A post about music… and evening public transport.
I’ve been listening to the mysteriously named band Del Amitri for 30+ years, but hadn’t heard the nickname “Deli Meat Tray” before this week.
Remember that show Countdown Revolution – the short-lived music show that came after Countdown finished? I think I first saw them on there, with the video clip for Nothing Ever Happens – I still think this is an incredible song.
(If they updated the lyric “every third car is a cab” to “every third car is an Uber”, they wouldn’t be wrong, but most of it is timeless.)
Songs like that make stop and make you think. And I’ve always liked that most their love songs have a bitter twist.
Del Amitri toured back in the day, but I was an infrequent concertgoer back then – probably largely because I had no money.
This week they finally came back, playing the Palais on Thursday night, so I booked in – my first concert since 2019.
I spot the venue, the Palais Theatre and the entrance to the old funfair, Luna Park and I’m transported to 1990. I was 25 and in the throes of our first success. Did it ever occur to me then I wouldn’t be back until I was 58?Justin Currie’s blog – “Melbourne“
I’m still COVID-cautious, so wore a mask. This didn’t dampen my enjoyment. It was great. A mix of well-known classics and others off their latest album – starting with When You Were Young, the one that sounds like it’s a newly written nostalgic song by middle-aged men, but actually dates back to 1992.
There was a big (and funny) roar from the crowd when theatre staff decided to stop hassling a superfan for standing and dancing up at the front. Another when the band had a false start on Roll To Me.
Songs that I’ve known for decades elicit a strong emotional response for me, and there were so many greats – even if those public transport-referencing songs from Change Everything were thin on the ground!
Moving the crowds
Seeing the crowds waiting for trams afterwards always makes me wonder if more would use it if the evening services were better.
The trams only run every 20 minutes in the evenings (and 30 minutes on Sunday evenings), and you’ll wait up to another 20-30 minutes if you then need to make an onward connection to a train line.
Most of the buses are hopeless at that time of night (and make the 20-30 minute waits look good, even though in this context they are not).
Unlike most inner-city event locations, St Kilda Beach has a two-track terminus where you could theoretically park a tram for filling timetable gaps when busy evening events finish.
Fortunately it appears route 16 and 96 (and 3a on weekends) trams towards the City are somewhat staggered in the evenings, but clearing crowds quickly and efficiently is something that would be easier with better frequencies in all directions, and for onward connections.
Of course most venues have only one tram route in each direction, not three.
The ultimate solution is better night time frequencies befitting a city of 5 million where there’s always something happening – so everybody can easily get moving without a long wait.
Turn Up And Go should not just be about peak hour. Nobody should pretend that trains and trams every 20-30 minutes after dark (and most buses not running at all) is good enough for inner-suburban car free or “car light” living.
He appeared like magicDel Amitri – The ones that you love lead you nowhere
And he left you on a late night train
Yeah some things never change