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Monday, 26 March 2018

I heard an angel singing - a farewell ode to The Basement

As a regular live music goer, I'm very saddened at the news of the closing of The Basement - an iconic Sydney venue that closes this week after 45 years of giving much joy to it's patrons.

Over the years I've attended so many shows - tributes to Amy Winehouse and Frank Bennett's Rat Pack show as well as album launches by Saskwatch and huge international acts such as Babylon Circus, KT Tunstall, Jon Cleary and many others.

Earlier this month, I gathered a posse of 14 and we headed there to dance the night away to the Cotton Club Orchestra - for some it was the first time to the venue, but for many of us, it was just another night out, none of us realising it was our farewell.

One of the best things about the Basement, other than the luxury of an intimate venue, is that it is easy to get to, from everywhere. In the centre of Sydney, a short walk from Wynard or Circular Quay. Soon it will be gone. 

People of Sydney, with our music venues dying out, please make it viable for the few that remain. The price points are appealing, so grab a ticket to a show at Leadbelly, the Metro or Lansdowne. Take a punt on someone you've never heard of. Get a group together for a fun night out. What you don't use, you lose.

To the owners, I want to say thank you for a wonderful creation you made. I have many fabulous musical memories, and had so many fun nights out at your place. You offered opportunities for new and established artists, and for audiences to explore a broad range of music live. It's a huge loss for Sydney, and I'm sure you must be sad, but please be proud of what you created and gave this city.

I'll leave you with my favourite act, who I think we saw three times at the Basement over the years, the sublime Eric Bibb. 

Linking with #MummyMondays #Lifethisweek and #OpenSlather


  1. it's sad when something you have known for so long changes. We had an iconic pub near me on the beach. I grew up drinking and partying there. It closed a year ago to be developed into housing. What a waste!!!

  2. That is sad. I never made it there before moving to Brisbane but I know what an institution it is/was. I am not a huge gig goer but my husband loves live shows and gets the guys together regularly to go to small gigs all over Brisbane. Compared to the huge ticket prices at arena shows it is great to see that you can catch a few acts for $10-40.

    1. That's what I liked - for $50-$60 you could just take a punt on an unknown...when it's an effort to get there and $150 a ticket, you need to know that it will be good...

  3. I have never heard of it but it sounds like it was a great place. Sad when that happens.

  4. What a shame! Intimate venues like this are hard to come by- everything seems to be geared at bigger stadium shows, which I generally loathe :(

  5. Oh that is so sad. I don't know why I've never been. Small but perfectly formed spaces are much more intimate and virtually guarantee a good time. What a loss for the Sydney music scene :(

  6. Have enjoyed the unknown for me music (thanks for sharing) - so sad, that it closes now!
    Greetings from Germany

  7. Whilst I have never been I am pretty sure that I know members of my family have. It is sad to know of such a Sydney icon closing. Denyse #teamIBOT

  8. It is sad when "institutions" close down. Hopefully, the remaining ones will help fill the gap.

  9. Lydia,

    I'm not familiar with this band but I enjoyed the introduction. I will check them out on YouTube. I apologize for the late dance. My father-in-law passed and we laid him to rest on Monday in southern West Virginia. Thanks for joining the 4M gals on the dance floor. Please join me on Saturday for an early edition of BoTB!

  10. It's so sad to see this vital part of our culture fading away. Thanks for sharing your personal memories of The Basement too.

    SSG xxx

  11. I remember going a few times - I love venuse like this so much more than stadium shows...yet, sadly, too many are going this way.

  12. What? The Basement closed? You're kidding?!? I've been hearing about so many live music venues going the same way, it makes me sad. I hope The Metro and The Enmore survive. I've seen SO MANY shows at those two places.

  13. Times are certainly changing. Very sad. Intimate venues are better than big stadiums. It's a shame.

  14. It is sad and I think NSW Govt is losing the plot with some developments.
    Yet in the paper I read that Sydney misses out on large shows because of limited theatre seats.
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 14/52. Next week's optional prompt is "Share Your Snaps" an every 5 week prompt in 2018. Denyse.

  15. Oh no! I spent many wicked hours at the Basement in my 20s and 30s and was there again quite recently. What a dreadful loss to the cultural life of Sydney.