…of all those shows the only ones I went to as a punter were at St Peter's Parish Hall…and (I think) it was the first of all of those shows, but also by a long stretch it was the most successful in terms of numbers and interest, it was the first time that M Squared played with the 'little bands' thing, and it was reviewed.
Of the other venues, they do split really, the Sussex and Blondies are more of the Seventies, and if anything would be 'punk' rather than 'post'. Garibaldi's and SideFX asked for collaboration (for access) with the art community. St Peters was much more independent, though it is an actor's centre of sorts now, probably the closest to our usage (rather than real estate), but it really felt most like the idea of getting everyone together in a positive and creative way, it seemed to have the most patience and tolerance of all of them…
The Sussex must have been the most vibrant from the audience point of view, it created the biggest vibe eg XL Capris (did Tactics never play there? little wonder if not) Remember how lesser it was when JMM started playing in the other room?
Cleveland St I thought of as a party room really, and of all of them the Sussex was the only place were I felt encouraged rather than just tolerated (and with the oldest people in charge). Garibaldi's, St Peters and Side FX all had totally hopeless acoustics, generally everything was pretty rough at all those places post Voigt, there was a lot of people when SPK played…
I remember going into the rectory of St. Peter's Parish Hall with Gordon to enquire about setting up a gig in the hall, a fairly sizeable joint as I remember. The minister was actually the soul of comprehension and helpfulness which surprised us no small amount. I think he just saw us for what we were, which was embarrassingly keen and took a shot it it, bless him. The rest of the details come as usual in snippets. High stage, wooden floors, wings to make us feel like stars, protestant austerity and forgiving audiences.
The Sussex Hotel is a story in itself, Slim? and the wiry, tough manageress of sad end but mighty life. The Sussex had another more glorious and surely more vivid previous life as a communist wharfie pub of note in the days before and during the Push, but without the arty side and tough as nails. Some proper library research on the joint would not go astray as does my hearsay. Things connect.
…I remember a gig that Tactics put on at 'that rehearsal room on the corner of Cleveland &
Regent(?)' (above the garage?) about '81. Dave had met some weird schizo guy on the
train ride to the gig, and dragged him along.
About 3/4 way through our stoned-out and ridiculous set, the guy is either drunk or having an attack of something, starts causing some ruckus which we couldn't quite see, setting up some alternative performance to which we were the soundtrack. At some point he cut his foot badly. My dad was at the gig, and he really wanted to help this guy - take him to hospital, etc. But this guy was refusing in the most abusive way. My dad was an easygoing guy, but he started to lose it when they got downstairs, dad being a bit drunk (too).
Eventually, we were holding him back from thumping the guy. I can't remember what dad was yelling, but others interpreted it as 'hellhound!
hellhound!' at the top of his lungs, an hallucinating experience for one of my friends. When we got back to the
'de-crowded' upstairs post-gig, the so-called kitchen area (up a few steps) was completely covered in blood. In some depressed parts of the tiled floor it was a 1/2 inch deep! And the guy's sandshoes were there, soaking, blood red.
I don't know what happened after that...