8 September

Support Act launches Bandwagon fundraising drive for musicians in hardship

Posted by in Music, News

Support Act

We’re all familiar with the trope of the struggling musician – living off the meagre spoils of the last gig, scrounging coins for much-needed new equipment, car spluttering on the last drops of petrol to the next low-paying appearance.

But then, we’re also convinced that the moment a musician, band manager, producer or rock journo finds moderate success, then they’re financially secure for life. Rich, even.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Last Wednesday morning, members of Melbourne music royalty, Pozible staff and media gathered at Allan’s Billy Hyde CBD store to launch Bandwagon: the biggest crowd funding campaign yet for Australian charity Support Act. The organisation aims to help music professionals experiencing financial hardship, whether this is due to injury, illness or personal crisis.

“People think that if your song gets on the radio or you’re on Rage then you’re set,” says Hannah Findlay of rural Victorian band Stonefield.… Read more

7 September

Shirley MacLaine unveils plans for a Melbourne show in December

Legendary actress Shirley MacLaine will mark six decades in show business with a special trip to Australia. In her just-announced stage show If They Could See Me Now – Shirley MacLaine, the Academy Award winner will treat audiences in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide to an evening of stories from her many years in the trenches of Hollywood. Producers John Frost and Phil Bathols are promising “an intimate evening” that will take guests on “a head-spinning journey from the golden age of Hollywood to the modern celebrity era, spiced with the fearless outlook that has [also] made MacLaine a best-selling author.” Steel Magnolias fans, Christmas just came early.

Tickets for the show go on sale from Mon Sep 15.

If They Could See Me Now – Shirley MacLaine, Hamer Hall, Thu Dec 4Read more

5 September

The Agent of Change principle is enforced in Australia

Posted by in Music, News


After a hard-fought battle, as of Thursday 4th September the agent of change principle will be enforced in Victoria meaning our cherished live music venues will no longer be threatened by noise complaints from residents and businesses moving in around them. Up until now the onus – and expense – of soundproofing has been placed on the venue, which has threatened some with closure. In July, Cherry Bar was forced to launch a crowd-funding campaign to raise the cash for their soundproofing. Thanks to 11 years of campaigning, an army of supporters marching on parliament and a whole lot of love for live music the onus has finally been flipped to stun those naysayers into silence.

The Save Live Australia’s Music team announced: “It’s been a long and hard road to get here. Activists like Dr Kate Shaw and Jon Perring from Fair Go 4 Live Music have been working on this publicity and butting heads with governments for 11 years.… Read more

5 September

Melbourne Theatre Company announces 2015 season

Posted by in News, Theatre

MTC 2015 season

MTC must be acutely aware that it’s never had a female Artistic Director in its history, and next year’s season clearly aims to redress this, featuring several plays with women in key creative roles. The result of a welcome cultural shift in the medium as much as the fruition of its inaugural Women Director’s Program, exactly half of the 2015 season is written, adapted or directed by women.

Opening play Jumpy, by British playwright April De Angelis, stars Jane Turner in a comedy about a fractious mother–daughter relationship. No doubt trading on audiences’ fondness for Kath and Kim, it will be directed by MTC royalty Pamela Rabe, and comes off a highly successful West End run.

An alumnus of the Cybec Electric series of play readings is playwright Kylie Trounson, the daughter of the “Father of IVF” Professor Alan Trounson. Her play The Waiting Room explores the profound changes in society’s notions of family and fertility brought about by her father’s pioneering work on IVF.… Read more

4 September

Chrissy Amphlett’s lane: the story behind it


Note: the author of this article is involved in Amphlett Lane.

On Tuesday night, the usually stuffy Council Meeting Room at Town Hall rang out with Divinyls puns as councillors unanimously voted in favour of Amphlett Lane taking the place of Corporation Lane 1639. It was a moment we – the campaigners – had been waiting for since July last year.

I read a statement from Chrissy’s husband, Charley Drayton, and her cousin, Patricia ‘Little Pattie’ Amphlett. Sally Bruen read another statement on behalf of Jessica Adams, who began the laneway petition that gathered over 7,000 signatures, but who is currently in the UK. When we finished, the councillors were all smiles. A cheer went up when the laneway was approved.

“Well done… It must have been a real Pleasure and Pain,” noted Councillor Richard Foster. He was quickly admonished by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle for bad punning, but Doyle then left his chair to offer us his congratulations and support. Councillor Rohan Leppart, who had been supportive of the campaign from day one, made a moving speech.… Read more