Melbourne music scene welcomes back an old friend
Many of our stories about Australia’s live music scene are often negative. Famous venues closing their doors, facing problems of the financial, legal or ‘we moved next door to the pub and don’t want any noise’ kind. The last being our most hated.
So this week with the announcement that Melbourne’s Ding Dong will be re-opening in July after a fire ripped through it last year brought a welcome cheer from the Motherland office. The fire, which started in the restaurant below the venue, caused extensive damage to Ding Dong which has hosted legendary shows from the White Stripes, Mike Patton and Peaches as well as numerous Aussie acts.
Fears were held the cost of restoring it to its original state would be too much or developers would swoop in were allayed with the owners announcing American rocker Mark Lanegan and hippy rock sisters Stonefield will be the first acts on Saturday 7 July.
The place has been decked out with a new bar, new sound and lighting and some new toilets which will be refreshing change for those frightened of dank pub dunnies. Best of all its inner city location in Chinatown means music and crowds is all part of the decor and no snobby new neighbour can whinge about it. Double win.
Molly puts on his hat again
Keeping up the feel good stories there was another welcome return for an Australian music icon this week. Molly Meldrum made his first television appearance since his near death fall in December last year.
Meldrum was decorating his house when he fell from a ladder hitting his head and suffering serious head injuries which brought him close to death and months of rehabilitation. Appearing on Channel 7’s Sunrise he joked he lost his ‘um’s and err’s’ from his speech and didn’t know whether it was due to the fall or not having a drink for the past six months.
Appearing in his trademark Akruba hat Meldrum confirmed he will soon be returning to work, interviewing musicians in America for Channel 7. He has also become a spokesperson for awareness of head injuries amongst football players.
He spoke during the interview of the need for footballers to get regularly scanned to prevent any problems arising in later years and also prevent future fatal accidents. As a passionate supporter of St Kilda, and from his personal near-death experience, he seems the perfect person to discuss this matter.
Most importantly he’s looking well and is back in the music game. Welcome back Molly!
Thanks for all the fun
On a more sombre note, well for me anyway, this is my last Motherland column. It’s been a blast bringing all the latest news from here and home for Australian music. Hopefully you’ve found it a source of humour and information (or least something to pick holes in from time to time).
Thanks to Tim and Bryce (that most dutiful Aussie Times Editor-Publisher duo) for putting up with my spelling mistakes and my failure to understand the word deadline. I’ll still be doing the odd review and interview for the paper so you haven’t got rid of me completely yet, sorry boys.
Cheers everyone! And if there’s some live Aussie music about in London, you’ll most likely see me there, usually within easy reach of the bar. Thanks for having me – Judgie.