Last week we posted Fraser A Gorman’s new number ‘Dark Eyes’ on the site – and it’s quite fantastic. In addition to his undeniable musical talents, Fraser coaches the Bone Crushers, a gifted squad comprising the cream of The Tote Hotel’s female footy talent playing in the Renegade Pub Football League. As you’ll note in the photo above, Fraser performs this task in a three-piece suit, something that we, as aesthetes, would love to see happen a lot more at the highest level. There’s some Australian poetry in this shot. You can almost feel the late afternoon chill setting in as Fraser delivers his speech, and hear the words of encouragement rising in volume from within the sqaud. Behind coach and team loom the point of the whole exercise – the four uprights standing proudly in the distance, and just beyond them, suburban houses within whose walls are no doubt harboured countless footballing and musical dreams. Beautiful. Here Fraser introduces us to the RPFL and all its charms.
If you can eat a banana, you can kick a banana………..
Just ‘cause you’re a frail, stick legged musician, an old (and often overweight) barfly, a publican, a sound guy or just one of the many screaming fans (male or female) that often dive deep into the sweaty depths of the Melbourne rock-and-or roll scene………. amongst country, bluegrass, jazz, blues, garage metal, hair metal, trance, reggae, dubstep, pheasant pluckin’ hillbilly or whatever else floats your musical boat (gasp for breath)!!
This doesn’t mean you can’t kick a bloody footy with your mates too does it?!
The Renegade Pub Football League is paving the way for the often ‘less stereotypical’ football players/football lovers to get out there for a game of community footy on every second (or so) Sunday. The teams are bred through three common themes: A love of live music; a love of footy; and a strong sense of community. The teams align themselves to a pub, all of which host regular live gigs of many different levels. The Tote (my filthy pub of choice), The Old Bar, The East Brunswick Club (R.I.P bandroom), The Birmingham (also R.I.P Bandroom), Bar Open, The Lomond and The North Melbourne Town Hall.
On these particular given Sundays, a few hundred like-minded legends stroll down for a day of fantastic (often very hilarious) games of footy, a P.A providing the soundtrack for the entire day by a different DJ each week results in goals kicked to the likes of The Stooges, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and MC5, tackles to The Beasts of Bourbon, The Stones and Aretha Franklin, and wins and losses to Kurt Vile, The Who, You Am I, Easybeats and basically whoever else you can think of…… rock’n’roll Footy at it’s best.
BUT on Sunday the 2nd of June, a very special game was added to the bill. An all-female game to close the day UNDER LIGHTS!!! The scene was set for an all out blockbuster between two full sides of girls ready to bring the rock and roll to the football field. It was my job to coach the renegade Bone Crushers!!!! Who were going head to head with the noble Blood Suckers (aptly coached by fellow Melbourne alt-country musician Cash Savage). This onstage rivalry between myself and Cash made this not only a game to promote girls community footy, it made it personal.
It was cold and it was muddy but the girls attacked the footy with just as much ferocity as any of the other teams on the day, each hardball get and clanger was met with a roar of the crowd (who by this point had a few cans in them and were getting extremely into it). A few loose comments were thrown between the coaching boxes and after a half time speech (absolute spray, followed by a rev up and Napoleon reference) it was back on. The Bone-Crushers started only leading by a goal before running away with the win by about 3 goals (mind you I’d had a few beers by then). A firm handshake and hug between myself and Cash was exchanged and then we all got in for a team photo. Few more beers, a pie and a few girls (most actually) sliding around in the muddy center square and the game was won. The great turnout of over 400 punters even convinced the local council to pour more funding into next years’ pub footy and all-girls community footy league.
Rock’s not dead. Community Footy sure ain’t either.