Converse Acts of Disruption @ The Normandy Hotel
After a week of especially filthy Melbourne weather, you need a bit of a party to blow off some steam and chase away those winter blues. Surely one of the wildest, SAD-preventing parties taking place on this cold and rainy Friday night was Acts Of Disruption, a shindig thrown by Converse featuring live music from Bleeding Knees Club and Drunk Mums.
The idea behind Acts Of Disruption is to disrupt the usual mind set of the live format and put gigs on in places other than the usual circuit of pubs and clubs by giving the bands free reign to choose the venue, no matter how creative.
Entry is free, although in order to get in you had to ‘like’ the Converse Facebook page and await an email telling you the location of the venue. The previous one in Sydney was in an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Tonight’s show in Melbourne is at The Normandy Hotel in Clifton Hill. This might not seem as exciting as the prospect of partying in an old hospital, however, an element of danger makes it more interesting when you find out that The Normandy is half way through being demolished!
The choice of venue is inspired. I enter with a sense of trepidation as I go through the dark doorway and wind through an eerily quiet room full of artistically lit rubble. When I open the door at the far end I’m immediately hit by two things: heat and noise. The main room is packed full of people and Drunk Mums are already underway, whipping the young crowd into a frenzy. I fight my way through the heaving mass of bodies and get to the bar. I order a beer and go to hand over a $10 note. “No, no,” says the bartender, “beer is free tonight”. Result.
Converse know how to make cool kicks. Who knew they could also throw a killer party? It has the atmosphere of an old-school punk rock squat party. Graffiti covers the walls and there are shady nooks and crannies everywhere full of kids up to no good. There are people dancing on sofas and tables around the main room and the pit is going wild, all flailing limbs and spraying beer. It’s how a punk show should be; raucous, fun, energetic and always with that slight feeling that it could all go wrong at any minute.
Bleeding Knees Club tap into this frenetic atmosphere perfectly. Their fast and catchy surf punk is perfect for the setting. It’s not music to stand back, watch and scratch your chin to. It’s music to get sweaty and soaked in beer to. You’ll forgive me for not paying much attention to setlist and technicality but hey, the beer was free and I doubt the crowd even cared what songs were being played. All that mattered was that drums were pounding and raw, punk rock riffs were being bashed out.
BY ADAM ROBERTSHAW
Photo Credit: Russell Murchie
LOVED: The party atmosphere and the free beer.
HATED: When the free beer ran out.
DRANK: Budweiser beer. (Did I mention it was free?)