Australian Music Industry Reflects on Amazing Nights at Goodgod
Although Goodgod Small Club has sadly come to an end, not all is lost as the newly branded Plan B Small Club will still be operating as a live music venue and many of the GG promoters are already on board!
We are looking forward to seeing what they have in store for 2016, but in the meantime, we asked a bunch of Goodgod’s regular performers and promoters to talk us through their “Fondest Memory” and “Defining Track” of the club which will forever exist in our hearts.
Fondest Memory: That’s a tough one due to the amount of fond memories and the haziness of others, although it would be hard to go past the final front bar spritz as our fondest memory down at Goodgod. This was on the final night of lockout free Sydney, where we were able to take it right through till the early morn for one last time.
It’s special to us because it was the last time that Champain Lyf existed in its original format: front bar, 6am finish and as much bubbly as you could funnel. Oh and of course the healthiest amount of UKG in the city dressed up in the finest of sportswear and good manners.
Without Goodgod, Champain Lyf would not exist. There’s no way any of the other venues in Sydney would of taken a chance on what was originally, (and remains to be) a tongue in cheek salute to the UKG movement of the early 90’s.
Defining Track: Gabrielle ‘Sunshine’ (Wookie Main Mix)
Foundest Memory: Oh Goodgod, you will be deeply missed. Countless epiphanies in that back room spilling a jug of sangria. I recall early acid house sessions with Tim Sweeney back in the La Campana days, numerous FLRL [Fashion Launches Rocket Launches] gigs setup on the floor of the back, one of the first Jagwar Ma shows ever, playing only to our dearest of friends.
But the night that still stands out to me was the Picnic party Andrew Weatherall played after his Sydney Festival set at the Becks Bar in 2012. It was a tight knit crowd, mostly friends, brothers, allies, contemporaries. Something set a light that night, we actually managed to change the room’s fundamental dimensions. The ceiling was higher, walls were wider, Goodgod was transformed into an open air party…I’m not sure how, but it happened. Weatherall should need no introduction but sometimes he does, he’s without question one of the most important DJs of all time and he proved why that night. Everyone was dancing like their life depended on it. I remember thinking this is as good as any club in the world could get. It’s a crying shame I’ve return to a Goodgod-less city.
One of the closing tracks from that night defines the heights that Goodgod could reach. This track will forever remind me of the state of that room, Lord Sabre at the controls, in arms with our closest friends, like a family reunion…I’m not even sure if this track works outside that moment.
Defining Track: Fuck Buttons ‘Sweet Love for Planet Earth’ (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Fondest Memory: It’s quite hard for me to pick a favourite GG memory as it’s a place that inhibits a very special place in my heart and holds memories to several important nights for me.
The first time I performed at GG was quite unique in that it was the first time I’d played a Donny solo show in Sydney. I’d given my demo CD to a few people in Sydney and it somehow found its way into the hands of Mr Mikey Carr. He contacted me to open for US band Sun Araw at this relatively new club called Goodgod. For me it was taking the next step from the safety of recording music to performing the new tracks in front of an audience.
I remember standing side of stage having no idea what would happen and after beginning the first song giving myself the first 20 seconds on stage to get through…After that small period of time, the gig became incredibly fun and I never looked back. I had such a blast and I remember meeting Jimmy and Hana that night and hitting it off straight away. For me, there was nowhere else I would have gained the same support and reaction as Goodgod. It was a place where you could perform weird and interesting music in a venue that was more than up for it.
To have people like Jimmy and Hana, as well as so many supporting staff around, who were open and understanding to putting on such interesting music in Sydney, inspired you to follow through to further develop your music. After my first show in late 2010, I found myself at Goodgod regularly, both as a performer and punter and witnessed countless great shows and developing bands over the years. As I said, to pick a single night is tricky…I really had a great time whenever I’d play a show, especially on the GG birthday weekends and was very proud to be apart of the GG experience over the years at Vivid. It’s a place that was quite defining for me and I’ll always look back on it with the fondest of memories.
Defining Track: No tracks in particular…but, I remember being turned onto Egyptian Lover after Goodgod brought him over for the night at Vivid. That was pretty awesome. Seeing one man control a crowd with a TR 808 drum machine was very cool.
Fondest Memory: There are a lot, but the one that’s strongest in my poor memory was the FBi Click birthday this year, specifically the half hour of unbridled dancing after close with all the lights on, illuminating the front bar’s very damp dancefloor (the poor bar staff must have been pretty bemused). The energy in the room was unlike anything I’ve seen. I seem to particularly remember Vanessa Marian, who I’d never seen dance before, making my jaw hit the floor. Marcus [the other one in Tennis Boys] and I were with our friends Habits who had come up from Melbourne to play the previous night’s Friday Lite and I remember being very glad they got to see the side of Goodgod/FBi’s community that still acted in defiance of government-imposed closing time.
Defining Track: Given how many Champain Lyfs I’ve attended, I’ll have to go for the UKG classic Sia ‘Little Man’ (Exemen Works)
Tom Huggett (Astral People)
Fondest Memory: I definitely have hundreds of amazing memories from Goodgod so it’s pretty hard to pinpoint just one, but…watching Teengirl Fantasy play ‘Cheaters’ live in the club back in 2012 is definitely up there. Teengirl Fantasy were one of the first acts we wanted to tour since we began Astral People and their live show was always something we thought summed up what an Astral party is always about. We always thought they’d go down perfect at GG and their show was absolutely magical. I’ve never been smashed in the face so hard with strobes, it was definitely an experience I’ll never forget.
Oh and another unforgettable memory at GG which is a little more recent was at the final night just a couple of weeks back when Ariane was finishing up her DJ Set. My mates and I were dancing like crazy and we looked behind us and there were two completely naked girls (only wearing heels) having a wild time!
Defining Track: The Joubert Singers ‘Stand On The Word’
Sandro Dallarmi (FBi Click)
Fondest Memory: I didn’t know it at the time, but Four Tet’s 2014 DJ set in the Danceteria was one of the last times I experienced Sydney’s nightlife without a curfew. It went down less than three weeks before the lockout laws came into place and it was very special, even outside of that context. Four Tet played from 9pm until very late for an excitable crowd who were willing to follow him anywhere and boy did he go places. It’s disheartening that our city’s late night culture has been made illegal (at least for now), but this is a very fond memory nonetheless.
Defining Track: Probably that unShazammable track you’re not going to hear in any other club. Luckily the DJs were lovely and let you look over their shoulder when you were desperate for an ID.
Barney Kato (Wordlife/Kato)
Fondest Memory: One thing that’s not necessarily a particular memory but just a general golden time of a night at Goodgod was the end of the night with Jimmy and the staff often just letting the party keep kicking a little longer, even if most people had left. Being able to share an extra track or two with the hardcore dedicated dancers in the twilight hours was always a special joy!
Defining Track: Joy Orbison’s ‘Hyph Mngo’ is a tune I can remember playing there a lot during the Wamp Wamp / United Colours / Bad Ezzy & Kato & Low Motion co-pro era.
Paul Stix (UNDR ctrl)
Fondest Memory: All my Goodgod memories kinda blur into one incredible feeling of happiness. My first ever Goodgod experience was one of Slow Blow’s infamous parties, where I came down to check out Softwar who were resident DJs and about to join the Modular agency (where I worked at the time). I became an instant devotee of the club in the moment and would religiously go every month thereafter. I made a lot of friends through Goodgod and the Slow Blow parties, they were really pioneering an underground house movement in Sydney. I later began working with Slow Blow too on the agency, so the club, my social life and my working life all went hand in hand! A standout night though was Prosumer’s debut and the ‘mad max-esque’ cage that Pari built for the occasion, amazing effort!
Defining Track: George from Slow Blow would always keep me guessing with his track selection (Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m too Sexy’ could often be heard at 5am… and it worked!!), but lets roll with Total Giovanni’s ‘Can’t Control My Love’. We hosted their debut live Sydney show earlier this year and sold it out in advance. The hype was insane and the atmosphere was probably the best I’ve ever seen at Goodgod for a show. There was a defining moment for the band when the crowd starting singing the chorus back to them unexpectedly. A humble moment. A great moment. And another special musical memory from this amazing lil’ rave dungeon!
Daniel Stricker (Midnight Juggernauts/Siberian Nights)
Fondest Memory: The night we put on GG’s first Siberia House Band and playing Guru Josh – Infinity to as many people as you could ram into the back room. Two of my good friends who were touring, Bram (who plays with Beck) and Kirby (who plays with everyone from Dev to Norah Jones) were in the band – we rehearsed in the hotel one hour before we had to go on. Dale our tour manager was on Sax. That and the first few Siberian Nights we put on at the club before it was officially ‘Goodgod’, when you had to walk through the Spanish restaurant and buy a rider up the road to bring back down for the bands. I remember running around trying to find microphones at people’s houses beforehand, then plugging them into the DJ mixer and doing a two track mix 😉 R.I.P. Guru Josh.
Defining Track: GOD ‘My Pal’
Compiled & Edited by Tony Kingston