Whinging Yuppies

Okay. Serious question.

Would you ever move to a house by the beach, then steadfastly complain to everyone that the “air smells too salty”? Would you ever relocate to a segregated housing estate then campaign on social media against your neighbourhood’s apparent “child infestation?”

Then why, in the name of Ray Romano, would you move right next door to an established live music venue and protest when sometimes at night, sound comes out of it? Were you on your balcony one day, listening to Enya and practicing your daily Pilates, when suddenly an entire club fell out of the sky and landed in your backyard? No, you made the conscious decision that cheap rent and a central location made up for the fact that there was a giant neon bar right across the street.

Jack Rabbit Slims, the club formerly known as Parker formerly known as Black Betty’s formerly known as the Post Office, has existed since the dawn of time. The carpet may be sticky and the clientele may have Southern Cross tattoos, but it has been a staple venue of the already minimal Perth nightlife scene for over 20 years. So long, in fact, that it predates any residential complex in the area, meaning all these sobbing ninnies revoke their right to complain that they can’t hear their X-Factor reruns.

 

This, combined with lockout laws and restrictions with alcohol licensing, means that all the fun is being sucked out of Perth like some kind of yuppie Dyson.

 

As it stands, rate payers hold more than ten times the voting power of music venues, and this often spells death for a club night. It’s part of the reason many regular events (see: Father) have been forced to downsize their operation. Claremont Showgrounds is another shining example, with promoters frequently having to fight tooth and nail against residents to host any kind of event - especially past midnight.

At the very least, WA needs to adopt the “agent of change” principle which already exists in many cities of culture. This protects any venue from being shut down if it predates the construction of surrounding residential complexes – as in the case with Jack Rabbit Slims.

Also, you know, don’t move next door to a frickin’ nightclub and complain that it’s noisy. Maybe next you can move to the middle of the Nullabor and start a petition against all the inconvenient sand.

 

The origin.

I wasn’t always so cynical. There was a time, long ago, before Taylor Swift and UberEats, when I spent my time happily frolicking in the fields and listening to Christmas Carols all year round.

It changed sometime in high school, where pimples and lackluster facial hair somehow resulted in me listening to alternative music. Like any interest, when you break through the surface layer you discover a world of depth and intricacy. Broadening my musical horizons led me to a shining moment of clarity, a divine realization that changed my life: Pop music actually kind of sucks. Thus began a journey down dark and lonely road, a slow mutation into an insufferable music elitist. But amongst all the condescension and head-shaking, there was a deep understanding, appreciation and critical analysis that garnered some small sliver of respect.

So it went, I became heavily involved in the local heavy music scene. After many a visceral mosh, I began to take note of the unique social etiquette that places like this dictate. The kinds of people that emerge from the depths of a dark room that smells like stale beer and regret. One night, covered in what I hoped was only my own sweat, I saw an old acquaintance whom I most definitely did not expect to see at a technical death metal show. I caught his gaze and walked over, asking my next question with equal parts apprehension and derision.


“Hey, man, what are you doing here? I didn’t take you for a fan of this kind of music!”

He matched my gaze, seemed to think for a moment, then shrugged.

“I’m not. I’m a fan of the scene,” he responded with a grin that could curdle milk.

Visibly shaken, I swiftly left and made a pledge to myself. I was going to provide a relatable, raw, first person account of my experiences in the scene. And like the author of the Bell Tower Times, a contemporary hero, I was going to use comedy to publicly shame every damn person who took it for granted.

Thus my blog was born, a place where the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind can see the light of the page. A unique platform to discusses the undiscussable: what really happens at live music venues.

But most of all, to make people laugh, man. It’s a lost art in this image driven, meme saturated world.