So I am rather thrilled that my first music “review” post for Trash and Aesthetics shall be about the man himself, Mr Charlie Watts, from the Rolling Stones, whom performed at a secret gig at Perth’s Ellington Jazz Club.
It all began last Wednesday night after a friends boyfriend’s band was turfed off the late spot at the club’s Wednesday night line-up. It was some consequence when he was told that the reason he and his band would no longer be required to perform, was because there was a highly likely possibility that one or multiple “Stones” may be coming to perform instead. A friend and I decided to investigate further, ever doubtful that the rumours would actually eventuate. On arrival, we as casually as possible, inquired with the charming door gal, if the rumours were true and there was to be any particularly special guests gracing the stage that night. She responded that yes, in fact, a member of the Rolling Stones was scheduled to join Saxophonist Tim Reis on stage.
After a few hours we managed to secure a table centre stage. The Ellington emptied after the first performance (to the disappointment now of those punters who were left unaware of who was scheduled to perform next). There was definitely an air of anticipation as the crowd grew to a modest capacity of 130. Whilst waiting for the unexpected, my friend and I spotted the unmistakeable, Mr Watts, sitting unnoticed in a dark corner of the club.
Finally, Tim Reis got onstage to perform accompanied by local Western Australian artists. After a few songs, Reis announced that there was a particular guest who may be nice enough to perform for us. Enter stage left, Charlie Watts, legendary drummer of the Rolling Stones. Watts, completely unfazed, joined the ensemble and performed various Stones hits including ‘Honky Tonk Women’, to the pure joy of all in the club.
Like only the famous can be, Watts seemed generally happy to just be jamming with young, local musicians in a setting that Reis had earlier described as a living room. The greatest indication that we were all in the presences of greatest was that it seemed to be the most casual and natural thing.
Once Reis and the other performers had concluded on stage, I decided to do the obvious and send a little 140-character tweet out to the online abyss. As a communications student we are constantly encouraged to effectively engage with social media, which I always try to do, even if I am often unsuccessful in my efforts to reach the masses. I didn’t really think anything would come from my tweet that night. The amount of previous tweets I had sent out in an attempt to right the world’s wrongs always seemed to go largely unnoticed. That is until you’re the only person whom obviously is activate on Twitter and is under 50. Which in contemporary times is rather rare (the un-active on Twitter bit, not the under 50 bit).
The following morning my phone was a constant buzz of notifications from various local journalists wanting to get in contact and have a statement. The first journalist I spoke to, purely chosen above the rest because she spelled her name the same as mine, broke the story using my quotes and pictures, in Perth Now. For the next hour I spoke to various local and national journalists. My photos and quotes went viral.
As a student studying communications this whole experience was a surreal dream. The most amazing thing was it was all over in about hour. All hyped deflated and it was suddenly yesterdays news. Either way it taught me that effectively used social media is a tool to be reckoned with. Of 130 people in the club, I was one of the only sources used purely because I constructed 140 characters and a hashtag.
You can see here the various articles, my quotes and pictures, were circulated in, including the UK Daily Mail online. (I will admit that I was disappointed that SBS and ABC didn’t want to interview me. But I do understand that they need to report on the more serious matters happening in the world).
Big thanks to Kaitlyn Offer at Perth Now for being more sincere then the rest of the bunch and also confirming why I chose PR over journalism.