The Audreys, at the Docklands.

The Audreys were playing last night in the Docklands, and since I’d been in the city for dinner, I decided to pop along for a look.

The show was part of a larger line-up for Moomba, and the host introducing them was touting it as the “first time Moomba had ever come to the Docklands”. Well, if the number of patrons there was any indication of the location’s popularity, I suspect it will be the last time, too.

When the band started playing, there were probably no more than fifteen people watching, although this grew to about a total of around 35, as lead-singer Taasha’s amazing voice attracted the few passers-by that were in the area. I saw them play about a month ago, at the St Kilda festival to a huge audience, but this was a very different affair.

I don’t quite understand why successive governments have been pushing the Docklands. The area itself isn’t anything to write home about – I recall one real estate agency advertising a development there as “the only place in Melbourne with north-facing water views”, declining to mention that those northern views were of industry, and that on the western edge, there is The Port of Melbourne, hardly one of Melbourne’s prettier sights. Looming not far off in the distance is the concrete disaster known as the Bolte Bridge – fortunately they didn’t name it after a politician that I respect. Waterfront City, where the concert was staged, seemed to consist of little more than a few high-rise apartment buildings, a big tent (which was closed) and a bunch of generic, American fast-food stores.

To top it off, the area has fairly abismal public transport. It’s a long walk from Spencer St station, and the trams there aren’t particularly frequent. In all, it’s quite an inappropriate venue for a night-time concert, and it would have been much better off held at the Alexandra Gardens, as there certainly were plenty of people in the Melbourne CBD last night.

The band, however, made the best of the situation and, under the impression that there were only four people in the audience – the stage lights were blinding them – called everyone over to crowd around in front of the stage, and seemed pleasantly surprised to see that so many people had braved the cold wind to watch them play. They played songs mostly from their debut album, although there may have been one newer track. In all, it was a really good set, and I recommend going to see them play if they’re in your area.

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