the end of the alibi

so, the group that’s planning alt worship in port melbourne met last night at the drifters’ alibi, our intended venue, to the news that the owners have sold up and are moving out sometime in the next few weeks, and that the new owners are refurbishing… no doubt to a minimalist, sophisticated template, which will be absolutely, completely wrong for what we want to do.

[this is a repeated story for me. i spent at least one night a week, for the first few months of this project, at a local wine bar – deco’s [it’s a very difficult job, this one] – where i cultivated a friendship with the managers. we were at the point of throwing around ideas for advent stuff [writing poetry on the walls – they had teflon paint – changing the music, doing beer coasters]. they sold up too. then i built up a useful relationship with the owners of the curry family hotel in collingwood – we used it as a venue when pete rollins came out. they sold in the week before pete’s visit… the new owners painted the dining room red, and started selling barramundi steak and kangaroo stir fry instead of the thursday night burger special. sigh.]

anyway. we have a plan b. or at least, we have a plan to develop a plan b.

the disappointing thing is that the alibi was perfect. it was grungy and unsophisticated. there were multiple spaces. it had hooks in the rafters which were absolutely perfect for hanging fabric screens – they couldn’t have put them in better places if they’d tried. the wall lamps even had removable shades – we could make our own with images – the sofas were comfortable, the bar staff were laid back. more than anything though, it was the kind of pub where you didn’t have to pretend to be anyone to be at home there. it just felt right. it couldn’t be pretentious if it tried. it was the local, as locals always used to be. they still have the chicken parma night.

places like that are hard to find over the south side of the city – especially in the inner city.

stu from solace and i keep talking about setting up a website that tells the story of the things we do that don’t work… of the hiccups along the way, the failures, mysterious stuff ups. they far outnumber the things that go smoothly.

i know that’s the way of it, and it’s the cost you pay when you are looking to do stuff in a public space instead of in a church which you control… but it is frustrating, and it’s going to change our momentum, and it’s winter, and we’d rather be sitting in a pub by a fire than walking the streets looking for somewhere to belong in a homeless kind of fashion…


  1. Kel

    how frustrating!

    i’d love to read your and stu’s “fail your way to success” blog 🙂

    perhaps there is a pub with a fire that would work well for what you want to do
    or, I read a great article in the weekend papers about all these old corner milk bars in fitzroy that have been converted into local cafe hangouts – not necessarily chrome and beige places with cafe del mar on the soundsystem, but homely almost grungy spots where the locals hang

    we have nothing like that here
    i’m envious of your multiple choices in the city – guess it gives you a myriad of places for the bottom to fall out 😉

  2. Cheryl

    there are dozens of places in fitzroy – that’s why i live over this side of town! the rest of those involved in the alibi space are from over the other side of the river, where everything is a little more monochromatic…

    you have trees under which you can have picnics. that’s probably a fair trade.

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