I WAS THERE | BEDROOM SUCK PRESENT ‘THE GREAT MELBOURNE BIKE RIDE’ 12.11.2015
The Great Melbourne Bike Ride hosted by Bedroom Suck as part of Melbourne Music Week combined the best things in life – sustainability, community and Australian music. It was an ambitious idea, but one met with enthusiasm by the attendees who were a mixture of riding enthusiasts and Melbourne’s most loyal gig goers. It was refreshing to completely change the format of how I would typically attend a live music event whilst getting to know some of the lesser known pockets of Melbourne along the way.
First stop on the ride was to witness the ephemeral Ela Stiles. Set up in a food court within Docklands with ample tea and coffee for weary riders, Ela’s casual demeanor was hard to look away from as she performed. Her set was punctuated by no gaps between songs or even applause, with subtle shifts from one song to another mostly going unnoticed by the audience. Ella’s swirling instrumental samples and one person choir was equal parts mesmerising and disarming. A talent that I’m sure will be a more regular feature within the booming darkwave/lo-fi movement.
Stop #2 on the ride was the Mission to Seafearers gallery which hosted Hobart’s Chloe Escott from The Native Cats. Escott’s piano ballads were marked with poignancy and more emotion than a person hungover on a Sunday can typically handle. I particularly liked the lyrics that went along the lines of “I’m a sensitive man – that’s what it says on my aftershave”. I’m a big fan of sardonic lyrics with a lot of heart so was completely won over by Escott, particularly impressed with her attitude of playing the music she wants to play rather than the go to crowd pleasers.
Superstar were the final stop on the ride, lulling myself amongst others into a wonderful sleepy synthpop bubble. MPavilion was the perfect setting for their late afternoon set, with the impressive lilypad structure looking lovely amongst the setting sun and the duo’s tunes. Superstar’s songs are slow burners that create a palpable mood best utilised for when you’re looking to zone out into a dreamy soundscapes. The live music continued on into the night, with hypeworthy acts Great Outdoors, Free Time and Mick Turner keeping things going at the after party held at Testing Grounds, one of the best contemporary spaces in Melbourne.
Amongst musical circles Bedroom Suck is known as the label which allows some of the most experimental music being made to reach a wider audience. Label manager Joe Alexander has paved the way for inventiveness within music by creating an event that stands out in its originality. Perhaps the coolest, most Melbourne idea I’ve encountered in a long time, I should hope its success guarantees another event in a similar vein in the future.
By Holly Pereira / @pseudoholly