It's been ages since we played the lansdowne for beer money, for hours, to students and drunken backpackers and people who didnt give a ***t about who was playing as long as there was some noise to drink to.
I'm not nostalgic in an 'OMG think of the children' manner, but I'd like to acknowledge the loss of another development habitat for music.
According to the press release, don't worry, there'll be a space for music, etc etc, and in no way am I disparaging their motives or intent, but face it, the sheer value of residential property in Sydney and the changes in the culture of how we socialise is assigning the music development ecology of the Aussie Pub to the dustbin of history.
Observers of the changes in the system might point to Lock Out laws, RSA, RBT etc which are 'good' outcomes for the community but fundamentally change the nature of external socialisation, and to some degree and where the money comes from. No booze? No Speakeasy, simple logic.
Again, that's just societal evolution. The upsides are less drunken binge fighting aggressive behaviours (or so I read).
Music will remain a part of us, so I am sure the live music scene will continue to morph and evolve in some way.
I'm not sure that Gastro pubs are the answer and the pokies? Well... How come we can work on the societal ills of Music as Noise Pollution (ie: property rights for upwardly mobile new residents), the Violence/Alcohol link (lock out laws) but we're still happy for Gran to pour the pension into the Electronic Dalek of Bank Account Eating? Hmm.. Seems we're selective about just how much 'good' the public can bear...
I maintain my bizarre Keynesian-ish stance on music. That somehow there is an economic basis for its existence. It's part of the human experience.
So instead of paying $30 for a bunch of beers and the band getting $3-5 of that towards their fee, we might have to go back to accepting a cover charge for a few bucks if we want musicians to be part of our society.
So fare thee well Lansdowne, thank you for the gigs where a bunch of Sydney bands, including the likes of us, had a chance to do our stuff.
The Venue is dead, long live the Music.