For all those iconic cult film lovers, the Jack Rabbit Slim’s twist content is a memorable Quentin Tarantino movie moment. Set in a 1950’s diner with rockabilly tunes that’ll burn holes in the dance floor, the famous Pulp Fiction scene will be milk-shaking things up in Perth as of this weekend.
With a live music venue scene that’s been looking incredibly depressed lately, it’s about time Perth brings in something with a little bit of flavour. After losing the much loved Fly by Night Club in Fremantle, The Bakery in Northbridge and Las-Vegas inspired Devilles Pad, both the public and local musicians are craving a venue they can be confident will stick around for the long run. And whilst venue shows like The Newport Record Club are positively boosting the local music scene, the new Pulp Fiction inspired Jack Rabbit Slims offers a multi-purpose live music venue unlike anything Perth has seen before.
The man behind this baby is Metric Events Director Luke Whelan. After his own frustrations dealing with music venues the idea behind Jack Rabbit Slims was born. “We started doing events about 6 years ago”, Whelan explains. “At one point I tried to hire Villa for my birthday party and they told me to get fucked, well in nicer terms! They said you need to be a promoter to book the venue, so I called Alex Paioff (Pilerats and Metric Events) and next thing you know, we started doing that”.
“We started up a nightclub which is still going on Wednesday nights for Uni kids and it all just sort of took off from there. In the last couple of years we’ve started getting more serious and running festivals but we always wanted to have our own venue because we saw the flaws in all the others we had to deal with in Perth, and we’ve dealt with nearly every venue there is to deal with. There was a lot of faults there and we wanted to breathe some fresh life into the live music venue scene”.
“We wanted to deliver a fully functional multi-purpose gig venue that could be used for all kinds of music; from DJ’s, producers, live music, rock bands, hard core music – you name it. We wanted a great stage that could be used for many different types of shows and deliver the best DJ specs, and we wanted it to have a bit of flavour as well”.
“As massive Pulp Fiction fans, we thought the idea of having a diner with a bit of food in there, milkshakes and live music was the way to go – somewhere people hadn’t been before. We’ve seen it been pulled off in places like Sydney’s Good God and we really wanted to bring something like that here to Perth”.
Ticking All The Boxes For a Great Live Music Venue
Whilst Perth is still home to some fantastic live music venues Jack Rabbit Slims, opening July 18th flaunts a completely different vibe, something we’re definitely in need of. “For a live music venue to be fantastic, not just good, your sound, stage, lighting and equipment have to be spot on. That’s always priority”, says Whelan.
“Some nice service and people that enjoy their job and want to be there, compared to just not giving a shit and waiting for a pay check always makes a big difference too. It makes the venue a lot better to deal with because they’re passionate and keen on good music and want to deliver a high-quality show. From a booking point of view, having management that are on board, professional and willing to dot their i’s and cross their t’s, which can sometimes be lacking in this industry. That’s what we hope to bring with Jack Rabbit Slims. Something people can depend on”.
The opening party at Jack Rabbit Slim’s this Saturday promises to deliver exactly that. With an exciting line up of international act JMSN, local hip-hop collaboration Koi Child and Dream Rimmy, with Jukebox DJ’s in between, Slim’s will be showcasing an exceptional range of local and international talent in the coming months.
“Saturday nights we’ll be booking in house, so I’ll be be bookings bands from around Australia, more along the Triple J styled stuff”, says Whelan. “So we have Asta doing their EP launch, Lurch & Chief, The Delta Riggs…those kind of bands. Then on Friday nights we will have more touring acts so booking agents will book and run the whole show as they see fit and we’ll see some different styles, a bit more heavier dance shows and just a wide range of styles and genres”.
Jack Rabbit Slims: Live, With a Side of Fries
The Pulp Fiction inspired music venue will be exploding with retro-styled arcade game machines, state-of-the-art sound system, funky booths and delicious fries. “We really enjoy Pulp Fiction but we obviously don’t want to ruin it for anyone by blatantly ripping it off”, says Whelan. “There’s going to be elements of Pulp Fiction in there, and in the artwork too we’ve had done by Sean Morris“.
“There’s going to be a 50’s style diner in the small bar which is at the front of the venue before you go into the sound room and there’s going to be $5 shakes (served Martin and Lewis style) as well as fries you can purchase all night; so it’s going to be a chilled out small-bar vibe when you first enter. Then, if you want to go into the dance part there’s the larger band room for everyone to enjoy”.
“We won’t have the staff dressed up as Buddy Holly, Elvis and Marilyn or the twist contests to start off with because we’re looking at doing cabaret shows, similar to what was done at Devilles Pad down the track. They’ll be as special events though rather than a regular feature. First and foremost, we want it to be a great gig venue that people can enjoy”.
Slim’s music setlist will be in the very capable hands of Whelan’s Metric Events and Boomtick, already responsible for a huge variety of night-life entertainment and festivals. “This is something we’ve always wanted to do”, explains Whelan. “We’ve been heavily based in the electronic music scene for a while now, and we’ve found it hard to crack into the live music scene just because we haven’t had a suitable venue to make it happen”.
“So, every Saturday we’ll be booking at least two local support acts and encouraging an open band night down the track. We want it to be a great spot for bands to come in and practice, use the stage and the facilities and get warmed up that way. We’re going to be booking a lot of talent and encouraging EP launches that the venue will thrive around too”.
“If you want to play a gig there, get in contact with us: firstname.lastname@example.org (capacity of 450). We’re willing to give everyone and anyone a good leg up because we also have the other part of our business, which is Pilerats, so we do a lot for the local music scene as well”.
Ladies and Gentleman, Now The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For
“Saturday is the big night and we’ve definitely got a few secrets up our sleeve, but I don’t want to give away everything just yet! We just want everyone to come down and enjoy the venue and see all the different elements. There’s a few areas and zones, as well as a large focus on serving good alcohol. We’re sick of nightclubs that are pushing ‘wet pussies’ and all those crappy drinks, so we’re going to have a close look at what we’re serving and cater to some good tastes whilst actually educating people on great drinks. That’ll be one focus, as well as everyone enjoying the fries and shakes. We’ll have a few other things going on to keep you all entertained too”.
Save the date – Saturday July 18th – at Jack Rabbit Slims, with music kicking off at 9pm and tickets only $20. For all details head to the Jack Rabbit Slim’s event page or follow them on Facebook. Keep tabs on what events Slims has on through the Toward Music gig guide (out monthly) or the JRS events page.