Scene News: Farewell Caravan – Caravan Music Club to end their 8 year tenancy at Oakleigh RSL

A statement from Peter Foley, Caravan Music Club:

For eight wonderful years we have operated our gig in The OCRSL Memorial Hall without any security of tenure. In an effort to acquire the security and autonomy we felt we needed to continue investing our passion, energy and financial resources into Caravan I submitted a proposal on May 30th to the OCRSL committee where I was essentially asking for a secure lease and bar autonomy as well as offering to invest in improved infrastructure including an upgrade of the beer garden area. I sincerely felt this was a pathway all the stakeholders in the venue could happily tread for harmonious mutual benefit.

Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs at Caravan Music in 2015. Photo by Mandy Hall.

The OCRSL committee considered our proposal for six weeks and notified us on July 12th that they were not able to accept any of the key components of our draft and on July 17th advanced Caravan Music a new licence agreement which included a set of onerous operational conditions of tenancy and financial expectations which make continuing on unviable.

The RSL committee has kindly consented to us continuing on till Christmas to fulfil our 2017 program of gigs… under the current licence agreement. Whilst feeling a tad disappointed we were unable to find a mutually agreeable position I feel absolutely no angst towards the OCRSL Committee, accepting they have every right to administer their building however they see fit.

We sincerely wish them well as they soldier on confronting the huge challenges of operating a “pokies free” community venue and thank them for their accommodation and support over the years. We would also like to thank John and Sue Wilson from The Onion Patch Bistro for cheerily feeding all the bands and punters for the past 6 years and wish them continued success with their business.

I would be lying if I said we didn’t feel a bit sad as we have adored every moment over the past decade in Drummond Street where we have formed special friendships with so many of you and presented an eclectic array of incredible artists from Australia and abroad. Having said that we can assure you we are a strong and spirited bunch with heaps of petrol in the tank and will not be dropping our bundle…….we’ll be going out with a “bang” upbeat, positive and looking towards the future. Who knows where that might lead? I hope that you all will continue to support us as we celebrate in style with lots of amazing gigs right up to Christmas including a big 10th birthday bash in November.

The strength of this gig has been the wonderful tribe of genuine music lovers who’ve gathered in this lovely room week after week to celebrate music and community. It is that special respectful and welcoming vibe that has enabled us to punch well above our weight and attract artists of a calibre you wouldn’t expect to see in a little hall out in the burbs …check out the list below… it’s been a bloody amazing journey for a gig that started as a hobby in someone’s lounge room in Oakleigh.

We are proud of the special niche Caravan carved out in Melbourne music landscape and we depart with a huge suitcase of memories…. the inspiring last ever performance by Ross Hannaford when he launched ‘Hanna’ on a Tuesday night after having to cancel the scheduled Thursday at the last minute as he was unable get out of bed….and what about the night those Louisiana legends Lil Band Of Gold performed a pop up gig at Caravan and cooked Gumbo for the audience!…the magical Don Walker gigs and we are particularly proud of the three Carnival Of Suburbia Festivals and our recent partnership with Monash Council to present the fabulously successful Live At Warrawee-Soul Explosion attended by some 3000 folks……. I am sure you have a favourite Caravan memory and we would love you to go to our Facebook page and post something.

Thanks so much to you all for all the love and magic …it’s been one hell of a ride!!!

Pete, Sue, Mary, Brett and all The Caravan Crew

PS If anybody is aware of a quirky hall , warehouse , theatre, shop, restaurant or reception centre that’s up for lease and might be suitable new home to park The Caravan please contact me by email …… there’s still a bit of petrol in the tank!!


(Apologies for omissions & repeats)

International- Todd Rundgren (US) Mary Chapin Carpenter (US) Lloyd Cole (UK) Tony Joe White (US) Judy Collins (US) Chris Hillman (US) Ron Sexsmith (CAN) Harry Manx (CAN) The Pretty Things (UK) The Sonics (US) The Flamin’ Groovies (US) The Troggs (UK) Michelle Shocked (US) The English Beat (UK) The Skatalites (JAM) Dale Watson (US) Kinky Friedman (US) Eddi Reader (UK) Charlie Parr (US) Frazey Ford (CAN) Eilen Jewell (US) Pokey Lafarge (US) Eliza Gilkyson (US) The Hot Club of Cowtown (US) Willy Watson (US) Kevin Welch (US) Toni Childs (US) Kieran Kane (US) The Selecter (UK) Stan Ridgway (US) Peter Rowan (US) The Reverend Horton Heat (US) The California Honeydrops (US) Sharon Shannon (IRE) Declan O’Rourke (IRE) Deke Dickerson (US) Glenn Tilbrook (UK) Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Shepherds (UK) Joe Pug (US) Courtney Marie Andrews (US) Tift Merritt (US) Gallie (IRE) Kirk Fletcher (US) Eugene Hideaway Bridges (US) Lake Street Dive (US) Vieux Farka Toure’ (Mali) Depedro (Spain) David Olney (US) Pieta Brown (US) Brian Kennedy (Ire) Abigail Washburn (US) Kelly Joe Phelps (Can) Whitetop Mountaineers (US) Dori Freeman (US) Gregory Page (US) Mary Couglan (IRE) Chris Smither (US) Ken Stringfellow (US) Ben Caplan (CAN) Los Coronas (Spain) Breabach (Scot) The Good Lovelies (Can) Don McGlashan (NZ) Hollie Smith (NZ) Jeff Martin (US) Shooglenifty (Scot) Steve Poltz (US) Mundy (IRE)

Australian- Archie Roach, Vika & Linda Bull, Shane Howard, Tex Perkins, Don Walker & The Suave Fucks, The Dingoes, Robert Forster, Ross Wilson, Tim Rogers, Richard Clapton, Black Sorrows, Russell Morris, Paul Kelly, David Bridie, Colin Hay, Stephen Cummings, Tinpan Orange, Diesel, The Pigram Brothers, Neil Murray, Brian Cadd, Mental As Anything, Dan Kelly, Beccy Cole, Colleen Hewett, Thirsty Merc, Xlyouris White Mick Thomas, Eric Bogle, Suzannah Espie, Liz Stringer, Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier, Chris Wilson, Ed Kuepper, Mia Dyson, The Break, Daryl Braithwaite, Mike Rudd. Jeff Lang, Dog Trumpet, John Paul Young, Steve Kilbey, Anne McCue, Dave Faulkner & Brad Shepherd, Dallas Crane, Doug Parkinson, Jeff Lang, Ross Hannaford & The Critters, Chain, Mike Rudd, Rebecca Barnard, Billy Miller, Stars, Liz Stringer, Leonardo’s Bride, Ben Lee, The Badloves, The Backsliders, Jon Stevens, Renee Geyer, Wagons , Graveyard Train, The Audreys, Mark Seymour & The Undertow, James Reyne, The Orbweavers, Angie Hart, Marlon Williams, John Butler, Kylie Auldist, The Teskey Brothers, The Meltdown, Lisa Miller, Tracey Miller, Dave Graney, The Blackeyed Susans, Continental Robert, The Baylor Brothers, Ella Hooper, Petulant Frenzy, Bondi Cigars, Rob Snarski, Shane O’Mara, Kevin Borich Express, Ian Moss, Nick Barker, Ash Davies, Celibate Rifles, Mojo Juju, Clip Clop Club ,The Eurogliders, Abby Dobson, The Audreys, Grace Knight, Vince Jones, Dave Warner, Busby Marou, Jon von Goes, Brian Nankervis, Ian Bland, Paulie Stewart, Yvette Johansson, Lucie Thorne, Perch Creek Family Jug Band, Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, Wendy Matthews, Mama Kin, Sally Seltmann, Sweet Jean, Jeff Duff, Ray Beadle, Raised By Eagles, The Slaughtermen, The Davidson Brothers, Van Walker, Chris Altmann, Raw Brit, The Spaniards, Broderick Smith, Matt Walker, Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, Bob Evans, Darren Middleton, Guy Pearce, Joe Creighton, Normie Rowe, The Band Who Knew Too Much, Jack Howard, Shannon Bourne, Glenn Shorrock, Wilbur Wilde, Frankie J Holden, The Mercurials, Jen Cloher, Chris Russell’s Chicken, Jordie Lane, Three Kings, Fiona Boyes, Shane Nicholson, Bob Starkie, Lachy Doley, Adalita, Matt Walker, Lanie Lane, Bill Chambers, Cyndi Boste, Flap, The Flying Emus, Nina Ferro, Sarah Carroll, Kavisha Mazella, Glen Richards, John Waters, Hatfitz & Cara, The Wilson Pickers, Things of Stone & Wood, Sara Storer, Charles Jenkins, Greg Champion, Skipping Girl Vinegar, James Black, Peter Luscombe, Mark Ferrie, Sal Kimber, Sean Kelly, Andrew Duffield, Ben Salter, Kerri Simpson, Bustamento, Tracy McNeil, Jane Clifton, The Bondi Cigars, The Model Super Ochestra …… and on and on and on it goes…apologies for omissions but I’m just doing this off the top of my head and feel exhausted.