Posted by Hilary Bush
29. May, 2015
|June 1, 2015|
|8:00 pm||to||11:00 pm|
It’s Monday night, 9pm. If you’re picturing this girl in her jim jams struggling to recover from her Mondayitis – you’re wrong. This girl’s going partying.
When a friend tells me that her Monday nights for the last month have been dedicated to a local jazz party, I’m intrigued. “But partying on a school night?” I ask. “Even the old ladies are going”. Righto.
Melbourne Jazz Party is just one of many events hosted by Si Gould’s PR/Management/Consultancy company, Wondercore Island. Si, a well-connected local, has teamed up with Darcy McNulty (lead saxophonist), to create an unpretentious, accessible local party for the groovers of Melbourne.
What sets Jazz Party apart is the lack of a stage, the enthusiastic group of 20-somethings thrashing themselves round to the drum solo, and the spontaneous arrival of Harry Angus from The Cat Empire. Si tells me that Harry is a mate, and when he comes over during the break for a chat, we chat solidly for 5 minutes about his beard. The musos are personable, quite literally on your level, and play jazz that’s relatable to all ages.
The crowd is incredibly varied, from grey-haired hipsters to barely legal bespectacled youths. Admission to Jazz Party is solely dependent on your love of good music. Entry is free, and attendance is garnered largely by word of mouth and social media. The crowd has grown at the May residences at the newly-refurbished Memo Music Hall in St Kilda, mainly through hype in the local community.
Bix Beiderbecke once said, “One thing I like about jazz, kid, is that I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Do you?” Jazz Party certainly delivers on the unpredictability and spontaneity front. Just when you find yourself clapping along to one beat, it suddenly changes, and you’re happily out of time again. There are solos from all members of the band, and a female friend of the band’s who unleashes some serious vocals. The music is incredibly upbeat and tight, and you really can’t help but get into the swing of it.
My dancing begins conservatively; just a casual bob to (what I think) is the rhythm of the bass drum. But before I know it, my hands are in the air and I’m rock-and-roll dancing with anyone within a one metre radius. Si gets well into it too, telling me after that he dances hard because it feels good. Put simply, everyone at this Monday night party is just there for a good time.
Jazz Party is doing an encore show at Memo Music Hall in St Kilda (90 Acland Street, St Kilda (entrance is round the corner in Albert Street at the rear of the RSL)) next Monday night 1 June, 8PM onwards. From there, the party moves to The Gasometer Hotel in August (484 Smith Street, Collingwood).
We skirted our way out of the RSL well past my bedtime, high on the feeling only dancing endorphins can bring you, sure that we would never be as good at anything in life as those guys were at hosting a damn good party. Jazz Party will give you the only excuse you need to stay out past your curfew on a school night.
Jazz Party Encore Night
Memo Music Hall, 90 Acland Street, St Kilda
Monday June 1, 8pm-11pm
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