Monday, July 14, 2008

Love in the Club

So the most important thing that happened today at work wasn't that everyone is being nice to me, that the World Vision people were set up trying to get me to sponsor a second child, or that we changed the radio station because we were sick of listening to that "I Kissed a Girl" song (oh Katy Perry, will your wildness never cease). No, the most important thing that happened today was that someone I worked with had absolutely no idea who the Go-Gos were. I've come to realise I don't live in a very sophisticated crowd, so my love of Melissa Mars, $olal and Lykke Li aren't going to lead to many rich conversational avenues, but surely everyone knows who the Go-Gos are, don't they? If nothing else, they used to use Our Lips Are Sealed over the football scores on Channel 7 when it was time to turn away if you wanted to watch the replay without knowing who won (the other songs of course were "Secret", "Right On The Tip Of My Tongue" and that one about getting rattled). The problem with that is that just makes me think of Sandy Roberts, and lets not go there.

OK, so people don't know who the Go-Gos are, but thinking about it and just thinking of the last CD I bought, a compilation from the Moshi Moshi singles club, did make me think of where exactly in Hobart the trendy people go to hang out. Don't think for a second that I'm saying that I'm in any way trendy. God forbid, I'm sitting in a hooded Glasgow Celtic top and tracksuit trousers looking at a Collingwood Premiership posters. Plus, I'm an old man. However, I am quite trendy in my music tastes, and I can write my love of Hannah Montana and Britney Spears to irony. However, I'm completely unaware of anywhere with genuine trendy credentials that people go to in Hobart to hang out and discuss $olal and not Powderfinger. Obviously I wouldn't be invited, but I haven't even heard about the place in whispers. Is it the Observatory, with it's incredibly strict dress policy? Is it the Telegraph, with it's couches and pool tables and underage drinkers trying to outrun the police? Does Central Bar shut it's doors at 9pm and let in people who know a password to drink Cognac at 10 dollars a glass? Is it Bar-Cel-Ona, with it's hilarious Liberal facade? It's something that's really made me think all day - I've been thrown out of some of the biggest dives in Hobart for minor crimes, but I'm completely stumped having lived in this city for over a decade where I am supposed to go and drink if I win the lottery and join the Liberal party.

The other thing thats really made me wonder about this is that I read about a bar called Ssh in Sydney. This is a club that you have to get an SMS super secret password to get into, and basically know a friend of a friend of a friend of your hairdresser to even be allowed to mention in conversation. And when you get in there, it's like $10 a Boags draught, and you sit in a warehouse with cuddly wallpaper on milk crates while next door there's a pumping nightclub playing Hannah Montana and Dave Dobbyn which you can get into for five bucks. Which by definition is a lot better than our own Syrup, because you won't get a punch in the head. Now, if I'm sitting on a milk crate paying $10 bucks a beer discussing Focaut or Jung (and they want to give these people a 2nd AFL club?), I'm not having a great time, and it's probably because I'd feel under real pressure to enjoy myself. What if after all that effort, it's completely rubbish in there? Frankly there's only two ways ending up at Ssh could be a good night - you pick up, or you see someone famous. It's the only way a night at such a place sitting on a milkcrate can possibly be a good night. If you pick up a celebrity (why hello Emma George) all the better.

I think that's why places like this would die completely in Hobart - firstly, we only have about 4 celebrities, most of them cricketers, and they are down at Irish (vomit ban and all) with the rest of us. Secondly, it's a lot of effort to pick up just to sit on a milk crate chatting up a girl talking about Jung, when there's a Syrup down the road where you can impress girls twirling on a pole, which is much easier and less hassle (apart from the punch in the head from the bouncers). I know for a fact the only genuinely famous person I've ever seen in a Hobart nightclub was the coach of Fremantle Mark Harvey, and that was about it. My cousin saw Brett Lee pash a 16 year old (allegedly) at Isobar but does that even count? I have (don't tell anyone) been in trendy nightclubs in London and seen my friends go ape over Eastenders actors, but really, you go into these places and just look at people behind a velvet rope or find every table is reserved. It just doesn't happen in Tasmania - and down here, when it comes to beer, it's quantity, not quality...

So where do the trendy people go in Hobart? Home, at 9pm, to do drugs off the coffee table and mock the unfashionable I'd imagine. The rest of us, we've got the city to ourselves. Some nights, that really is all we ask. That, and a nice Dave Dobbyn tune...

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