June 10, 2010

The Tote, Redux!

When the The Tote closed in January i was really curious to see what other venues would step up to the plate. I saw myself going to the The Birmy, Old Bar, Yah-Yah's and The Empress alot more. Having it closed made many people see just how good it was. If i was asked what i missed the most it'd have to be sitting in the front bar eating pizza during Total Doughstruction. Or maybe walking in from the rain to see Black Flag on the shitty little tv and hearing Deaf Wish on the jukebox. I've been going to the place since 2004 when i was just 14 or 15 for the Ska-B-Q shows. 

So to show your love, go in for a drink tomorrow as it's the first day it'll be open for the public.

This is what it looks like under the stairs now, looks good to me.
These are the current lease holders: Sam Crupi, Jon Perring and Andrew Portokallis.
These guys also run Yah-Yah's, Bar Open and Pony.

Here's a statement written today from Bruce Milne:

"When I announced the Tote was shutting the doors in January, I was certain it was the end of an era, certainly the end of the Tote. I didn’t count on the overwhelming community reaction to the news.

That the Tote is reopening is a result of that reaction and the efforts of so many thousands of people that demonstrated, signed petitions, wrote letters and let their feelings be known. It’s the result of a lot of hard, behind-the-scenes, work by FG4LM and SLAM that has affected some real change in the way Liquor Licensing and the government treats live music in this state. There’s still a lot to be done but the future for live music looks a lot brighter than it did a few months ago.

I’m very happy that Jon, Sam and Andy have taken over The Tote. They went out on a limb and took over the licence without any firm guarantee that the high risk license conditions would be reversed. Their accountant must have told them they were crazy.
The Tote will be different but in lots of good ways. As it has under previous owners, The Tote will evolve. Just like Melbourne music. It will continue to be run by music lovers. Many of the old staff can kiss the dole office goodbye as they have been re-employed. It will continue to be a second home for music lovers.

It’s a simple formula – have a beer, watch a band, chat with friends, moan about what should be on the jukebox. As Wally Meanie said, “It’s not rocket surgery!”