Review – Los Chavos/Naughty Rhythms

Los Chavos and Naughty Rhythms @ The Australian Croatian Club, Sat 3rd Aug, 2013
by Alison Oakleigh 

There are many things in life I’m grateful for – skanking and the Canberra Musicians Club are up there in at least the top 50 – along with family, friends, good health, a safe and secure place to live.

One of the things for which I am grateful about skanking is that it is an equalising dance.  It’s easy, energetic and hard to do without a smile on your face. I guess I never imagined I’d spend a night skanking at the Croatian Club, but, rather like the yum cha which used to be upstairs in the Italian Club, skanking at the Croatian Club, while unexpected, was not an unwelcome combination this Saturday just gone, when a crowd of about 200 people – aged 6 months to 60 years, bedecked in outfits ranging from hipster-tank-girl to Hawaiian shirts – gathered to celebrate life in general.  This particular celebration involved the brassy ska sounds of The Naughties (Naughty Rhythms), whose opening chorus “have some fun or get out of here!!” set a precedent for the unabashed joy of upbeat ska originals and classic covers that was to follow.  And, I confess, I had so much fun in a venue that’s close to perfect, equipped with pool tables, a comprehensive bar (even though it didn’t have plain chips, only salt and vinegar), space for sitting down and chatting and skanking your heart out, that I clear tuckered myself out and had to go home before I became a skinhead pumpkin, thus sadly missing the opportunity to boogie on to the ever-fun headliners, Los Chavos.

The things for which I am grateful about the Canberra Musicians Club are innumerable.  As I waited for the gig to start, excitedly admiring the professional stage, lighting and PA, I reminded myself how incredible it is that a small group of dedicated volunteers stick around at the end of each and every gig, hauling stages and winding cords – while everyone else goes on to the after party (or, if you’re like me, has already gone home to bed).  Long may it last.  Although, perhaps, it wont unless people like me stop going home to bed and start helping… I shudder at both of these irreconcilable thoughts (that is: either the CMC stopping and/or me having to wait until the gig ends to help pack up before I’m allowed to go home to sleep, because I do get very cranky when I’m tired).

So, thanks bands, thanks punters, thanks skanking, thanks Croatian Club, and most of all thanks CMC – especially you: Nigel, Beth, Rob, Dave and Simone.  You’ve already done that tedious pack up at least 100 times so far, just this year.  So, that’s 100 times the thanks from me.  It may not inspire you to keep on doing it week after week for free, but, well, um… we love you?

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