Small town

There was a benefit gig in Darwin last night for one of the longstanding members of the alternative music scene here. 17 bands of various quality and 2 stages all for the princely sum of ten bucks. There was a bbq too and a salad table that various people had brought dishes for. I couldnt help but notice that a bowl of pasta salad was uniformly avoided but everything else went and the sausage sizzle went all night long.

It was pretty well organised actually – the inside stage had the heavier louder music for the handful of younger kids who’d turned up in a pack and was busy trying to create a mosh pit of five. Looking at them jump all over each other in mock aggression like a bunch of puppies, I felt strangely sorry for them – the rest of Darwin is strictly down the line mainstream or hiphop. Young post-punks like them wouldnt stand a chance in the schoolyard or on the street. But I guess it adds more grist to the emo mill.

Almost everyone I knew in Darwin was there and that number had grown a surprising amount since I attended a party last week. But I felt on the outer anyway. I had to remind myself that it wasnt just about being newish to town and that I generally feel the same back in Melbourne at parties where I’ve known many people for years. But at least down south I’ve got the excuse of the big city – there are always so many new faces it makes for a good excuse to feel like i dont belong.

Here in Darwin, the hippie/alternative crew is so small and friendly with introductions made so easily that I dont have any such excuse. So rather than think too much about what it is, I made zero effort to connect and tried simply to just sit back, watch and get some vicarious feeling of community from the crowd. But i couldnt read the crowd, couldnt get any real feeling of what was going on.

As far as I could tell, people just got drunker as the night progressed. Maybe that’s all there was to it.

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