SYN Goes to the Last Night at the East Brunswick Club – 29/02/2012

After providing Melbourne with local and international acts for the past six years, the live stage at the East Brunswick Club held its last performance – a bittersweet end when you consider the irony that the closure occurred not long after Save Live Australian Music Day.

Giving its final night to promising home grown performers, I arrived in time to hear Milk Teddy front man Tom Mendelovits announce they were about to play their third worst song, “Zingers”. The light and quirky pop act was playing to a crowd that was still trickling in; pair that with some long winded banter while members swapped and tuned instruments it was hard to say if people were laughing with or at them.

The discordant nature of the night thus far continued with Parking Lot Experiments coming on stage, although it became chaotic in a jovial way instead of being endearingly awkward. The laptop crashed not even halfway through their set so a good ten minutes was spent trying to fix it while various members broke out into punching the air, crumping, drum solos and free styling. Once they got up and running again the crazy shenanigans continued, it was clear the guys were just having fun mucking about. I liked their attitude yet hearing mutterings from the people around me and a few choice words from newfound friends, their act was pretty divisive.

At this point in time there was no tension in the air, no sense of loss or longing for the club to remain as it is, it was just another night with some bands that were okay and it happened that the place was a little more crowded than usual. However, once Oscar + Martin got on stage the sloppy fun was swept away by pop electronic beats and Oscar Slorach-Thorn’s vocals. People started to get into the music, the crowd shifting this way and that until they got into the groove. Throwing in a new song, a cover of “Bootylicious”, having an extra vocalist or two coming on stage, and having an instrument duel, the set was captivating and smooth, with not a glitch to be heard. Eventually a call was given out to the crowd to come on stage for the last hurrah. Only one or two went up to begin with, taking up a tambourine to do a bit of a jig, then twenty or so went on to dance about to the final song  “I Wanna Be Your Lover” by Prince.

Then the end. Just like that it was all over and done with. No pomp or prose from a representative of the club, no official end to it all (unless you count “Don’t Dream It’s Over” playing as some sort of send-off). The night was only getting started with Oscar + Martin and then it was cut off. Like with any form of loss the initial feeling of something having changed is not there, which is half the problem. Only in time will we feel the effect of losing yet another live music venue but in having people like Oscar + Martin play, we are reminded that the bands that were supported by the East Brunswick Club still have a promising future ahead. 
by Mason Smith

March 22nd 2012
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