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  • Writer's pictureJoel

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses - Why Touring Bands Skip Canberra

Here’s a list of shit I’ve heard people say in the last two weeks:

“Nothing ever happens in Canberra”

“No good bands ever come here”

“The [insert genre here] scene is dead”

“There’s no female presence in the music scene”

…And my personal favourite:  “we need more venues in Canberra”

I might get to the last one in a later article, (if they’ll have me back) and Duncan Stuart already wrote a good article called “Canberra’s Rock’N’Roll Women” here, which tells of some of the amazing women in our scene.

So here’s my take on the first three quotes: The people who say this garbage have rocks in their heads. There is so much shit going on in our town, and these people are totally oblivious. They’re busy sitting in their houses, complaining on facebook about how there’s nothing fun to do. So, the next few paragraphs is for them. If they’re your mates, let them know! If it’s you, sorry, but this is going to sting a little.

You’ve gotta support the little people. The locals. Your mate’s band. Go and watch that rock band you didn’t see on Australian Idol. The one Chris from HR has been harping on about for three months. They’re playing at Transit bar on a Thursday night. They’re probably supporting a band you’ve never heard of, who’s travelled from the US and took a risk on Canberra, to play their music to the other bands and the sound guy if you don’t turn up. Take a risk! Pay the fucking ten bucks!! If you don’t, bands will get discouraged at a poor turnout, and skip Canberra next tour.

Sure, there might be bands that you just don’t enjoy. No-one expects you to continually show up and have a bad time, but if you don’t give them a chance, there really will be no live music in Canberra. Believe it or not, most touring bands lose money coming through here.

Here’s how it sits for me: There are a damn plethora of local bands who are killing it at the moment, supporting bands from all over the world in venues the size of your living room!

I don’t want to hear your “I would, but it’s on a Thursday, and I’ve gotta work Friday” crap! Mate, have you never been tired or hungover at work? Give me a break! This band sold 300 tickets to Melbourne on Wednesday, and the Sydney and Brisbane shows this weekend are already sold out. Sorry, but we’ve got the Thursday, and if you don’t come, they won’t come back next tour because you’re gonna let a good night’s sleep RSVP for you!!

Come outside your comfort zone for a minute! Check out something new. Maybe you’ll find your new favourite band, maybe you won’t. But you can go to work on Friday and interrupt the Australia’s Got Talent conversation at the water cooler to tell them about how you’re helping the local arts community!

Here’s a couple of shows I’d recommend:

No Front Fences Festival is happening over three days (March 17-19) and features a bunch of bands from Canberra and interstate.It spans across a few genres, so there really is something for everyone.

Capes (these guys get around!) and Revellers are playing with Panhandler (from SWEDEN!!) and Tiger Can Smile (from Adelaide) at Lobrow on the 29th of March (yeah it’s a Wednesday)

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