Over the past few months, music collective Ripened Records have steadily been building a name for themselves as crusaders in the sort of renaissance happening throughout Sydney. More and more, people across the city are steering towards a DIY attitude when it comes to live music. In the face of adversity, it’s no wonder that the Sydney’s live music architecture is changing. Music is constantly being created and is begging to be heard, and zealots like Ripened Records are taking things into their own hands.
Music collective Ripened Records have built up a reputation for putting on pretty loose parties, and Sumac Berries was no exception.
On Friday, the Ripened Records crew put on yet another killer party called Sumac Berries, their third in as many months, this time taking over the Goodspace Gallery, upstairs at The Lord Gladstone.
The Gladstone has been a pretty heroic figure in the dramatic case of Sydney’s tumultuous nightlife over the past two or so years. Sitting smugly just outside the lockout zone, it has really stepped up to the plate in the support of the city’s live music scene, opening its doors to artists, promoters, records labels, inviting anyone to put on shows. It was the perfect venue for Ripened Records’ to take over for the night and make their own.
Perched above a motley crowd of Friday night drinkers, the Goodspace Gallery is a pretty unassuming nook in the Gladstone’s sprawling expanse. If you haven’t been up there, it’s basically an old, stripped-out living room on the second floor of the hotel. Pretty much a blank canvas for nights exactly like this. Kicking off the night was a pair of chilled folk sets from Brendon Ludlow, followed by Brendon Moon, each caressing the room with airy guitars while people slowly milled in.
The Goodspace Gallery is split in two by a dividing wall – usually pretty annoying as it halves the capacity of the room; but tonight it worked. Keeping in line with Ripened Records’ spirit as a creative collective, the back half of the space was taken over by some awesome live art from Daniel French Wollen, James Lesjak-Atton (aka Aquaman) and Peter Fulker (aka Admiral Ziggy Peanuts) – something that took me back to the Ghettoblaster days at QBar.
One thing that sets Ripened Records apart is that they don’t seem to deliberate when it comes to genre. Following the mellow folk vibes of Moon and Ludlow, as the room started to swell, shit got a little real as Moth King took to stage, spitting out an impressive amalgamation of psych and hip-hop. From here, the trajectory of the night was pretty much unstoppable as the room started to pack out for Mohi; finally reaching a climax with glorious headliners, Lord Street Collective. Each armed with their own transfusions of experimental hip-hop, soul and rap, things got pretty savage and sweaty as the night peaked. And despite the falling temperatures on the streets outside, the room was on fire.
It definitely felt like something was happening in the Goodspace Gallery that night. It was like a site of pilgrimage, where people weren’t going just to see a bunch of bands; they were going because it was a Ripened Records show. The collective’s burgeoning reputation is well-deserved – they know how to put on a party – and they seems genuinely determined to create something good and pure and alive in a city where such a thing is scowled upon by higher agents. Hats off to them.
Keep an eye out for the next Ripened Records show on their Facebook. It’s sure to be lit.