Re: Welcome to Sydney
Adelaide and Melbourne - the two cities most associated with the arts - both hit by the pokies and other anti-arts laws. Now we have our biggest retailer - Allens / Billy Hyde / Drum City about to fold, although better prices OS (US prices are crazy cheap) makes it hard to guage demand.
Most of a the iconic rooms where bands in the golden age of Oz Rock honed their craft are gone - The Stagedoor, the Civic, the Lifesaver, the Antler, now the Sando is about to go down.
Musicians could end up taking to the streets but it costs $40 per local government area - per band member. There's 40 LG areas in Sydney. In the unlikely event that a 5 piece band wanted to play in every council area of Sydney it wouldl cost them $1,600 each a year or $8,000 for the band (plus public liability insurance) ... in order to effectively gift their talents to the public (buskers have to pass an audition to get a license so the only really crappy ones are little Chinese kids in rich suburbs hoping to pick up a few bucks while they practise their violins and trumpets).
As the Yanks say, go figure.
Spes, I have no idea what the future holds. As far as I'm concerned, in the immediate future my focus is on jamming, home recording, and trying to motivate myself to practice push-pull, Texas shuffles, and Larry's 40bpm torture exercise. So I'm pretty well out of it, apart from playing the occasional fleabag golf club for a lark. The band did a couple of weddings earlier this year but (fortunately) I was too busy caring for Dad at the time and they used a replacement.
Golf clubs have taken up some of the slack left by bar closures but they pay nothing. Our keys player has been set on playing at a golf club near his home. He gets back to us saying they are prepared to pay $150 for the band ... as long as we bring in enough people to cover the bar staff's wages. LOL I said I'd rather play for food and drink than be paid $7 an hour - less than a child flipping burgers in McDonalds.
Personally, I'd rather tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine but the guys are so keen to gig that it seems they're happy to abase themselves. I'm not a proud but somewhere in here is a tiny modicum of self respect.
It must be hard for young players trying to break into the circuit.