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The badass team behind the Oxford Art Factory officially take the reins from the Mary’s Group – and open with epic free night – Rejuve(nation)
The legendary venue that is the Lansdowne Hotel first opened its doors back in 1993, and anyone who grew up in Sydney will surely have a filthy tale stemming around the iconic building on the corner near Broadway – whether it be die hard friendships born, lovers under the spotlights of sweaty gigs, cheap eats and mad, mad bands. The renowned live music venue whose slogan ‘all are welcome’ has rang true for many of the best artists from Australia launching their careers, and indeed from all around the world. It has been a symbolic venue for the power of art, the power of the collective, and played an important role in the city’s night time culture.
The operators of The Lansdowne, who are also behind the wildly popular Oxford Arts Factory, have orchestrated a full revamp of the downstairs garden that feels like you’re literally in a Saigon back alley, complete with mopeds and bins for tables. With fresh licks of paint throughout, a new mouth watering menu and shockingly clean bathrooms – it marks a new era for the establishment. But the opening party still rang true to its roots – holding space figuratively and literally for its eclectic range of patrons with faces from the ages of 18 through to 80!
The line-up showed an array of diverse budding bands alongside some old school heroes.
Lady King brought her soulful band and constant smiles to the room and easing everyone like silk into the night. Next we heard FFMB kick off the heavy riffage, starting to get the crowd bouncy. Caitlin Harnet and The Pony Boys graced the stage, whose vocals soar with heart and feel synonymous with all the great country musicians of the land alongside that modern jam twist. We were delighted with the snarling pitch perfect songs of Romy Vager (RVG), the gritty Melbourne foursome, followed up by the more Indie meets rock pop sounds and colours of Byron’s Hayley Mary. It’s safe to say the crowd went wild for the 80’s post disco embodiment that is Donny Benet, recently back from his successful European tour – singing songs of Santorini in a white tux and advising the crowd to love their bodies and feel sexy.. We all got a little high from the nostalgic waves spun from Winston Surfshirt, and moved right into the feel good vintage funk of Groove City, the self proclaimed ‘love child of Chic and Jamiroquai’ of Melbourne. With more live acts and eleven DJ sets – it’s safe to say the night WENT OFF with a literal queue around the corner to get in from doors opening till close.
In an earlier press statement, Mark Gerber, founder of the Oxford Art Factory said: “I wasn’t going to let yet another music venue fall by the wayside, not on my watch! The Lansdowne has played a hugely important role in the careers of many of our greatest music stars who have conquered the world. The Lansdowne is rejuvenated and continues to give voice to emerging and established artists and musicians.”
So Sydney, this place is OFFICIALLY back on the map, get yourselves down there and soak up that fresh energy and new talent it’s putting out Wednesday through until the early hours of Sunday every damn week!