The Last Gig In Melbourne

by Geraldine Quinn

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A rock cabaret concept album about a city on the brink of live music collapse.


released December 11, 2016



all rights reserved


Geraldine Quinn Melbourne, Australia

Geraldine Quinn is a multi-award-winning writer-actor-songwriter-rock cabaretiér. She's been nominated for 14 Green Room Awards (winning 2), 2 Melbourne Comedy Festival Golden Gibbo Awards (winning in 2011), Best Cabaret in Adelaide Fringe (2013), 2 NZ Fringe Awards (2014) and is a Moosehead Award recipient (2011 and 2014).

She's healthily enamoured of David Bowie and not at all obsessed.
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Track Name: Comedy, Rock, indie, indie rock, cabaret, Cabaret Rock, Melbourne, - Audience Tonight
Audience Tonight

Without you here I am a nova in the sky
So lively from afar
But it’s another long dead star
Burnt out a million years ago…
Without you here I am a peacock with no tail
My fan of vivid plumes
Plucked out to decorate a room
While I’m left looking sheepish
Mixing my metaphors and freezing my behind
Please be my audience tonight…
Are you my audience tonight?
You are my audience

You make me light up when you’re in the room
I show off like a child
I’m nothing if not in your sight
You are my audience tonight…

Long as you look my way I wouldn’t change a thing
In love with all your eyes
I’ll risk my neck to make you smile
You are my audience tonight…

I’ll give you everything! I’ll give you my first born!
I give my soul to you
I gave my right ear’s upper register too
My tinnitus rings out for me and you
You’re in my heart – when all I hear is…oooooo…

Without you here, I’m nothing but a fool
Shouting at a distant wall
There is no point at all without you
I don’t make any sense without you
I have no future, dear, without you
So glad you’re here because without you
I’d have no audience without you
You are my audience tonight…
Track Name: Do Yourself A Favour
Do Yourself a Favour

In a land so long ago
When wizard, prince and piper dared to roam
Every night, the sun retired. The villagers would turn their weary eyes
To a magic light, from a box inside…

As they watched and ate their tea
A learned scribe preached from Ripponlea
He spoke to them of charts and symbols
Proclaiming ‘bout each brand new single

“Do yourself a favour” the mystic would exclaim
“This song is on the rise, my child! Number 1 in a matter of days!
Open your ears and follow me
This band’s the greatest ever seen!”

So they gathered once a week
To heed the words their leader deigned to speak
Every seven days, a new sound
As the minstrels jostled up and down the mystery scale.
Some flew. Some failed...

They looked to him in awe
And cried aloud, “Please father, tell us more…
Show to us your double-A sides!
And your awkward interviews worldwide!!”
And the sage cried:

“Do yourself a favour - Get yourself a copy, stat”
How could they ignore a man who dared to wear such a hat?
Open your ears and follow him! He is the greatest ever seen!

“(Do yourself a favour) This song’s spectacular
There’s not enough hyperbole to describe the wonder I heard
If you all do as I command I’ll lead you to the promised land!”

[The Bearded Rock Prophet]
But one witching hour of a midwinter’s eve
The cowboy of rock declared he must leave:
“My time here is done. Your destiny waits
I must go from this earth before I fail to rate
Take care of the minstrels, spare ye no cost”.
But without him to guide them, the people were lost!
So the songmakers wandered, withered and rambling,
Broken by tithing, insurance and gambling,
They played tunes of sorrow in large, empty rooms
Fearful, without him, the music was doomed!

(Do yourself a favour) Still echoes through the mist
His passion shining through even when he was pissed
He’d rant and rave ‘bout everything he heard
With every kind of adjectival word
But without him here to recommend
Will our love affair with music end…?
Track Name: In My Tribe
In My Tribe

Back of the bus
The sun-burnt seating scalds our teenaged thighs
Chuck a greasy if they get too close
This row’s reserved for the members of our tribe
Long skirts and longer socks pulled high
Braving insults, weathering the fights
We’re gonna be fine

Music drew us in like satellites
Compiling tapes with covers made by hand
We can tell if you are of our kind
The hem and hair show us if you’d understand
When we get out of this school, then we’ll give them what they’re due
We’re different from you

You can come inside if you’re dressed appropriately
Any colour, shape or size can be in my tribe
So give in
Let your mind go running
With the magic beat within
And tonight you’re something special when you’re in my tribe

In the back of the pub
Cigarette burns and the carpet Guinness-brown
We have a corner where we all hook up
The staff look good and the music’s far too loud

Next day when we go to work
Our ears are ringing and our clothes will stink of booze
The boss hates us but we can’t care less
We built our fate on half an hour’s snooze
The office comments are a bore:
“You’re not 16 anymore”
We’ve heard it before

It feels like growing up - we graduate from outcast to cool
Extreme is not enough in my tribe
Gather round
Let the wine flow free amongst the kindred souls you’ve found
And tonight
We’ll rip this town up - In my tribe
Track Name: Comedy, Rock, indie, indie rock, cabaret, Cabaret Rock, Melbourne, - Scrag Fight On Swanston Street
Scrag Fight On Swanston Street

On the corner
Something is about to go much “wronger”
Than it was an hour or so ago

Has Rachel by the hair; calls her a floozie
And kicks her in the derriere
Tempers are running high and cork heels are going flyin’
This is best fight we’ve seen so far in 1973

It started
In Flinders Lane, then the exchange
And rolled towards the railway station
Cardigans are ripped and bloodied; Rachel’s reputation’s muddied
Suzie slapped her young face hard and says:
“Stop flirtin’ with my sharpie!

You slut! You bitch! Bushpig! Take this!”
And the crowd shouts:

Hey you girls, better run and see
There’s gonna be a scrag fight on Swanston Street!

A rat’s tail
Is a very fine device for gripping
The scalp of someone you despise
So Rachel gets Suze in a choke hold
Says “Now who’s a slut, you fat mole!”
While the guy they are fighting over
Fucks off with some Broadmeadows scrubber

The slut! The bitch! Bushpig! Take this!”
And we all shout:

Hey you girls, better run and see
There’s gonna be a scrag fight on Swanston Street!
Track Name: $12 Cover Charge 2 Drink Minimum Love
$12 Cover Charge 2 Drink Minimum Love

I don’t ask who you are; You work at the bar
I never heard your name
From the tip of your nose to the cut of your clothes
We are the same
You never see me standing in line
But whether you know it or not - I know you are my
$12 cover charge, 2 drink minimum love

Meeting you would jinx it
I would never risk the danger
If I’m gonna keep you
I need to keep you a stranger

But in my mind you’re here with me, locked in cubicle three
No one knowing
My actions are morally sound. As long as you don’t know I’m around
I can keep going

You’ll never need to worry I’ll turn up on your door
The minute you notice me, it won’t work any more
Carry on my darling
If you never know I arrive
I can keep this feeling alive

I’m here every week. I watch you discreetly
From the mixing desk
Can’t hear what you’re saying - Some band is playing
But I can’t care less
I have to get this feeling tamed ‘cause I’m never gonna lose again
My $12 cover charge, 2 drink minimum love

When I pass the cash, I try to make your hand touch mine
So lightly
That innocent exchange will ease this brilliant pain
So slightly…

You’ll never need to worry about meeting my folks
Never have to try my cooking or laugh at my jokes
Carry on my darling
This is the most I can give
This is the best way to live
Track Name: Just Drunk Enough
Just Drunk Enough To Dance

Should I suck down a row of Jager bombs
Or hang from that chandelier?
Open my mouth and erupt into song?
Open my soul and burst into tears?
The next move I make could be my undoing
So many ways! So many mistakes! So much hinges on my intake!

Should I tell you everybody you ever met doesn’t like you?
Flounce around with a ribbon of loo paper
Emanating from the sole of my shoe?
The next deed I do could doom my reputation
Should I take lots of pills? Or get in a fight?
Roll down a hill? Tuck my skirt in my tights?
Tell you I love you, then walk into a wall?
Get a tattoo? Somersault down the hall?
So many possibilities! So many decisions to rue!

[Spoken] But not one of these things am I drunk enough to do
Though I am just drunk enough to dance!

One more shot of anything equals disaster
Right now I’m standing in the sweetest spot
Where I’m sure I am the greatest dancer
Better beware! Who knows which way I’m going!
Should I shriek like a monkey or squeal like a pig?
Tongue-kiss a junkie? Throw up in the sink?
Abandon my friends and burn every bridge?
Then make amends and empty their fridge?
Get into debt? Rewire a lamp?
Bum cigarettes? Throw myself off this amp? No no!
I teeter on the precipice of an eternity of regret

[Spoken] But not one of these things am I drunk rnough to do yet!
Though I am just drunk enough to dance!

Hey bar-tender with your RSA, don’t need to turn me away
‘Cause I’m completely OK
Just watch me shimmy, Watusi, fandango and jive
You better give me one more because I don’t have to drive!
Track Name: Stay Broken
Stay Broken

I found a hair of yours on my jacket from last night
When we were the roof talking about everything and nothing
I found my heart was running back to sit with you
When everything had closed, the morning streets are clear and empty

Everybody looks ugly on their own in a hotel room
Everybody knows somebody who they would rather screw
There’s nothing wrong with planning things we never meant to do
Stay broken

I found a little piece of you in my mind
Then it starts me laughing for a beat too long so
Working people fall a step or two behind
Thinking no one should be quite this happy in the morning

Everybody thinks
They’re more than themselves when with a heart
That makes your mind explode
And see yourself as somebody apart
When everything you thought was wrong
Turns out to just be who you are
Stay broken

I found myself thinking about when you’re not here
When you lose yourself in you, ‘cause no one else will ever do
When everybody stops being on your side
When you refuse us once too often and too strongly

Everybody looks beautiful when kissing someone else
Every time I think on you I find I’m singing to myself
It was a different girl who fell in love with you
Because she couldn’t think of a better thing to do
Than stay broken...
There’s nothing better to do...
Nothing better to do...
Track Name: Happening Now
Happening Now

Lights go down. Music fades.
Fall silent in anticipation
The audience, the people playing...
Form an unprecedented combination
The first musician hits the drums
The bassist next, then the guitarist strums
And one by one become the band
‘Til finally the singer walks toward the stand
You’re witnessing sound and souls combined
And you’re ready for the opening song to blow your tiny mind

Lights go up. Music swells.
The majesty of amplified rock compels you
To nod your head, to clap along
This many people can’t be wrong
You look around you to share that feeling
Revel in the joy we’re all revealing
But no one’s focussed on the show...
Their downcast faces have a blue-ish glow...
Is this a twisted, science fiction dream…?
Where punters come to concerts to stab at a tiny screen?

Put down your phone
Eyes glued to that thing in your hand
Don’t you realise - IT’S HAPPENING NOW

What the hell is going on?
They’re halfway through the opening song
Someone’s filming, someone Tweets
Someone books a vadge wax for next week
How can you feel the live elation
Through fractals of facsimile pixellation?
A sea of smartphones clogs your view
What for? A fuzzy clip on YouTube?
Will it make the memory more clear
That low-res muffled video of the band right here?

Put down your phone
Every calloused hand in this here band
Is giving you what’s HAPPENING NOW

Don’t try to hold the air
Give in to what you hear
A song gives most if you let it disappear...
Track Name: In My Tribe - The Return
In My Tribe - The Return

Back here again
A decade older but my bank account’s the same
The clientele aren’t as hip as then
They know a lot ‘bout how to superannuate

I can’t remember when I felt this grey
It’s 7.30 and I want this music off
In the corner where a band would play
Are cashed up bogans ‘neath a print by Tretchikoff

Slide my sad bones off the booth
Close the door on the uncouth
And ghosts of my youth...

And it feels like getting old
My people don’t come here anymore
The club house has been sold
By my tribe
I give in
Let my iPod keep the magic beat within
Stay inside
It can get lonely
In my tribe...
Track Name: The Last Gig In Melbourne
The Last Gig In Melbourne

Sunday afternoon in a café. He sits alone on a stool
Channelling George Benson on his threadbare Gibson guitar
And who’s there to see it? The bouncers are tired
Outnumbering the punters but they’re legally required
It’s not how we planned it. They’ve never had fights
What are they here for? This is The Last Gig in Melbourne...

Don’t tell me you missed it? That very last gig?
Don’t tell me – you were tired?
Maybe you’d go next time. Pity there’s no next time.

A Fitzroy pub on a Tuesday. Electro kids jabbing on a drum pad
Volume turned down to nothing so the flats next door don’t get mad
And no one can hear them over the register
The venue had letters via the council
It’s not how they planned it, waited months for this night
What are they here for? This is The Last Gig in Melbourne...

Don’t tell me you missed it? That very last gig?
Don’t tell me – it was cold?
Maybe you’d go next time. Pity there’s no next time.

On Thursday evening, the folkies
Beat bodhrains and pluck on their mandolins
In a fortress of pokies which drown them out with the din
The words are in Irish so no one understands
“Seachain fearg an fhir foighneach”
Beware the anger of a patient man
It’s not how we planned it. It doesn’t seem right.
What are they here for? This is The Last Gig in Melbourne...

“I’m sorry I missed it. That very last gig.
I’m sorry, I was skint - Maybe next time?
Wrong side of the river. Babysitting the kids
Hey I didn’t have petrol - Maybe next time?
Had to work in the morning. I drank too much beer
My boyfriend felt queasy - Maybe next time?
Stayed home and watched TV. I couldn’t be stuffed
Hey I’ll make it there next time.”

Pity there’s no next time.
Pity there’s no next time.
Such a pity there’s no next time.
Pity there’s no next time.
Track Name: The Peel
The Peel

The house lights bore holes in my tired, tired head
My emerald eyes glaze in the fluorescent haze
As security tries to convince us that the bar’s closed for good
Herding us like lambs
Into the abattoir of Collingwood…but it’s only…

Only 3am
What civilized venue calls last drinks by then?
This is no time for bed, in the night’s menopause
I’ve got just enough balance to get to the next club’s doors….

I’m not ready to go home
I’m not ready to go home

There’s still one place we can play
And it’s only a few blocks away
If we can convince them that we’re gay

And it’s time to go to The Peel
It’s time to surrender what’s left of sobriety
Time to go to The Peel
The night won’t be complete
Until we ride that rainbow unicorn into the rising sun

We know we can’t fool the guy on the door
He’s seen desperate, drunk hetero acting before
But he lets our group pass and step into the gloom
Of the heaving, well-groomed and drag-quilted room

There’s a smell in the air...
...vaguely familiar, but I’m not sure from where...
Best not to think about it.

Get from the bar – to the dance floor
I’ve never seen such high-waisted jeans ever before
I’m reasonably sure I just saw that guy’s bits
Flapping precisely in time to a 12” Black Box remix

I’m not ready to go home
I’m not ready to go home

We’re all bewitched by its call
Those layers of sweat on the walls
And the overabundance of balls

And it’s time to go to The Peel
To drown in the glittery pit of depravity
Time to go to The Peel
And we’re not gonna leave
Until we ride that rainbow unicorn into the rising sun

And as we break with the morning
We’re riding that rainbow unicorn into the rising sun…