On behalf of everyone in Sydney, I felt so incredibly embarrassed recently. Though I don’t subscribe to that whole Melbourne/Sydney rivalry thing (both are terrific cities), I know that many people in Melbourne believe Sydney-siders are an uncouth bunch of yobbos. A gross generalisation, of course, and if you look at the stats, Sydney-siders are more likely to go to an art gallery than a footy-match.
But I felt a slight cringe recently when I went to see a band visiting from Melbourne called “James Ellis and The Jealous Guys”. They play a style of alt-country, influenced by Americana, which I like very much. In some ways, they were the quintessential “Melbourne Band”, very good musicians, and almost “too cool for school”. I think this was their first gig in Sydney, and you could just tell, they’d made a big trip, along with a lot of equipment. And they were playing a pretty cool venue in Sydney on a Sunday night. Sydney’s reputation was at stake.
Sadly, our reputation was damaged by a group of women who had been on the turps all day, and thought it would be great fun to dance, steal the hats of the band members, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. Sadly, the venue did little/nothing to stop the behaviour, so it was left to audience members such as myself and others to urge them to “go home, you’re drunk and annoying”. Aside from that damage to Sydney’s reputation, I hope the band enjoyed the night, and will return.
Of late, I’ve also seen a bit of live theatre, including a final year production by students from NIDA, the National Institute of Dramatic Art, and an end of year comedy review at Giant Dwarf.