COOKING WITH GAS Back in March music lovers, promoters and musicians were staring down six months of hardship as COVID-19 restrictions took hold, shutting down the industry overnight. But with restrictions eased to allow up to 50 patrons on Monday, there's light starting to re-emerge.
Next Friday music restaurant Lizotte's reopens with the first of three performances of Diamond The Show starring Newcastle's Ty Penshorn. Other shows scheduled and restricted to 50 capacity are Greg Gould (June 19), Mahalia Barnes & The Soul Mates (June 20) and Don't Change...Ultimate INXS (June 26-28). Within days of the announcement 250 tickets were sold, showing the appetite remains for live music after the COVID-19 lockdown.
"We're all ecstatic, and that's an understatement," says owner Brian Lizotte.
LAUGHING AGAIN That excitement has been repeated in comedy circles. Big Dog Comedy's return show on June 20 at The Happy Wombat with Luke Heggie and Novocastrian Cameron James sold out in a day this week. That led to a second show on June 20. Due to social distancing measures, the gigs are limited to 40 people.
"It feels really good to have some life back in the industry again," Big Dog Comedy's Andrew Milos said. Plans are afoot for another gig on July 4 at the Happy Wombat, featuring Nikki Britton and triple j's Dave Woodhead.
WINTER BLAST Keep an ear out next Friday for Coldstream Road, the debut album from Newcastle electronic artist Romy Church, aka e4444e. On Thursday e4444e released the acoustic guitar-driven single Solar.