The Null Device

Rock crosses Merri Creek

As yuppification and noise complaints force venues in Melbourne's traditional live music heartland (Fitzroy and environs) to close, go all-acoustic or become wine bars or boutique apartments, the scene is moving further out, and is apparently about to cross the barrier into Northcote; the people who run the Corner Hotel in Richmond are opening a new venue there next year, and looking for a name for it. Which could be a good sign for Northcote, which has mostly been a folk/roots/blues/feral-techno sort of place until now, though should have the demographics to support a live rock scene. I wonder whether it'll be the seed of a new local scene, or just an isolated venue like the ones which opened up in other "one-further-out" areas (Preston, Footscray, Sydney Rd. and such).

There are 16 comments on "Rock crosses Merri Creek":

Posted by: tony Fri Nov 5 15:49:08 2004

I've been living here (Northcote) for 3 years and haven't had the need to venture anywhere closer to 'rock central'in Richmond than the Tote in Collingwood.(Where is rock central in melbourne now anyway?). There's great, off-beat entertainment in Northcote and with the owners of the Corner spreading their wings out into the Commercial Hotel on High St., it can only be good. I've sat in that public bar many a time watching old fellas pissing their pants and whining about Whitlam. Knock down the TAB opposite the Commercial and the pub would go broke. Bring more music into Northcote, I say, and knock down that friggin TAB shopfront opposite (<a href=",4057,11261522%255E421,00.html">or superglue it's doors shut</a>).

Posted by: acb Fri Nov 5 16:57:42 2004

When I lived in the area (Northcote and later North Fitzroy), High St. seemed to be mostly kebab shops, a few small venues with roots/blues-type gigs and the feral crash pad known as 303 (which occasionally had interesting gigs; like the time that Clue To Kalo played).

Posted by: Ben-Baba Ali Gazebo http:// Sat Nov 6 00:11:44 2004

So we can expect more skinhead neo-nazi punk bands playing in Northcote? Just what we need....

Posted by: acb Sat Nov 6 01:31:18 2004

Throughout my time in Melbourne's live music scene, I have never heard of any "skinhead neo-nazi punk" bands playing anywhere there; from what I gather, if any did try to turn up, they would be very quickly made very unwelcome. With all due respect, Ben, please do some basic research before making assertions about things you obviously know nothing about.

Posted by: Oi Oi Oi Sun Nov 7 00:02:44 2004

So the neo-nazi skinhead bands who play at the Corner Hotel in Richmond are a figment of my imagination?

The following is taken from about halfway down this article:

The various skinhead groups in Australia often try to hold racist music concerts, but happily, these seem to be pretty poorly attended. For instance, a Melbourne gig featuring Fortress, British-band Celtic Warrior and Blood Oath on the 13 June 1999 reportedly attracted only around 30 skinheads. An earlier Sydney gathering featuring Fortress and Blood Oath only had just over 70, according to Blood and Honour which is more likely to over-estimate than under-estimate. This contrasts sharply with similar concerts in Britain and Germany, where these sorts of racist concerts can often attract hundreds of skinheads.

Various Nazi bands from overseas, particularly Britain have also visited Australia on a number of occasions. Brutal Attack and Squadron have both visited to give concerts and coop

Posted by: Oi Oi Oi http:// Sun Nov 7 00:03:51 2004

Brutal Attack and Squadron have both visited to give concerts and cooperate with Fortress. Celtic Warrior have also visited in the past, but over the past year have repeatedly been denied visas, which is hardly surprising given that most band members have criminal convictions for various acts of violence.

Skinhead organisers of these gatherings tend to be very secretive about them, refusing to publicly advertise them, and not even telling dedicated skinheads where the concerts will take place. Those interested typically meet organisers at another location and are only then brought to the concert site. The idea is to rule out any unwelcome visitors, but this extreme secrecy, along with Australia’s relative small population of dedicated neo-Nazis, almost certainly contributes to the low turnouts. However, the precautions are probably inevitable given that much of the music played at these concerts is almost certainly illegal.

Posted by: Graham Sun Nov 7 13:04:41 2004

Hmm, I'm amused by the Eureka thing. I wonder if they know black Americans were amongst the miners in the Eureka Stockade?

Posted by: acb Sun Nov 7 15:06:00 2004

The article does not mention the Corner Hotel, a large and fairly respectable venue. If the Corner was hosting Nazi skinhead gigs, the lefties who comprise a big chunk of the music scene would boycott them and they would sink into obscurity. Chances are the gig happened in a suburban backyard or private venue.

Please keep to the topic when replying to comments.

Posted by: Ben Whiteman http:// Mon Nov 8 05:38:52 2004

No, I have definately received (by word of mouth) invitations to Nazi Skinhead gigs at the Corner Hotel. Never been to one obviously...

I think they used to have some at the Great Britain hotel in Richmond some years back also.

The 'lefties who comprise a big chunk of the music scene' probably do boycott them for all we know. There are far more bands out there looking for gigs than pubs looking for bands (and particularly nowadays). Do the lefties boycott the Cheltenham in Smith St, apart from the socialist mob who put up fliers everywhere complaining about the monthly nazi meetings there?

Posted by: Ben Whiteman 2 http:// Mon Nov 8 05:40:11 2004

Did I say Cheltenham? That pub on the corner of Smith and Johnston Street, the Chelsea or something... you know what I mean, the Nazi one.

Posted by: acb Mon Nov 8 17:45:18 2004

The Birmingham Hotel.

I doubt the veracity of those invitations; if word were to get out that the Corner was hosting Nazi bands, a lot of other bands would cancel their gigs there, and punters would stay away in droves. Militant racism taints everything it touches and everything that touches that, and consequently nobody who has much reputation to lose will have anything to do with it.

Given that the Corner hosted the Make Mix Tapes Not War benefit and such, that makes the Nazi story seem even more implausible.

Posted by: Tory Ben http:// Thu Nov 11 00:21:20 2004

Or just points to how ill-informed and/or apathetic the 'anti-racist' push is, from my experience most of them are just junkies whose philosophy revolves around scrounging, bludging off the government they claim to oppose, drinking smoking and injecting whatever they can get their hands on and lip service to every kooky new-age and 'progressive' movement known.

Posted by: Tory Ben http:// Thu Nov 11 00:24:40 2004

And most of them eat at McDonalds when they think no-one is watching.

Posted by: Sid Vicious http:// Thu Nov 11 00:45:00 2004

not true necessarily...

you should check for the real story about the birmingham and nazis

Posted by: acb Thu Nov 11 01:02:30 2004

A question for the "anti-racists" in the audience: can one be "anti-racist" without identifying as an anarchist or a socialist?

Posted by: Tory Ben http:// Fri Nov 19 01:36:19 2004

Easily. It is only the socialist/homosexual arc of politics who claim a monopoly on being 'anti-racist', although it's strange how many of them seem to be middle class white university students.