at the stage at the end of the show (these days OH&S may have something to say about that). It may be that one just cannot get that kind of thing these days. From what I can garner a lot of burleque is now attached by necessity to the goth scene. That makes some sense and will give it a context in which to persist. But burlesque was once a performance art for the masses and I wonder if attaching it to a particular scene will ultimately limit its populatity.

Still I have never been to anything like it so it was a worthwhile thing to do. Next time I will have to test those OH&S rules and bring some flowers with which to pelt the stage!

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