In an otherwise dark week for Sydney’s live music scene, which saw iconic music pub the Annandale announcing it was going into receivership; it has been revealed that an Enmore-based live music venue has been given a lifeline by a new buyer who plans to resurrect the intimate band room.
The news comes after 300-capacity venue Notes shut its doors on January 16th, issuing an ominous statement saying: “it is with great sadness it looks like [we] will not be reopening in the near future.”
As a result, shows previously planned for the venue, including Jeff Martin, Vin Garbutt (UK), and Heather Peace (UK) were moved to other venues in the city, including The Bridge Hotel in Rozelle and the Coogee Diggers RSL.
Cut to today however and it seems Notes has escaped its gloomy fate.
As reported by The Music, a new proprietor has been found and progress is being made to breathe live music into the venue once more, with the interested parties currently in the process of sorting out counter licenses, liquor licenses, and development applications.
A full announcement is hoped to be made by Notes’ proprietors “sooner rather than later,” with Steve Griffiths and Geoff Trio set to stay on as the agents for Notes, but the process of re-opening could take as long as six months.“We just want to have more opportunities for more people to be playing live music and for more people to be enjoying it.”
Notes’ return contrasts with the devastating news earlier this week of The Annandale Hotel falling into receivership due to crippling ongoing financial struggles, telling a private farewell party that the owners would be handing the keys back to the bank.
However, making a statement on their Facebook page on Monday, the venue owners are determined to do everything in their power to save the venue, telling its many fans that “the hotel is not closed and our goal is to work with the bank to ensure the live music will continue through this period”.
Their campaign has been met with overwhelming support from musicians and politicians alike including newly elected mayor of Annandale, Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne, who caught wind of the Annandale going into receivership and quickly sought to draw attention to the venue’s plight.
Speaking to The Age, the newly elected mayor made bold proclamations of support: “I for one will be doing everything I can to make sure that the Annandale remains a live music venue, including working urgently with the receivers.”
“[It’s] a real wake-up call to everyone who supports live music, that governments need to get their act into gear and do something to revive the industry before it’s too late,” he said. “Local Government must promote, not prosecute, live music venues.”
The Annandale’s struggles have included a long-standing legal battle with local council over noise complaints, and even the capture of two idiotic robbers who were caught on camera pilfering the venue; but its imminent closure still comes as a shock given that it seemed that the Annandale’s financial woes had balanced out.
The venue even coming in to bat for fellow live music venue The Sando during the pub’s own controversial closure mid-last year; later being sold to the owners of Melbourne’s Northcote Social Club for a newly appointed venue called the Newtown Social Club, a move that was apparently made by the banks without the Sando’s owner Tony Townsend’s knowledge or consent.
Coinciding with the many headlines circling Sydney’s live music scene, The Music reports that the Live Music and Live Performance Taskforce, made from a team of 11 music experts, assembled on February 8th to draft an action plan for the City of Sydney Council.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who leads the live music taskforce, saying “we just want to have more opportunities for more people to be playing live music and for more people to be enjoying it”, hope remains for The Annandale’s keys to return once again in the hands of its owners, and for the venue to return to Sydney’s ailing live music scene.