V/A - "TRAMWAY HOTEL LIVE SERIES: VOL 1" LP
Fitzroy AF. Fitzroy as watching a rivulet of Fanta trickle from a maccas cup down the 86 aisle. Fitzroy as a defaced mural. Fitzroy as a radius and a curfew.
Fitzroy as shutting down a venue with noise complaints. “We moved from the suburbs to the city for a bit of the culture. Just a slice, mind. My supervisor can’t hear me in this zoom chat over the hectic sound of Blonde Revolver - we have serious KPIs to hit. Why can’t it be smooth jazz wine bar with natty piss and sophisticated butter? Frawley not found at the end of that bar! I’m a resident - I demand to be respected - I have the right to read the Saturday Paper in peace!”
“The fucken Tramway” as the Notorious Our Carlson coined it - Fitzroy as - established in 1873 - but I have sources that may or may not play in the band Imperial Leather, sources who point to more esoteric beginnings that actually place its founding thousands of years in the future. I can’t say more about this, you understand. They are reading the back of every compilation LP, I’m no snitch. OUZO! hint at it in their song, the manic hardcore is dense with references to future tramway as sacred chapel, the muttering in the closing moments is a protective chant against neighbour nerds from future language - but I cannot say more!
What I can say is this - we live in interesting times - and the Tramway has had some interesting years. Live music was suspended in 1989 on the back of complaints by the aforementioned cowards, snivelling rats, the enemy! In 2018 it was overturned after 12 months of legal battle, angst, and community support. 2020! Release the bat flu - a couple years of virus stasis - I can’t say more about this - I bite my tongue to shreds!
This LP is the first of a series of compilations of live recordings at the Tramway, announcing a nu Melbourne, the return of live music and celebrating the unique venues that facilitate its growth, the soil and the fertiliser. These songs were recorded between January 22 to Aug 22. Most of these artistes were dormant for years - like Vintage Crop and Michael Beach, sharpening their teeth, writing, waiting and anticipating release - some of these artistes are nu Melbourne, formed and hardened in the pressure of lockdown - The Glass Picture track will melt you, the Lou track will tuck you in.
Do you like to hear the room in a recording? The Prize is the prize, and the murmuring of crowd approbation through The Shifters. The recordings are raw, do you like it fast and loose? Do you like the synpunq Phil and the Tiles demanding you give up on your health and body? Prime advice for modern life! I must quote a private email from the executive producer of this project, Dave Forcier - “lots of the sets had to be last minute rejigged due to covid, ie. TB Ridge doing karaoke to his own music, bands getting fill ins on the day of, or just bands jumping on last minute due to covid cancellations.”
This is the sound of modern love - and for this listener, it sent me, most particularly the Lower Plenty song ‘Bondi is Dead’, a special song, a show I’m particularly devastated to miss - for this listener, it sent me - the resilience of these bands, the pressure release.
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