Cinema Prague; Spank; Left Nut, All Ages, Halls Head Tavern, Mandurah, August 26, 1995

apologies for the word count Sue, but I grew up near and within this soul-destroying area and this project needs attention. If it doesn’t suit Revue thematics could you please pass it on, or at least the angst, to the right department. Ta.

Choices are vast for people in Perth. Oh, so you disagree?

Cry poor about the range of night life in the city and I dare you to spend a Saturday night under-age in Mandurah.

A southern city of over 41,000 retirees, young families and police is bound to have its problems and one of them is obviously its entertainment prospects for the city’s youth.

Jaded with their nightly limitations at sixteen and seventeen years of age, a group of Mandurah school students put together what the authorities have failed to do for years, an under-age concert which reached the cool kids and youth who have grown out of the toy scene at the local hyper-markets and theme parks.

Through handing out flyers at schools, posters in shop windows and with some direction from the City of Mandurah Youth Policy Officer, the senior students coaxed about eighty kids, aged between twelve and seventeen, out to see three bands they had never heard of. Did I say coaxed? By the end of the night eighty bodies were willingly bouncing around the room with the house lights on to Cinema Prague.

But it was not always so berserk in the house. The wallflower/ floorflower response to local Mandurah band Left Nut showed this reviewer that these were indeed intelligent kids. With no pants on, the lead Nut not only succeeded in making the world-weary sound crew squirm, but the youth were looking for a Safety House. Left Nut, pedestrian thrash with bad keyboard noises all bred too close to a leaky chemical factory, get a double thumb’s down.

With Spank’s Sascha Ion relishing the fact that she was taller than a few of the punters, again there was much finger-pointing-at-mouths by the assembled newly-Spanked. With the ‘party soundz’ mixing console frequently stealing Ion’s voice from the speakers it became obvious that Spank pretty much went over everyone’s heads, musical diversity not really being an option in Mandurah.

A young girl asked me if this was heavy metal, and then for Andrew Fuller’s phone number; it seems the rock ‘n roll ethos lives in the suburbs!

And as Cinema Prague’s Rex Horan ran into the building, late after playing two jazz gigs in Perth, I was again quizzed: “Does he always look that nerdy?” It took less than one minute of Horan’s elegant, black-suited flailing to elicit three responses from the crowd: “yes”, “cool” and an instant all-in moshpit.

Two songs after the house lights went up Prague closed what was the first and possibly be the last of this event. I was informed that funding was hard to come by for such projects. Dare I assume that the Mandurah authorities are too busy mopping up after youth misdemeanors rather than the preventative measures highlighted by these school kids?

I challenge the Mandurah community to grow up and help further this project.

Adam Connors