Few Australians would be unaware of the devastation and heartbreak that has been unfolding up in Brisbane over the last few weeks. At the time of writing, the death toll was at 17, and the disaster is expected to cost the nation somewhere in the region of $30 billion. It has been so terrible that three quarters of the state of Queensland has been declared a disaster area. Many people have lost everything, and, as in so many disasters that have befallen the nation before, the Australian community are banding together to assist those affected by this, one of the worst floods in history. Queenslanders, however, are not alone in their plight.
And the Melbourne alternative band scene has made itself a part of the support effort, with long-running alternative music night Goo leading the way. Goo commenced at the Melbourne Metro nightclub (which has since changed it’s name to The Palace Theatre) more than 15 years ago, and, aside from taking intermittent hiatuses, has been a highly popular and respected institution within the Melbourne music industry ever since.
Its brief has always been to provide a highly diverse range of alternative music for punters to enjoy, not restricting itself to one specific genre, and to provide it in a safe, friendly atmosphere where everybody knows everyone else and can have an uninhibited good time.
Key Goo organiser Tania Wilson saw the catastrophic effects of the rising waters on South Eastern Queensland on television and was, like so many of us, touched and disheartened. So much so that she decided to get involved and use the latest instance of Goo to raise funds for the many thousands of people affected.
“Basically, we were doing ‘Summertime Goo’ on the twenty-first of January anyway,” she begins, “and last Tuesday morning I was at home, watching TV and it was one of those things where they started talking about more places going under water… Fortitude Valley going under water – which is of course very involved in the music scene. And having a lot of friends in the scene in Queensland as well, [it was about] touching base with them. And it was like ‘let’s see what we can do, let’s see how many people would be interested in helping us do this with Summertime Goo’, and put everything (we make) into it… obviously there’ll be some expenses, but let’s see everything we can possibly get from everyone who wants to be involved, in whatever capacity, and see if they’re into it.
“So I started making phone calls,” she recalls, “and it’s been amazing actually. It’s really taken on a life of its own. All the DJs are playing and giving their profits as a donation. The bands, the crew, everybody’s really into it… they’re into raising just as much as we can.
“And on top of that there’s been people outside of that saying ‘I was wanting to do something, can I do this with you?’…we’re providing an outlet for people’s support, instead of an anonymous donation via the flood relief. This way they can really get out there and get involved, which is just amazing. I’m constantly getting phone calls saying ‘this person’s doing this, and this person’s doing that’. So that’s great.”
Beyond the obvious sources of funds such as door receipts and the bands/DJs donating their payments to the cause, a whole range of other ideas for raising money have been put forward, and should provide further fun diversions on the night: “We’ve also got a team that are organizing a raffle,” Tania explains, “and we’ve got some great prizes like hoola hoop dancing giveaways, guitar lessons, limited edition Aussie band signed t-shirt/CD packs.
“I think there’s some stuff coming from the US as well, from some overseas bands. Some record companies are coming forward with Big Day Out special packs, and The Palace will give tickets to upcoming events, so anything and everything we can do to help people have an amazing night, and open their wallets to raise funds for those less fortunate in another state.
‘Cos they did help us when the (2009) bushfires happened.”
Three sensational local alternative bands are lending their talents to the cause for the night, including The Frowning Clouds, Fare Evader and City Calm Down, and will be playing upstairs from 9.30pm. Vocalist and guitarist Dean Berlingeri from formerly Ballarat-based indie rockers Fare Evader speaks of their band’s involvement in the night and the cause.
“Basically Tania gave us a call,” he explains, “and organised it all. The floods kind of happened and we were all a bit shocked and what-not, and so we decided that all profits would go towards it. The pictures are pretty shocking coming out of Brisbane and Toowoomba, and all those places up there. So anything we can do to help, considering the state that they’re in, compared to what we’re in.
“I actually work in TV,” he explains, “so I’ve been bombarded with it for the last two weeks. And all the stuff that’s been coming out, it’s pretty scary. It happened so quickly, in such a big city like Brisbane. I don’t think a lot of the people who help out in these situations get enough credit. Especially when you hear a number of a death toll. It never does any justice to the victims. In a natural disaster, you just hear a number, and you never actually hear anything about the people. You might remember how they died, but you don’t know who they were or anything. They’re not-humanised in a way.
“Just come on down,” he says in conclusion, “you’ll be doing a big favour for the flood victims.”
Indeed. It’s a load of excellent local bands, DJs spinning awesome tunes, beer aplenty and you’ll be helping an extremely worthy cause. There’s virtually no reason not to get on down to The Palace Theatre this Friday night for some Goo.
SUMMERTIME GOO is happening this Friday January 21 at The Palace Theatre – featuring The Frowning Clouds, Fare Evader and City Calm Down, as well as the usual lineup of badarse Goo DJs – with all proceeds going to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal. Check out the Goo facebook profile for all info – tickets from oztix.com.au. Get along and help support those up north affected by these terrible floods.