The Gearin Gears Up For Gigs Again
On The Soul Side Of Town are re-igniting Katoomba's folk music fame at The Gearin's historic front bar.
The cafe will be presenting the Misty Mountain Accord duo on the 21st of March at noon and entry is free with coffee purchase. Donations are welcome.
support local artists
featured artists - Misty Mountain Accord
Artwork - Design heroes
Photography - Dave Griffiths
The Gearin Gears Up For Gigs Again
In a sad but historic act that some refer to as ‘the day the music died’, Katoomba hotel The Gearin ceased their live music scene in March 2019 after 139 years of service since 1880. Operating through three name changes, several resales, and multiple additions and renovations, including the launch of its inner venue the Roxy Room in 2018, the heritage building still offers accommodation and maintains its art deco style as introduced by previous owner Emily Gearin in 1910.
However, despite hosting a plethora of past performing talent including Todd Rundgren, Mental As Anything, Steve Kilbey (The Church), and Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), a legal dispute caused The Gearin’s diverse music and pub scene to grind to a halt two years ago.
Great news for local music lovers has now arisen. Previously hailing from rural Queensland to become the owner of On The Soul Side Of Town, a charming cafe occupying The Gearin’s old main barroom since March 2020, coffee guru Dave Griffiths is helping to reintroduce live music events at his cafe this month. “I always wanted music to be part of it”, he says, “I just wasn’t sure how [to do it]”.
Through some hard manual labour, patience, and the help of a few creative experts, Dave is now able to announce that On The Soul Side Of Town will be hosting it’s gigs regularly from March 21st, 2021. The acoustic act chosen for March is the airy, wooden space are fresh folk duo Misty Mountain Accord, whose sound is described by Retro Rehash mastermind Willem Hendriksen as “Joni Mitchell meets Slim Dusty”.
Entry to the all-ages event is free with coffee purchase, as well as being free of drugs and alcohol. Pets are allowed on leashes outside. If you wish to attend the gig, please consider leaving a tip. Through hoping to host a live gig every Sunday, Dave reveals that more local performers are wishing to play in the cafe. “Even bands that play heavier stuff might be tempted to come and do a small, short, acoustic set”, he explains. Musicians wanting to secure future performances are encouraged to introduce themselves in person.
Hype for the campaign has been assisted by Mark Alston of Design Heroes, Blue Mountains T-Shirts, and The HAZE Mag, who will be creating custom merchandise and graphics for gig posters. His work is complimented by the audiovisual content efforts of Craig Leighton, a former broadcast producer who now runs My Shout Out, a promotional production business.
These new Sunday gig sessions complete a morning of community merriment at the cafe. Along with an 11AM carpark cricket match, Soulside Sundays will also include a trivia quiz at 10AM, run by the proprietor of Trains Planes & Automobiles, a vintage toy shop currently occupying the old Roxy Room venue site next to the cafe.
One long-term dream for the Soulside team is presenting a rooftop gig by local funk group Safire Palms on the front verandah, which has already received support from council engineers of the BMCC.
“We can create a hub around it”, Dave claims. Written by Corin Shearston