Published on theMusic.com.au, Apr 2016
Pic by Karen Lowe
After a secret show/announce party amidst renovations last month, all systems are go for the great unveil of revamped Perth live music venue Badlands Bar tonight.
Punters first got a taste of the upgraded Devilles Pad in March, when Calexico played a surprise headline gig, and after a month of tireless efforts working on the space, upgrading the sound system and more, the new hangout and live music venue will host an industry launch party tonight with a slew of local headline acts including Hideous Sun Demon, Mt Mountain and more in support.
“We’re trialling a new small band room in the old foyer, for a place where young bands can cut their teeth,” owner-operator Mark Partridge told theMusic.com.au.
“Based on the success of this tonight, we’re hoping it will become a permanent fixture. “
They’ve largely done away with the hellish themes of Devilles to avoid being a “square box” type venue, with master of vibe Josh Collins leading the charge on redesigning the layout of caves, nooks and crannies throughout.
“We’re also keen to break away from the old concept of being a cocktail bar or restaurant where you had to dress a certain way or be over 25. This is just a cool place to hang out and listen to great music. Respect. Rock. Roll,” Partridge added.
As well as taking their name from a picturesque National Park in South Dakota that’s known for its rocky outcrops – a similar aesthetic to the venue’s redesign – Badlands is also synonymous with music, most notably the ‘80s band, Bruce Springsteen’s hit and more recently Halsey’s new album.
“Badlands is all about the rock’n’roll. This place was built for live music, all we’ve done is tweaked the format to improve the experience for both bands and punters alike. Bigger stage, better facilities to enable us to cater for touring acts, faster/cheaper bar service and a kick arse PA system.”
Although the Perth live music scene has taken a number of blows in recent years with multiple venue closures – including punter favourites The Bakery, Ya Ya’s, and, of course, Devilles – Partridge believes things are starting to turn around.
“The people of Perth have been crying out about the lack of venues of this type. There’s been a revival of late with the addition of Jack Rabbit Slims and ourselves, but in general big venues are getting harder and harder to run as people flock to the small bar scene.
“Perth is punching well and truly above it’s weight division at the moment on the world stage with our home grown talent, so we’re confident that the people of Perth will support us in supporting local music. Assistance from bodies like WAM to date have been outstanding for us, so everyone’s driven to make it work.”
After tonight’s industry launch party (limited tickets still available to the public here), Badlands Bar will launch publicly in the coming months, opening every Friday and Saturday night with after gig parties until late, accommodating both local and touring acts.
“After the Karnivool shows we will be closed for around six weeks to finish renovations to the beer garden to upgrade facilities their too and make it a more comfortable place to hang out all year around.”
Karnivool have four consecutive nights booked at the venue for the end of the month, the info of which – as well as other show announcements – you can find in theGuide.
More images can be found here: http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2016/04/22/exclusive-your-first-look-inside-was-badlands-bar/