This was a meeting in regard to recent threats to live venues in melbourne clubs.
Arrived at Treasury Place at 1:30 for the meeting at 2. What a pleasant garden it is too. I sat and read a book for a while. Then a crowd gathered, more people than I'd been expecting but what the hey? We all went in and got security tags and were led to a conference room. This is who was there.
John Brumby- Premier. Leader of the BRUMBY GOVERNMENT.
Brian Kearney- AHA head and former LL Commissioner.
Peter Chellew- Push.
Richard Moffatt- Corner Hotel, Northcote Social Club and east Brunswick.
Penny Armytage- Dept of Justice (she has to write the rules and legislation I guess).
Richard Wynne- member for Collingwood area.
Rob Spence- Municipal Association.
Terry Noone- Musicians Union.
Carl gardiner- Mushroom.
Kirsty Rivers- APRA
Wally Kempton- Bass player, Espy booker.
Tony Robinson- Minister for Local Government?
Quincy Maclean, Musician, SLAM march organizer.
Rob Hudson - parliamentary secretary.
Jon Perring- Old Bar, Bar Open, Yah Yahs, Pony .
Claire Bowditch- Musician
Dave McCluney- Atalantis studios.
Andrew Mghee- label owner.
We all introduced ourselves. I took the opportunity to say I was a musician of many decades and had done 22 albums and enjoyed the chaotic and dynamic nature of playing in clubs as opposed to theatre or recital type situations and they were messing it up and they should de-link live music venues from the "high risk" category .
(Wally and I had met the day before with Jon Perring and Anne from Liberty Victoria and Con from the Palace/Metro to talk of a strategy. We thought we'd simply ask for this as well as them being presented with a paper that had been prepared with other demands).
Quincy read a letter from Paul Kelly.
There was an hour allowed for the meeting.
John Brumby spoke of violence in the streets being the intent of the legislation and government focus on that problem.
Tony Robinson spoke of the licensing reform process being a fundamental thing and a work in progress.
There are apparently 611 high risk venues.
Brumby put out an idea to replace "high risk" with a new set of rules. No security demands if music is over by 10pm and not if there less than 50 people in a venue open until 1am.
Richard Moffat spoke of 3 venues he is involved in.Two close at 3am and one at 1am. the latter has the most problems.
Wally and I had interjected a few times to state that there is little evidence , in our experience, of violence at live music venues.
I also objected to them talking of "small venues" as if they were a marginal part of the scene, pointing out that most of the activity is at lots of "small venues" I also stated that these "small" venues entertain more people than the multi million dollar recital hall in the Southbank area.
2:45 pm, Brian kearney spoke . He said that the definition of "live and amplified music" became a "proxy" to determine "high risk" at some point in the 90s.
THIS BECAME A POINT OF AGREEMENT AT THE END OF THE DAY, THAT THIS "PROXY" IS NOT RIGHT AND OTHER THINGS WOULD BE MUCH BETTER STRESSED. For instance, a venue with live music is "high risk" automatically but a sports bar with a bunch of blokes and half a dozen giant tv screens is not.
2:50 pm, Carl Gardiner from Mushroom spoke, asking that whoever is making these decisions in government do more research and have someone from the music scene involved in any decisions.
2:52 pm Michael Gudisnki finally thundered into life, testifying that there is no violence at live music venues and that the problem is with all the pilled out douches at the King St discos. he thumped the table and waved his arms and had everybodys attention. It was pretty great.Like Kruschev thumping the desk with his shoe at the UN.
I meekly said that when I said "chaotic and dynamic" at the beginning I was talking of a sophisticated dialogue in the clubs between musicians and their audiences, not physical jousting.
2:55. Tony Robinson disagrees. Its not only on King Street, they have DATA. He and Penny Armytage also talk of problems with "amenities' .Parking and people loitering noisily etc. They believe that their DATA is right. This causes much groaning and disbelieving yells. The Premier has to whistle to get everybody to stop. he is enjoying it. "Better than a cabinet meeting" he says.
3pm. Penny Armytage says that violence increases every hour after 1am.
2:58, Carl Gardiner says the research is wrong.He compares a music crowd at the recent Soundwave festival to the number of arrests at a cricket match.
Tony Robinson spoke again.
Terry Noone from the Union spoke, asking everybody to agree to John Brumbys proposal as it was " a start".
John Brumby wanted to end on a note of "accord" . Saying things like "some merit in your points" and that more discussion was to happen. He asked if we were agreed and got a vocal no from Wally, to my left.Pretty much all of us disagreed. We felt they had created a problem and they had to fix it.
3:15- Jon Perring asked for a more sophisticated approach, especially from Liquor Licensing.
John Brumby - "The government will ask the LL Director to take a more common sense approach". He pointed out she is a statutory officer and that the government couldn't order her about. He suggested that she should be more accommodating to music venues.
Andrew Mghee interjected.
John Brumby wanted an "accord" at the end of the meeting that will "reflect a review that will happen and also the importance the government places on live music in melbourne". He also stressed the "intricacies " of liquor licensing.
He pointed to a statement of the state government plans for the year that he put out last week which talked of "getting the balance right in regard to victorias nightlife".
He also spoke of Music Victoria. And Victoria Rocks..Something about those , anyway. "Going Forward". My mind was wandering in regard to some language by now.
He restated that he was "keen to resolve this".
There was no arts minister (Peter Batchelor) or Liquor Licensing director (Sue Maclelland) present and no lunch was served. (Juices and soft rinks only).
Michael Gudinski thanked Mr Brumby for making himself available and asked everybody to "be positive" and that there were "more ways to skin a cat".
Someone referred to the current situation as an "unfortunate glitsch".
The meeting was over. Some of us retired to another room to "thrash things out" with Rob Hudson, the Parliamentary secretary, Penny Armytage , Richard Wynne, and about four other secretaries.
Anybody who could stay did so. 60% of us.
These secretaries were the "yes minister" types who spoke plainly. Rob Hudson is like a straight Nick Cave. Died black hair and a sharp suit and unable to keep the sardonic smile from his face. He was getting all the cats into a bag. Pretty impressive. Penny Armytage was also very good. She is not afraid to admit she doesn't know things when thats the case. She seems to listen.
It was agreed that the "proxy" or "trigger" for the determination of a venue being "high risk" needed to be looked at, researched and changed. "WE NEED A NEW PROXY!"
Other, more "nuanced" definitions such as day of the week of performance and time of day etc needed to be looked at.
It was also stated that any change by the Liquor Licensing people needed to be put to public discussion for 21 days.
It was agreed that there would be a further meeting next week by these people and 3 people from the crew who were there today. A lot of this talk is not in my area of expertise really. Liquor licensing and the like. More for the venue owners I think.
I also think the added pressure of the SLAM march (23rd february) would help to scare things along a little too. A real lot actually.
Better to be outside the tent, pissing in , sometimes,
Got back on the train and got a couple of Dimmies at Ringwood station when I changed lines. They were just as good as they looked, actually.
- 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