This is Helen. You can thank her for the music. Yeah I’m cereal.
H and her mega-bae husb Quincy have run Melbourne’s music mecca that is Richmond’s Bakehouse Studios since 1991. H is flown around internationally to talk at music conventions, curates sold out events, and has recently been inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for her contribution to music. She just helped launch Your Choice – a campaign that raises awareness of assaults at festivals and gigs – and is currently starring in a series ”Creative Couples” on the ABC.
Okay what is Bakehouse and can I get a bap roll from there?
No don’t be ridiculous, I don’t cook. Bakehouse Studios.. hmm, well what started as a cubby house for musos is now an internationally renowned music and contemporary arts destination, that has seen everyone from Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, Regurgitator, Nick Cave, to Ed Sheeran, Elvis Costello and Beck.
Schweet. So what type of music scene was/is your fave?
The punk scene in the late 70’s and early 80’s was my most notable. It was a time of expression, a release from suburban drudgery and sexual freedom and I was immersed in it. I hung out with visual artists (I shared a warehouse with Howard Arkley that didn’t have running water), we did nothing yet did everything – I didn’t work I just did.
Anyone who knows anything about the Melbourne music scene says you are KWAIN – why is that?
In 2010, some lame draconian laws were coming into place that were wrongly linking violence with live music. It was absolute BS and our community take zero shit from the man, so Quince and I called a protest and along with 20,000 people, shut down the city at the Slam Rally. Laws were changed, the people and music were the victors.
ALL HAIL THE KWAIN. What’s your fave Bakehouse memory?
There are so many..like the cute story of Spiderbait losing their sh1t and unable to play cos Belinda Carlisle was in the next room or Paul Kelly sticking his head in to a rehearsal of school aged kids who were covering ‘Dumb Things’ and watching their parents lose their minds. Everyday is filled with characters and stories, but you’ll have to wait for the book.
Tell us about Your Choice –
I saw and experienced harassment at shows since the tender age of 14. It was just the norm. I’ve spent the last 7 years championing gigs as safe environments, however our patrons, workers and our performers are often victims of sexual harassment and sometimes assault. I have used my position of privilege to call on gov for new policy and have thrown my support behind Your Choice. Ultimately I wanna see a shift in behavior and cultural change .