Sticky Fingers have become the latest act to speak out about the controversial lockout laws that are in place in inner Sydney today, and covered English-ska band The Specials to do so.
Having contributed to the closure of many venues and club, big and small, the laws have been the subject of rising unrest. Implemented last year, the law now has a forced lock out of 1:30am, with the sale of alcohol stopping at 3am. There has really been no change in alcohol related violence or deaths, but there has been more than a few jobs lost and venues shut down which directly affects the local music and arts scenes. With lyrics like “This town is turning into a ghost town / All the clubs are closing down,” the StiFi boys have pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one.
Speaking to triple J about the release, bassist Paddy Cornwall said of the band’s decision to do so, “A few months ago, me and the lads were listening to The Specials’ version of the song and then we all just started laughing because the lyrics are so poignant to how Sydney is feeling right now”. He went onto say, “Lockout laws and the general attitude towards culture and live music in this city, and I guess all of Australia,” before discussing Australia’s “aggressive” drinking culture and proposing the answers could (are most definitely) in education and awareness.
“You can’t just shut down a city and expect everyone’s going to go home to bed and that nothing bad is ever going to happen again — it doesn’t really work like that… It’s going to be up to new mums and dads to try and teach their kids how to drink [responsibly],” Cornwall said – and he’s exactly right. Listen to the StiFi-fied cover below and read here for our feature on just how far we have, or haven’t, come since the laws were implemented.