Never heard of Burleigh Underground Drummers? That’s probably because they’re, well… underground. With no advertising, it’s word of mouth and local know-how that keeps the crowds attending. Now with a ten year celebration looming, this privately-owned venue is the longest running underground club on the coast, and doesn’t show any signs of quitting. We chatted with owner Kimon Peters to get the lowdown on all things BUD.
“Basically it’s a creative space,” explains Kimon.
“It did start off as a place for myself and family to have live music and for my children to appreciate live music. When it actually started I was twenty-five years off the drums, I had the opportunity to get back on then and realise the inadequacies of where people can take drum lessons. What was needed was a place to play.
“Once it started we did three and a half years of open jams, four years of band rehearsal area. Then we had different artists play there and we’ve had a few international ones in, not a lot. It’s a BYO venue.”
The casual, family-run nature of Burleigh Underground Drummers creates a comfortable atmosphere, a place where music-lovers come just to listen to bands, and where kids are welcome.
“People come and have a bit of ownership over it,” says Kimon.
“That’s the best possible way to describe it. It’s multi-purpose. We have bands, art exhibitions, camp quality fundraisers, anything that is a worthy cause we’ll give the venue to the people.”
By the people and for the people, Burleigh Underground Drummers warehouse is also full of donated items, from furniture to decorations. Having evolved over its period of operation into a needs-based local music venue, it has a unique atmosphere that would be unable to be replicated commercially.
“It wasn’t a conscious thought, it wasn’t a business concept, it evolved into the space that it is. It’s a place where parents can bring their kids and their kids can’t believe their parents know a place so cool.
“A description I have is ‘when you think you’re lost you’re nearly there’. Location is important. Every pub, club, live music venue in the world – and I’ve been to too many to even bring up – it doesn’t have what I didn’t like in any of them.”
It’s a space that everybody walks into and understands, that’s the feedback I’ve had. And feels comfortable.
A massive chunk of the drummers on the coast have passed through the venue doors.
“It’s somewhere for young drummers if they need tuition we lead them to the right path. We’ve had 90 or more drummers come to us in some capacity. We’ve gone through a generation of people.”
As for why it’s so important to keep the place underground?
“The unknown factor is probably the mystique of the place,” Kimon says.
“There’s still new people coming in whenever we have something to this day. It’s very important to me that you can appreciate live music without alcohol involvement. It keeps it affordable. It’s very hard to keep somewhere underground, but once you experience it then it’s appreciated. Simplicity equals efficiency.”
Head to Burleigh Underground Drummers on Saturday 8 July for an awesome line up of bands to celebrate their ten year anniversary. If you can’t find it, you aren’t looking hard enough.
IMAGE (c) Lamp Photography