The age old importance of the all ages gig: With Andrew Brassington

I got into the music scene pretty late. When I was in my early teens, I was absolutely content with just whatever happened to be blasting on the radio at the time, also my parents listened to a lot of Neil Diamond which is probably why I’m such a big fan now. I didn’t really have any idea about any sort of music culture or what it meant to be passionate about music, and be part of a particular community. For me, it really wasn’t until I turned 18 that I realised there was a whole other world of wonderful music to discover, and most importantly a whole lot of opportunities to see the bands I love, live. 16 year old Andrew Brassington has different ideas. And with the help of The Commons and his own booking agency Boys Don’t Cry, he’s taking leaps and bounds towards making music accessible to the masses of wonderful music fans, regardless of the age bracket. Here’s a little bit of what Andrew had to say about his upcoming gig at the Commons this Saturday.

“Over the last year or so I’ve fallen in love with live music and all the bands amongst the Newcastle scene, and it just amazes me at the massive amount of variety. You’ve got your hardcore bands like Pasha Bulka and Staunch that still exist from the Hombre days, you’ve got alternative rockers like Split Feed and Smacked Youth as well as indie heartthrob’s like The Treehouse Children, Oilbaron and Altai. And all the amazing bands on NoFi Records almost exist within their own little category because they’re so unique and special. It’s incredible that such a small tight knit community can be so diverse, and it’s beautiful that these bands all coexist in the same space. Everyone’s supportive of one another and you go out and see each other’s  bands, it’s a real homely vibe”.

But why the Commons as a venue? I’ve been there a couple of times myself and it’s a really great space, but what drew you to utilising it as an all ages space?My involvement with The Commons came about after catching a show there back in January and I realised how much potential the room has as a venue, especially to fill the void that the closure of Drone left in the underage scene. For those who don’t know, The Commons is a community shared space run by a group of dedicated hardworking volunteers. I got in contact with them to put on a show or two and they were really supportive to get behind it with me. After the success of the first show that NoFi Records helped me present, The Commons were keen to have me back”.

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In regards to the importance of underage gigs, Andrew responded passionately “There are a tonne of under 18’s bands that don’t really have anywhere else to play.” Continuing he adds, “All ages gigs are important to the scene because it gives bands a chance to open up to a completely new audience and demographic they otherwise can’t expose themselves to. It’s also an incredible way for young people to make friends and go out. It’s been scientifically proven that live music can improve one’s mental health, so for teenagers (and anybody) suffering from mental illness or just feeling down, it’s a really great way to get away from that and feel happy. For the last six months of its existence, I became a Drone regular and met a lot of people that I would constantly see back there every few weeks. This group of people were incredibly close and became my friends. We need places like The Commons that are able to host all ages shows to be supportive of young people and fill the void that Drone’s closure has left in the scene”.

All of this passionate pride and determination has been pushed into his latest event, kicking off this Saturday the 27th, with a sneaky preview of what’s happening in the future as well! “On the 27th Boys Don’t Cry is presenting Central Coast alt rockers Guiltrip teaming up for a co-headline show with newcomers Aurora Borealis who formed out of the ashes of the legendary Reebtoor. Jumping on that show is the incredible femme-fronted post punk powerhouse Chimera who always put on a killer live show, and pop punk boys from Sydney, Sixteen DaysWe’re really excited to try a lineup like this which could’ve easily existed and packed out Drone back in the day. This show is gonna be incredible and it’s only $5 entry. Can you go without a milkshake and instead catch some live music with friends? Also clear your diaries for towards the end of June, as we plan to bring up a very cool band from Sydney”.