Upstairs and Underground launches
It’s always a challenge relaunching a venue, particularly one with such a vivid history as the Gaelic Club’s Upstairs and Underground, a venue associated with Sydney’s underground music scene. The Gaelic had hosted to a diverse range of local and international acts and saw a variety of colourful characters come through its doors until the announcement of its closure in early 2012.
We had mourned the loss of this venue, said our goodbyes, and just like the end of a summer romance we knew that its closure would be bitter sweet. That was until Something you Said was invited to attend the Upstairs and Underground’s recent relaunch.
It had been a while, two years to be specific, and there was one question on everyone’s mind as we arrived at the venue with nervous anticipation – was the magic still there?
For the venue had spent a few years hidden away, laying dormant like a bear in hibernation. A reintroduction to society could be dangerous, like poking a sleeping bear with a stick, you don’t know how it will react (then again, who goes poking bears with sticks?). I am pleased to announce that there were no angry bears on the night of the relaunch but instead friendly, cuddly ones, you know, the ones with party hats on and up for a good time. It was an enjoyable night, indeed.
After passing a set of large green doors I followed a string of fairy lights up a set of stairs and passed by the names of Irish counties represented by jerseys mounted on the walls. I entered Upstairs and Underground and it felt like I had arrived home. The venue was very relaxed and intimate, by this I mean there were couches to sit on and offering of Guinness to appease the music gods.
I sat by the side tables quietly observing the night’s proceedings but it wasn’t long because I found myself caught up in the music and friendly atmosphere. Mesmerised by a Sitar, a bearded guy with a guitar, and a wonderful array of musical acts I caught myself entranced by dancers spinning around to the music near the front of the stage and the hypnotic sounds which played throughout the night.
Many hugs were given and it felt like a housewarming party for bears. One minute I’m watching an act perform their set on stage, the next I see them having a pint on table beside me. It was great to be involved in such a promising event and I’m sure Upstairs and Underground will be wonderful launching pad for all acts who have the opportunity to pass through its doors.
Final status report: the Gaelic Club’s Upstairs and Underground relaunch mission went off without a hitch as we all spun back into orbit captivated by the musical acts on stage.
Ladies and Gentleman, we have lift off.
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Words by Addy Fong.