The midweek romp known as Sosueme is just about to reach it;s first decade in existence and naturally they are having a monster throw-down to celebrate.
Launched in 2007 by the crew at Falcona, Sosueme has been a staple event over it’s long lifespan in the Sydney nightlife scene, hosting a plethora of international and local acts each week from all musical genres and walks of life.
To celebrate turning 10, Sosueme have enlisted the Future Classic legend Hayden James, up-and-coming producer Kuren, Benson, Borneo and more on musical duties for what will be a spooky ordeal.
We caught up with Chris Murray – the man who dreamed up Sosueme and is now doing big things with music festivals Wine Machine and NYE in the Park – last week to look back on the wild ride that’s been Sosueme.
Stoney Roads: Do you remember the very first Sosueme ever? Where was it, what did you have planned, and did things go according to plan ?
Chris Murray (Falcona/Sosueme): I do. Very well indeed. Teenagersintokyo played (booked through Leon Rogovoy who I ended up going into business with years later) and the Vandals (Yolanda Be Cool). Was at Fringe Bar on a Friday and it was sick fun. It was a disaster logistically getting bands into that place. We faked it pretty well. I remember buying a round of tequila shots the entire bar long for everyone there. Back when they treated us like adults.
SR: How did you get people in / keep it interesting?
CM: By doing stupid shit like shouting tequilla. And booking cool bands.
SR: How long did it take from that first night for word to get around / the night get to be busy every week? What night did you look around and go “yeah this is gonna work”
CM: Took off straight away actually – and we outgrew Fringe and moved quickly to the filthy institution that was Q Bar and 34b Stereo, every Friday… till like 8am. It was brutal, but such a wonderful time 2007-2012. The city was alive, the vibe was electric every Friday night, crew was pretty legendary…
SR: Where did the name come from?
CM: Julian Ramundi stole it from New York. So Sue Him.
SR: Why did the event move to Bondi?
CM: Q Bar got owned by the first wave of lockouts (a couple years before the city wide ones came in). Sydney’s best late night venue got amputated and eventually closed. I remember being devastated at the time. Our good friends in Bondi put their hand up and offered to help continue the good times… on Wednesdays… and now free entry. The mid-week Bondi sesh was born.
SR: Describe a time when you wanted to put a pin in Sosueme, but kept going – and why? What advice would you give to fledgling club nights that are thinking of giving it up?
CM: When we lost about $200k in revenue in the first 6 months of the lockout at Q, it was tough seeing the scene shrivel up and die in front of our eyes. Life’s not fair and we refuse to be victims so decided to move it and keep it alive because now move than ever it’s important for Sydney to have a regular indie club night that gives emerging live bands and producers a platform to both play and party.
SR: How has Sosueme. evolved since its beginnings? When did you hand over the baton for the operation of Sosueme / when did you stop going yourself every week and let some fresh hands takeover the programming and operation of it?
CM: Of course it has evolved, but we’ve tried to stay true to the status quo of “99% Genre Free” since day 1. The early years of Sosueme when we were all cutting our teeth in the music industry and becoming life long friends was such an incredible time for me and our friends, everyone has their own wild Sosueme stories, literally every band and every dj has been through and played at some point of the last 10years. Nowdays I’m out of town too much with everything else going on at Falcona and I’m old as fuck so the incredible Maddy Carr got the call up to take the reins and is punching out heaving nights every Wednesday in Bondi – whenever I’m in town I try to get down because it’s always such a good vibe and crowd. Am really looking forward to this 10th birthday, Hayden James is playing and was also one of the original Sosueme djs, got a strong feeling it’s going to be one for the books.
SR: What’s been one of the all-time favourite DJ sets you’ve seen at Sosueme and what happened / describe the vibe?
CM: Savage question. Impossible to answer. Joyride’s first ever was pretty special, I remember he and I hitting it off instantly and my liver never quite feeling the same agin. Alison Wonderland returning home to Sosueme a few years after she’d blown up was mayhem, I think it was the 6th birthday – no security on stage, it was just me against a sea of poor girls getting crushed into the stage. Miraculously didn’t spill a drop of my beer. There’s a photo somewhere of it actually. Hermitude played that night too and Flume jumping up didn’t help, it was actually pretty fucked, walls and ceiling were dripping, it was so hot people were getting naked. We had to cool them down with a fire hose. I always enjoyed the original Sosueme DJ sets, shit would always get pretty weird like that. Bag Raiders and Cut Copy and Emo & Cassian & Alison all playing at Boonie’s Sosueme’s 21st bday at Q Bar a few years back… if you were there you know what I’m talking about.
SR: Where do you see Sosueme going in the next ten years?
CM: Hopefully we can continue to support the next generation of musicians. There aren’t that many places around these days for artists to cut their teeth. If you are a DJ/producer or band wanting to play at Sosueme, all you need to do is ask. We will absolutely get back to you and try to make it happen, please email [email protected] – so many big Australian bands played their first ever gig at Sosueme, and I sincerely hope that continues until I can afford to buy and reopen the Hopetoun.
SR: What would you like to see happen in terms of Sydney nightlife?
CM: It’ll bounce back. There is always a period of correction after over-zealous politically driven snap decisions are made. It’s the beauty of democracy. It takes ages and fucks up the existing scene, but from the ashes of that one a new one will be born – a slightly different looking one, but such is evolution. It can’t stay the same forever. I see some very exciting things happening for Sydney’s nightlife just around the corner. We’re on the cusp of it bouncing back in new and interesting ways.
Be sure to head along and celebrate 10 years of Sosueme this Wednesday night at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel. Peep the posted below for the full lineup and details, and admire this classic shot of Hayden James at Sosueme many moons ago.