When you get to that stage of your pay cycle/Centrelink payout/cheque from dad (I wish) where you’re living off toast, smoking the resin out of your pipe and asking your mate if he’ll lend you a fiver till Tuesday, there’s nothing quite like free shit is there? Well, good news, everyone!
Cue Blue Tile Lounge. It’s a venue that often has free live music, and even when it charges it’s only around six bucks. I have been in love with Blue Tile for a while now; it’s a great pub, long and skinny like Joey Ramone. The stage is the size of a postage stamp. The bar staff are always friendly as fuck and they make good drinks for low prices (always a plus, but cash only folks). It’s a Smith Street gem that often gets overlooked as it’s nestled right next to higher-profile Yah Yah’s, but in a lot of ways it’s better: it’s cheaper, less pretentious, and there’s a higher chance of weird shit happening. It houses a crowd that strikes up conversations with each other when they’re outside having a fag.
It was at Blue Tile I was introduced to the live insanity of Melbourne band Thomy And The Tanks, who I seriously believe would be big news if they could stay sober long enough. Lead singer Thomy was a blizzard of crotch-thrusting yowls and cackles, fronting a band that lurched from loose to looser, all in the name of top-notch rock ‘n’ roll. To catch their act on an unsuspecting Thursday night was a wonderful surprise; it’s like that feeling at Christmas when your nan stops giving you some lame piece of shit and gives you 20 bucks instead.
Oh yeah, and one last cool thing about the pub: often, you can hang out and have a beer with the band afterwards. I was going to do this, but by the time they had finished up I had harassed too many people into doing rounds (tip: when you’re broke, get your round in early, before everyone arrives. Then later in the night force everyone to buy shots). So we had to bail in order to consume the necessary bread products, aka pizza from that awesome place on Brunswick Street.
Renee Tibbs is enrolled in a Graduate Diploma in Journalism at La Trobe University. This piece was originally published at her blog duck down the alleyway.