Mu­sic venue both fact and fic­tion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Food -

NIGHT­CLUB own­ers told Luke Whe­lan to “bug­ger off” when he tried to book a venue for his 19th birth­day be­cause he was not an event pro­moter.

Six years later, Whe­lan and co-di­rec­tor Alex Paioff have opened a 450-per­son live mu­sic venue in North­bridge.

Among the artists on the open­ing night were Michigan act JMSN, Fre­man­tle’s Koi Child and Perth’s Dream Rimmy, which Whe­lan said at­tracted 1100 peo­ple to the Aberdeen Street venue ear­lier this month.

Whe­lan said Jack Rab­bit Slims, a fic­ti­tious diner in the cult movie Pulp Fic­tion, inspired the 1950s-style mu­sic venue.

“We started spit-balling ideas about in­cor­po­rat­ing a small-bar feel into a live mu­sic venue to bring the best of both worlds to­gether and Alex came up with the name Jack Rab­bit Slims while watch­ing Pulp Fic­tion for the mil­lionth time,” he said.

The diner, off­set from the stage and main bar, serves eight dif­fer­ent types of fries and five milk­shakes, in keep­ing with the retro diner decor.

“The guys from the Vil­lage Bar in Su­bi­aco make all the sauces and sea­son­ing for the fries,” Whe­lan said.

“Be­cause we’re a live venue, the food needs to be quick, easy and some­thing you can en­joy when you’re drink­ing,” he said.

Whe­lan said he and Paioff, both 25, had a pas­sion for live mu­sic and al­ways wanted to open a live-mu­sic venue.

“We started off at univer­sity throw­ing par­ties for the so­cial club and even­tu­ally we started do­ing these club nights and fes­ti­vals.”

Whe­lan said Perth’s small-bar scene was great, but there was a lack of medi­um­sized live venues.

“Live-mu­sic venues in Perth are a dy­ing breed. Live mu­sic hasn’t been get­ting the cov­er­age and ex­po­sure it needs and de­serves to get,” he said.

“It’s im­por­tant to make sure you’re help­ing out the new guys and bring­ing in the old favourites to keep it fresh and ex­cit­ing.”

Whe­lan said visi­tors to the venue, for­merly Parker Night­club, could ex­pect a bit of ev­ery­thing.

“You could see any­thing from a pro­ducer to break­through artists, com­edy cabaret, DJs to all dif­fer­ent types but we’re def­i­nitely fo­cus­ing on live mu­sic.

“We had a Spin­ning Top record la­bel party last week and Mark Ron­son and Theophilus Lon­don were here. They’re quite big names, so hope­fully we can get big names like that com­ing through.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d440971

Luke Whe­lan from Jack Rab­bit Slims.

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