By Victor Stranges
In the wee small hours after many a show at Jimmy Hornet, Anthea Palmer and I often argued about the date we first met. Well Anthea, I looked it up and my first gig at your old venue, The Chandelier Room, was Sunday, Apr 11, 2010. So that's twelve years ago. Ms Palmer has had many incarnations over the years yet she has always been a bona fide supporter and proponent of my musical pursuits.
The gal has done so much for the Melbourne music industry and more importantly for individual musicians and artists over the years. I heard in late 2019 that she was coming back to good ol' Melbourne town, opening a new Jimmy Hornet venue at 269 Swan Street, Richmond. I hadn't seen Anthea for a few years as she was getting a music impresario black belt, running her venue in Zhongshan, China.
We organised a coffee catch up and we booked a solo residency for February 2020. I have since played there regularly solo and with a few different line ups. I even got involved booking and promoting other people's shows. It was a great time of learning about music promotion and what it takes to make a successful show both artistically and financially.
Business doesn't come without its challenges and Jimmy Hornet experienced plenty during and around the COVID lock ups. We used to have the old adage, "the show must go on." In the last three years it has changed to, "must the show go on?" (to quote Pink Floyd).
It seems that everything you work for building up a show (including selling it out) can come to nought when you receive a call the day before a show cancelling due to illness, or even just a perceived illness.
It's the equivalent experience of being asked to dig a hole just to get told to go back and fill it up again. Rinse and repeat.
I am not blaming anyone and it's just how things are, even today. We know it will change because it's got to change if we want the music community to thrive. I see a future where the pendulum swings so hard that we won't have enough hats to catch the torrent of a revived live music community. I'm looking forward to that.
So where does that leave Jimmy Hornet and where does it leave us? It dawned on me over time that Jimmy Hornet has been my spiritual home the last three years. It was filled with the fullness of what a venue and its people should be. There were plenty of ecstatic, funny, sad, and certainly holy moments. Jimmy Hornet and the crew will be sorely missed. I guess we have to go somewhere else now but as the good book says, "let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching."
So this coming Friday 23rd December, Jimmy Hornet at 269 Swan Street, Richmond will be closing for good. Though, Anthea is entertaining the idea of looking at a larger space for a possible Jimmy Hornet venue re-launch in 2023/2024.
Victor Stranges & The Methinks are honoured to be playing the final show at Jimmy's this Friday, which is sold out. All I know is that it's going to be an amazing night and everyone that managed to score a ticket, you should have great expectations of a memorable night.
Interestingly, Anthea has has just re-branded her digital magazine (The Hornet Press) and will be releasing "Jimmy Hornet Magazine" Issue #1 in March 2023. It promises to be "a hundred pages in high-quality print, with stunning design, and topics that will make you go Hmmmmmm."
To find out more and preorder you copy of the inaugural issue go to: