Sydney’s beloved Lansdowne Hotel finally reopens tonight, and a local music supergroup is taking the stage at 8pm to celebrate its return.
Performing a set of cover songs from The Last Waltz – a music documentary that follows The Band on their final tour – is super group Sam Margin (The Rubens), Rowan Dix (Joyride), Tony Hughes (King Tide), Hayley Mary (Jezebels), Elliott Hammond and Michael Tramonte (The Delta Riggs), Thomas Champion (the Preatures), Paddy Cornwall, Seamus Coyle and Freddy Crabs (Sticky Fingers).
Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham (Mary’s) are the pair behind the Lansdowne’s comeback, and brothers Matt and Dan Rule (of the Annandale Hotel, another live-music casualty) are controlling the bookings. They’ve organised a series of secret gigs for the weekend, bringing some great underground bands out of hiatus to celebrate and showcase the local industry.
“This is a really important Sydney venue,” Matt says. “It’s been reopened by two Sydney guys who have done a great job resurrecting live music, and the local music industry is really excited about it.
“We’re celebrating the reopening of an iconic venue, but we’re also using local artists to show people that the Sydney music scene is really strong at the moment. We’re here to support it, and the local artists that make it what it is.”
The Lansdowne was vital to Sydney’s live music scene – the middle ground for bands too small to play Oxford Art Factory, but too established for a free gig at the pub. It hosted early-career performances from You Am I, the Living End and The Preatures. Although the hotel is outside the lockout zone, Rule says precautions have been taken to future-proof the venue with sound control to avoid complaints from neighbours
The line-up for Friday and Saturday will be announced a few hours before the gigs (check Broadsheet each night). Tickets are $10 and available on the door from 8pm.
“There are going to be some sore heads on Monday, no doubt about that,” says Matt.