Long before we met at a library, Mc BG was playing shows in Melbourne and overseas in so many bands he’s lost count. He would be heading out nearly every night of the week to see a band, or play when he was at uni. A lot of his friends played in bands or formed part of the audience that made up the indie-pop scene of which he was a part.
Last Friday night, he played a show supporting The Sugargliders, a band who had just launched their 20 year retrospective CD. Josh and Joel from the Sugargliders had given the band in which Mr BG was playing their first big gig as support, and had become friends. The band dissolved and Mr BG went on to form his own bands, but he remained friends with Josh and Joel.
The gig was at The Empress in North Fitzroy, a favourite venue for the scene, and relatively unchanged since the last time we were there. The pool table had disappeared (a good place for entrepreneurial types to set up a merch stand), but the carpet (dark wine to match the stains) had not changed. Even the pole against which we had always stood was still there. It’s funny how you gravitate to the same spot at a venue :).
In many ways, the show was part 21st birthday party, part reunion. We were celebrating the music of our young adulthood and catching up with people and former band members we hadn’t seen in years, even decades. It wasn’t as angst-ridden as a reunion though- everyone I spoke to were quite relaxed and content with how their life had turned out. The audience was very much the same composition as it had been 20 years ago, give or take a new partner. There were more wrinkles, more kilos around the waist and chin and less hair, but the infectious enthusiasm when the music started was still the same as ever.
As there were 7 acts performing, and the sets were short and sweet at 15 minutes each. The acts played their favourite songs and a Sugargliders cover each. One of my favourites was this one from Mark Narkowicz.
Mr BG was second last
Everyone left the pub in a cheery mood, no doubt helped by the amount of beer imbibed!