Three minutes later you are walking along Chapel Street with Anthony
and his design school buddies. Chapel Street is an extra-long shopping
district which extends through several suburbs. It's a crowded street with
lots of pedestrians. You are headed towards Revolver Upstairs, the
bar and lounge.|
But to me it's not just a bar and lounge -- it's a symbol of
something fresh and exciting on the social scene. Last year it
was the place where design students met between classes whenever they had
the opportunity. To be invited to Revolver was to be accepted into the group --
and whenever I sat in Revolver I was one of them -- I didn't have to
say anything, just sit there and listen to the music and I could
tell myself that they were my friends. And now you have the opportunity to
do the same.
The other reason Revolver is so significant is because it's the place I
went to my first live gig on June 26th last year. That night has achieved
legendary status in my mind -- I went to Revolver alone for the first
time to see my favourite band, The Paradise Motel, and through a strange
twist of fate I actually got to watch the band rehearse, and the lead
singer said hello to me, and that pretty much changed my life. So ever since
then I've been going to live gigs all over the place. Some have been more
fun, some have been less fun, but none have quite matched the thrill and
special magical quality of that first gig.
Anthony is saying something to his friend Michelle. "Hey, we're
going to party on down tonight. We're gonna get wasted. Maybe later on we can go out and
buy something to eat, like at McDonalds, and we'll watch a band and have
some beer and maybe even some chunky."
And Michelle says, "Chunky?"
And Anthony says, "Yeah, some chunky, serious, boh."
Boh, he said. It's one of those design-student slang words.
You arrive at the
Revolver entrance. As you climb the stairs, you hear the drum
and bass music coming from within and it strikes you that the music must be
extremely loud. As you pass through a corridor lined with gig advertisements, the
music fills your head and passes the pain barrier, with the bass causing vibrations
way down in your empty stomach -- then it abruptly stops. You have entered the
gigantic cavernous lounge area. Why has the music stopped? Is there something
wrong with the PA system? No, you realise... the silence is much deeper than
that. There are no sounds at all. The music is still there, but you can't
hear it -- you have gone completely deaf.
Revolver upstairs is place with its own style. It's not one of those rich
swanky places for the high society -- it's a place for artists and people
who follow the local music scene. The walls are lined with art -- cutting-edge,
post-modern stuff -- and there are signs and objects out of context -- whoever
decorated this place was being very creative on a small budget. The floor area
is crowded with chairs, sofas and coffee tables which look like they were bought at twenty
different secondhand furniture shops. Anthony and his gang head towards an empty
lounge area. You sit down and Anthony indicates that he's going to buy a drink
The design students are sitting around. This is what we do -- we sit around and
listen to loud music. And drink alcahol. Some of them are lighting up
cigarettes and breathing in the smoke silently. The afternoon sun is fading -- people turn
to silhouettes when they pass between you and the windows. A drink is placed into
your hand. No one is talking to anyone -- nay, I tell a lie, someone over there is talking to
the person beside them on the couch, leaning close to their ear -- you can see
their lips moving. But you can't hear it. This is a place of enforced silence --
the music is so loud, it goes beyond music. The speakers seem to be emitting
a deafening silence which obliterates all other forms of sound. And yet maybe
the students can hear it, if only on a subconscious level -- occasionally you
see them tapping their hands to the beat, just a slight movement here and there.
And so it goes on, for the best part of an hour.
You wander over to the window and see this:
That's the last of the sunlight. This place is getting darker
by the minute. As you wander back to your place you can hardly
make out the faces of the others under the dim lighting. But after
a few drinks it doesn't seem to matter. Whenever you reach the end
of one drink, Anthony buys you another. As the night progresses,
everyone around the coffee table is becoming well-oiled and content.
But they continue to just sit there, and lift their glasses up and
down, and fill the room with cigarette smoke.
You've been here for what seems like hours. The place is getting busy --
shadows move on your peripheral vision, dark forms constantly
circulating. And the more crowded it gets, the less light falls on you
from the weak iridescent light bulbs which hang from the ceiling. The silence, too,
gets deeper -- you wouldn't have thought it possible, but it does. Sitting in your
chair, drinking in the sedation, you can feel yourself descending into
the chasm of the night -- it's a deep, dark place which you never intended
to enter, but now in this state of tranquility, you have no desire to return to
the light ever again. The sillhouetted shapes of the students seem to drift
away with their cigarette smoke and fade to blank.
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