When you listen to my kind of music and hear all the best rock n roll stories, the Cherry Bar is often mentioned. After all, if I wasn’t so little, I could’ve partied with Steel Panther after their show a week or so ago, but no. The Cherry Bar is a pretty rad venue, with a crazy history and a perfect example of why the saying “if these walls could talk” was invented.
It’s in AC/DC Lane in Melbourne’s CBD and trust me, as suggested by a muso/journo friend of mine, the smell remains with you for days! I’m not sure if that’s because it genuinely smells or if after you’ve been there, you just want to savour the awesomeness of it all to the point where you can’t actually smell it anymore, you just think you can. The Cherry Bar really is a part of Melbourne’s role in the music world. It’s not a very big venue but they still manage to get a whole lot of people in there. When you’re there, you just feel like you’re part of something big, something special and you can’t help but let yourself go in this pretty fantastic world.
As I was popping my Cherry Bar cherry (sorry, couldn’t resist), I experienced the EP launches of two very awesome and talented young bands – The Walking Ded and UZUMAKI, with 6 Foot Inch performing as well. There was actually a shitload of people there and as with previous all-ages gigs, it was further proof that young people are craving live rock music. It was very cool for the Cherry bar to host the all-ages event as it doesn’t happen often.
In reality, all-ages gigs are the future of music. We are the ones who will be there in years to come, paying entry, buying music and merch and dancing and partying the nights away, so it makes sense for any current act and venue to milk the shit out of that. If a band can basically guarantee the next generation of appreciation and sales, then why wouldn’t they?
The night started with 6 Foot Inch performing and they sounded great. Sadly, I only got to see these guys perform a couple of songs due to other commitments and I would genuinely love to see them again as they are another young Melbourne band keeping the dream alive! The Walking Ded are a Melbourne band consisting of Camden on drums, Odin on bass & vocals and Finn on guitar and they’re only little! They’ve just launched their first EP and that is seriously an incredible achievement for these young musicians. Their creativity and stage presence is outstanding, with the boys writing their own songs about everyday life experiences. They had the crowd moshing, singing and having a great time, everyone enjoyed their set and I was impressed with the fact they were rocking the walls of the Cherry Bar with their own material.
But UZUMAKI absolutely shook the Cherry Bar walls and they were amazing. After having a chat with the band, they walked out on the stage ready to do their thing like professionals and the energy was crazy! I’m not going to say too much more about these guys because I think you should have a listen for yourself! I’m stoked to have met such an energetic, talented and passionate group of musicians and they definitely have a huge future ahead of them. I hope you all enjoy our interview!
My Cherry Bar experience was pretty perfect. Again, I was just grateful to have the opportunity to experience it all and hopefully the importance of the younger market is catching on with artists and venues. No matter how great an act is, if they’re not willing to find a way to reach out to their younger fans, then my opinion will change. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and if a band really appreciates their fans and wants to ensure the longevity of their success, they’ll do anything they can to accommodate their younger audience.
And the decision really does rely on the artists and their management, considering the law in Victoria now allows venues the option of providing all-ages events. And it’s really quite simple – I earn about $8.00 an hour doing a school-based apprenticeship yet I’m still willing to pay $100.00 or more to see a band who I love. However, I’d much rather go to see bands at smaller venues, where I actually get the chance to interact and enjoy the experience properly. It also allows me the opportunity to work and do my own thing and along the same lines as before, the younger journos, photographers and promoters are very much the future. In another ten or twenty years’ time when some of these acts want to go round again, who’s going to be there? There’s nothing I’d like more. So I guess it all comes down priorities.
Steel Panther did it. Skid Row didn’t. Guess who’s t-shirt I’m wearing tonight? And that people, is rock n roll.
Have a listen to my interview with UZUMAKI and embrace the nightshift!