Oh Come On!

I wasn’t planning to post about seeing The Julie Ruin {yeah right, who am I kidding?}, but Wednesday nights show in Melbourne was just fifty million kinds of super duper awesome and I can’t resist. And even though we still have the Sydney show tonight, I just can’t imagine it being better, because the Melbourne venue was nice and small and intimate, they were so great as a live band, and…what else…oh that’s right… WE MET THE BAND!!!


To start at the beginning, after a two and a half hour flight delay due to a faulty airplane {awesome}, we finally made it to our hotel with literally no time to spare. We were hot: it was 42 C, sweaty from the supposed three {read: twenty} minute walk from the station to our hotel. {Note to the taxi driver who suggested we walk: the STREET was in fact three minutes away, starting at number six-hundred-and-something, but our hotel was at the OPPOSITE end}. Dinner was booked for six and we walked into our room at 5.45 pm needing a long shower, a stiff drink, and a lie down. Instead we hit the mini bar, downed a few drinks in record time, had lightning fast showers and were out the door.

Let me just quickly rave about where we had dinner, Portello Rosso on Warburton Lane in Melbourne. How many ways can I say YUM? We had tapas and everything was delicious. I also tried the sparkling Spanish white wine known as cava for the first time, and hello new favourite bubbly. The best thing about tapas though is that you don’t feel like you have eaten too much, and you get to try lots of different things. I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re ever in Melbourne.

Onto the gig, and the fun started as soon as we got out of the cab in front of the venue. As I was getting out of the car and looking around thinking, “everyone’s wearing black, why did I chose a brightly patterned dress?”, my Husband says: “there’s Kathleen Hanna”. As in the lead singer, feminist punk rock icon, riot grrrl pioneer, legend, and subject of a gushingly embarrassing post. I looked around and saw a glimpse of the distinctive tattoo on her arm as she walked away down the street. I stood staring as my Husband was saying we should go and say hello. And, typically, I froze. Somewhere in my head I was thinking she’s walking away, how far down the street am I going to follow her before she becomes disturbed, and also, should I bother her? She turned around as her group looked at something in a window, and I waved stupidly and smiled at her. She smiled and waved back, and was gone. I walked into the club listening to my husband say that he just doesn’t understand me sometimes.

I was looking forward to catching up with an Instagram friend I met the first time we went to Melbourne, and this time getting to have a proper chat. We managed to talk after the support band finished, and soon it was time for The Julie Ruin. I spied Kathleen walking onto the stage through a crack in the curtains wearing a leotard, and for some reason shouted “she’s wearing undies!”. {“Some reason” being code for too much vodka}. They hit the stage, won over a predominantly female crowd filled with riot grrrl feminist devotees, and made us all laugh, sing, and dance.

Kathleen Hanna says, "Melbourne heatwave? Fuck pants!"
Kathleen Hanna says, “Melbourne heatwave? Fuck pants!”

After the show we were on a mission to meet Kathleen, and we weren’t the only ones: no one was going anywhere. And it wasn’t long before we were rewarded. The bass player Kathi and keyboard player Kenny made their way to the merch desk where they signed stuff for people, but we stood where we were waiting for Kathleen. And naturally it was when my husband went to join the queue at the bar that I spied her, again through the crack in the curtain, walking onto the stage to pack up her gear. After consulting with my Instagram friend {“GO!”} and before I could stop myself, I went to the middle of the closed curtain, stuck my head through and just about head butted Ms Kathleen Hanna herself! After explaining that I had seen her earlier and had experienced temporary fan girl paralysis, I went on to tell her how much I love her, how much her music means to me, blah blah blah cue gushing adoration. She was really lovely, and leaned over the speaker and gave me a big hug. I asked for a photo but she said she had to pack up so maybe later. I thanked her, yanked the curtain shut and skipped over {literally} to tell everyone. Can you imagine how impressed my husband was that I had met her without him? Um, yeah. But then Kathi walked past and we said hi and high fived her, Kenny walked past and we stopped him for a quick hi and a photo. My husband tried my parting-the-curtain trick and ended up meeting guitarist Sara, and I also saw him talking to the drummer Carmine. So between the two of us we had said hello to the whole band.

Moi, Kenny , and husband.
Moi, Kenny , and husband.

We slunk around to the outside exit to wait for the band, and were rewarded by a decent chat with Kenny in which I invited the band over for dinner when they got to Sydney. He laughed but very politely declined. {I wonder if he thought I was joking?}. I also made some lame stalker jokes, and soon after that the security guy asked us to leave because apparently he didn’t find my stalker comments funny, so after some grumbling we reluctantly left.

And even though I still wouldn’t mind the pic with Kathleen I had such a great time in Melbourne that at the Sydney show I am more than happy to just soak up the music. {That, and the venue doesn’t lend itself to stalker type activity}. Plus we get to see Mudhoney in two weeks and Sebadoh in March and we’re just so spoiled with so much great music, and I got my hug and that’s worth so much to me because she is truly such an inspiration.

And it occurs to me that even though I am a Sydney girl, we have so far had a 100% success rate with meeting our heroes in good old Melbourne, having met Evan Dando, Adalita, and now The Julie Ruin at their Melbourne gigs.

Evan, Adalita, and Kathleen.

Holy shit.


Til next time,



6 Thoughts

  1. Yay!! Very happy for you and really smiling wide reading this. They’re coming to Canada in April and after reading your fantastic at-the-show tale- I want to go. Hope gig #2 is just as incredible for you! and Melbourne is obviously a magical zone.

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