This Saturday night will see a handful of Hobart’s brightest underground acts converge on the mainland for Hobart + Melbourne = Yeah!, a celebration of the diversity of the Hobart music scene and its ongoing, friendly love-hate relationship with Melbourne.
Briefly threatened by the sudden closure of the Gasometer earlier this month, the mini-festival has moved to the John Curtin, featuring Ivy St, The Native Cats, Heart Beach, Catsuit, Treehouse and Melbourne’s own Terrible Truths.
“It’s not like a proper festival,” says co-organiser Thomas Hyland. “It doesn’t have the pressures and some of the organisational structures that others have. It feels more organic.” Hobart + Melbourne = Yeah! also works as an ‘cross-cultural’ exchange – a handful of Melbourne acts headed to Hobart to play alongside a line-up of local Tasmanian bands in early November, while the event this Saturday brings Hobart talent to Melbourne..
These Hobart bands may be familiar to those who keep an eye out for such things. They camouflage themselves effortlessly with Melbourne’s own innumerable kids-with-guitars groups. But there’s a darker edge. Hobart bands have the market cornered in the mingling of sharp cynicism and pop hooks - everything that comes off the island sounds like its been dragged breathlessly through the dirt.
Inspired by New Zealand cult music and arts festival, Camp A Low Hum, Hobart + Melbourne = Yeah! is run by a loose collection of driven Tasmanians with an air of the slacker about them, all closely engaged with the music scene, and all working day jobs to pour money into passion projects like this. “It doesn’t feel like a loss,” Hyland shrugs, “we’re just excited to be doing the thing.”
Hobart + Melbourne = Yeah is on at the John Curtin Hotel on December 7, with doors opening at 8pm. Entry $10.