365 days make an entire year and even for extremely enthusiastic punters, 365 gigs in one year seems excessive and unlikely to be an achievable goal… Especially when they’re a different gig every. damn. day… But against any doubt that it wouldn’t be possible, Melbourne-based photographer Zo Damage went all out for an entire year and even broke herself into the Guinness World Records.
In celebration of her 10th year since becoming a published photographer, Damage has produced an intimate look into a year of Melbourne’s live music scene and the community that makes it.
Beginning the first of the week long exhibition titled ‘The Damage Report’ VOL 1 at The Old Bar on the 3 March 2017, punters were greeted by the old familiar smell of rock n roll as the lineup for the evening unravelled.
Opening the event were heavy thrashers Dead Root, who were followed on by the deep rockin’ blues of TTTDC. Forming an all-local line up for the night, Swidgen came in third on the bill and provided the soundtrack for head-banging doom grooves and a few too many swigs of beer.
Initially the photo exhibition in the upstairs room was supposed to close by 8pm, but lo and behold, Damage kept the doors open late into the evening, which provided the greatest of escapes for those who wanted to get out of the muggy air below.
The room itself at first glance could be an overwhelming experience. Hundreds of black and white photographs are symmetrically aligned with great precision, each individual image doted, dated and signed, pinned neatly against the grubby walls that are for the next week, perfectly disguised.
Damage lingers in the surrounds of her incredible photography throughout the evening, engaging with those who wander up into the room with dropped jaws of awe. There are two tables in the middle, scattered again with more photographs that Damage happily recommends you to pick up. It’s an interactive exhibition, and the floor boards are also framed with even more glossy prints.
Back down in the gritty band room, Melbourne doom extraordinaire’s Holy Serpent are causing quite the racket with their dynamic pieces to headline the opening night. Half of the venues capacity are tightly packed in for the show, while others scatter throughout the small venue. Expressing compliments of the impeccable exhibition upstairs as they linger in the smoke-drenched beer garden, some joyous punters are stoked as they’d noticed some of their musician-mates in the photos.
It’s a community, and it’s a bloody good one to be a part of! With another week of the exhibition still to come, you’d be stupid not to go and have a frothy while experiencing a piece of musical history in the making.