Went to a protest at the Tote yesterday afernoon, a windy and cold day in Melbounre. The venue is closing due to inability to contest ( legal fees) VCAT / Liquor licensing people) or dispute new regulations (made in response to street violence in the city outside large nightclubs) which have increased licence fees markedly and also require extra security , CCTV etc. The pace is defunct and a big show is happening frommidday today.
The protest was called via online social networks and teh hotel wasn't involved. A few thousand people were there and the streets were cordoned off. Quite an amazing response from a normally pretty apathetic crowd. The government is playing to the outer suburban elecorate ( I live in that area) and won't back down. They never back down on anything, its seen as weakness for an elected government to do that. But aren't they supposed to listen to people?
I have emailed a few government minsiters with my protest. I include this letter below.
The local member had the grace to reply. He uses the political tactic John Howard used so well, to focus on minute detail to bore everybody out of the picture. If yu're in Melbourne. Why don't you use the email addresses and add your voice to proceedings? Vent ! Give them a spray! They are fucking with our world here!
I have always been a leftie. The modern Labour parties are up Big Business arses in a totally embarassing way. They ponce around in their Eddie Maguire aproved Italian suits (They don't even remember he was copying Keating) and talk over our heads to the people who don't , or might decide to , vote for them. They're far too smart. The Liberals? Well they seem to be sniffing around this issue but only to win some political advantage. There was no reporting of this protest in the newspapers today. All the entertainment reporters obviously off , embedded in the Big day Out tour.
dave graney / clare moore
16/01/2010 06:02 PM
Richard.Wynne@parliament.vic.gov.au, Tony.Robinson@parliament.vic.gov.au, Rob.Hulls@parliament.vic.gov.au, Bob.Cameron@parliament.vic.gov.au
licensing laws- crushing melbourne music
This closing of the Tote due to strict requirements of the licensing
laws is BAD for Melbourne music. And Melbourne is noted
internationally for its music scene. Do your really want to kill it
off? Do you think Melbourne will be praised for its security
I am talking about live music. Not the clubs for sped drinking where
there is no focus for anybodys attention except each other. The big
clubs in the city nightclub areas. I am talking about these places
which provide culturally interesting and accessible performances for
I saw the Minister for Police on the television giving the usual
Brumby government " we will not listen to anybody" hairy chested
response. Why don't you listen to somebody for a change? This is a
scene which is being screwed up. If the musicians were farmers you'd
be listening to them. I might also point out that most of the people
being upset are not young people. Some yes, but mostly people aged 30
and up. Some older than any of you. Live music is not a thing for
young people. They are generally not interested. They're at the big
The people you are really upsetting are probably all left leaning
voters as well. You're all doing your best to drive us straight to
The Tote's demise has been noted nationally an internationally.
When the minister was speaking about "not resiling from the
governments position" , he was ,as all Labour people seem to do,
talking over the heads of the people being affected to some other
crowd, perhaps the 'real people".
I have been a musician for three decades. One of the few who is a
professional player. Where is the next generation going to learn any
skills? As I type I am finding it very hard to control my anger at
this patronising, ill informed, square and pious one size fits all
approach from you lot. I do not expect anything better from your
opposition. Why not take the opportunity to surprise everybody with
some sensitivity and guts. the guts to admit you were wrong and try
to get it right,
The response from the local minister
Dear Dave and Clare,
Thank you for your email regarding the future of the Tote Hotel in Collingwood.
I was disappointed to hear that the Tote’s licensee intends to close the venue this month. The Tote is an important part of Melbourne’s music scene, and as the Local Member I am very aware of its history and status.
As you are aware, the Brumby Labor Government is reforming the liquor licensing system because we want people to be able to enjoy a night out in safety.
Concerns have been expressed about how this new licensing system will impact on the Tote, as a result of both the higher fees licensees will pay, and the additional conditions that late trading venues will have to meet.
I also understand that the Tote’s future is complicated by the lack of a long-term lease agreement between the owners of the Hotel and the licensee.
My understanding is that last year, the Tote paid $4289.50 for a liquor license. This year, because of the new risk-based fees, the Tote was liable to pay $5962.50.
The additional conditions that some late trading venues are required to meet include employing additional trained security staff, installing quality CCTV security cameras and ensuring that all staff in the venue are trained in responsible alcohol service.
Under the new licensing system, these conditions will apply to the Tote – however the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) granted a stay from the conditions last year so do they not currently apply.
I am aware that many venues and artists involved in the live music scene have raised concerns about how these conditions affect smaller venues.
In my view these concerns warrant further examination by the Director of Liquor Licensing Victoria.
I have relayed my views, your concerns, and the concerns of the many others who have written to me today, to my colleague Tony Robinson MP, Minister for Consumer Affairs.
I will be discussing these issues with Minister Robinson over the coming weeks and will of course keep you informed of the progress of these discussions.
Richard Wynne MP
State Member for Richmond
Minister for Housing
Minister for Local Government
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
112 Smith Street COLLINGWOOD 3066
P (03) 9415 8901 F (03) 9415 8918
and my response
Thank you for your reply. The Tote is going , going, gone. I am not focussed on one place and one audience. Its the approach by the government. It is wrong! I repeat, Melbourne is noted internationally and nationally as a MUSIC TOWN and nothing seems to be done to nurture that, quite the opposite . You are crushing it with wrong headed , bare chested playing to an audience of voters who live in the south eastern suburbs. People whose children go and get drunk and fight in King street every weekend. In MASSIVE clubs with no live music.
You say the Brumby government ( I would call it the Victorian government, which represents the PEOPLE of the state) wants people to be able to go out and enjoy themselves safely. Well what if there is nowhere to go out to? Will someone listen to anybody directly involved then?
There is also no live music in the south eastern suburbs. Melbourne has entertainment precincts, for better or worse. For live music, these are Collingwood,Fitzroy,Richmond,Bunswick and Northcote. there are very few venues south of the river. What about some sensitivity to these issues in the government as opposed to leaving it all to law and order talk to the octogenarian 3aw crowd?
ps , there were a few thousand people at the protest yesterday outside the tote. Generated spontaneously by social online networks without the hotels involvement. You are touching nerves , seriously, in the community. This group of people would have been , previously, the most apathetic bunch of apolitical slackers who never cared about anything but they all got up and went out. You lot had better be doing more than the blowhard spinning of process and whatever other blather gets you by on talkback radio. Its a real issue .
- dave graney
- WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.
2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail
you've been in my mind
June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp
SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL
also available as a digital album
Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20
available as a digital album too
We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album
Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release