Kris Peters spoke to Jake Stone, frontman from Bluejuice, a couple of months out from their now cancelled performance at the Union Jack Hotel. Local fans were disappointed in the cancellation, with many venting their frustration on the Jack’s facebook page.
“Is this not the second time they have canned a Cairns show? I have tickets on my fridge for this gig!!!!!! This is going to be their last ever set of shows and they decide to cancel a few because there is no money in some of them? No wonder the gig scene is going to shit. To quote EVIL EDDIE: take a listen to your heart when its telling you your gonna need to find another source of revenue cause when the money not the love is compelling you, what you give is what you get. Maybe that is why they are not playing no more. I am glad I’m not going to their show no more because if they can’t play for the sake of it they don’t deserve my money. What happened to the love?” – Bob Surmon – Cairns fan.
After 13 years together in the music industry, Bluejuice announced earlier this year that they were breaking up, but promised fans – both old and new – that they would go out in typical Bluejuice style and leave no stone unturned in giving everyone the opportunity to send them off live.
“Our manager met with us earlier in the year,” frontman Jake Stone explained, “and he mentioned that he got an email from Grinspoon’s manager just saying that Grinspoon were about to break up after even longer than us and our manager thought that was a weird way to end a band with a paragraph on a press release. We thought if we’re gonna do this, let’s do it legit. Let’s put a retrospective record out and put some hits on there and some of our favourite songs on there that we felt didn’t get the attention they deserved the first time around. Let’s record some new tunes and put some new songs on there and put that out and do a farewell tour and we’ll announce it on Triple J, you know, and hopefully get people excited to get a chance to come and say goodbye. So that’s what we’re doing and so far the results have been amazing. We sold out Sydney and Melbourne shows in 24 hours and sold out Adelaide in about 48 hours! We subsequently announced more shows in North Queensland so we’re just kind of riding a wave of more excitement than we’ve ever experienced with the band so it’s kind of weird, like, all you have to do is quit man!”
That was said about six weeks ago, before the band had even started their farewell tour, and in retrospect it seems that the statements about the sold out shows were a sign of things to come.
On October 15, still more than three weeks out from the Cairns show, the bands management informed the Union Jack Hotel that they would be pulling out of the Cairns leg of the tour, citing slow ticket sales as the prime reason. The fact that almost 100 tickets had already been sold in a town that traditionally buys tickets at the last minute was irrelevant.
I can recall shows at venues having only sold less than 30 tickets prior to the gig and still selling out on the night (Frenzal Rhomb at the same venue), but it seems some bands – even on their farewell tour – have to play it safe despite their earlier comments….
“It feels like there’s a core fan base that always comes to Bluejuice shows,” Jake said, “but a whole group by comparison – a kind of peripheral fan base – that might see us at a festival, they definitely want to see us again but never quite made it to our own show. People that think ‘this band is a good band to party to when you are having a good night already’, so now we’re seeing those guys come and be excited for our own show. It’s going to be great. If they haven’t seen us in a small club they’re in for a blazing night!”
In what could be deemed as a prophetic statement, Jake had this to say in closing.
“It will be a fun show. If you’ve been to a show of ours before you know it will be highly energetic and sweaty and all that stuff. If you get a chance just come. Like I said, the other shows are selling really well so not bullshitting now, but it’s a good idea for people to actually book tickets to the show because we’re hoping that everything will sell out.”
It seems like the Cairns’ shows only crime was we didn’t book quick enough.