The Loft! The People and the Atmosphere!
Tall, big and kind, Grant was happy to greet everyone at the door. He is truly the ‘Great’ Grant that everyone seems to like – the musicians, the guests and the staff. He holds it all together by organizing venues and accommodating guests with incredible composure. Grant, who refers to himself as a door bouncer, is pleasant and relaxed but always in control. He keeps a venue running smoothly whilst ensuring it retains an easygoing ambiance. He is a significant part of the big secret behind how The Loft creates its casual and comfortable atmosphere and he is not alone.
At the bar, three petite girls from Japan (Asami Nii, Misaki Hamaguchi and Hiroko Hayashi) will serve you a drink with a lovely smile. They call Grant ‘manager’, are very polite and say “We love it here.”
I can see Grant’s younger brother Scotty as he picks up a guitar and starts to sing, accompanied by regular guest Anthony playing the flute.
Scotty, a musician, has been playing guitar for about 11 years. He plays with a group called Dogtags, and as for The Loft, he also says, “I love the whole thing here. I just love it!”
Anthony has lived on the Gold Coast for 30 years and has been coming to The Loft for the last four years, often enough to have his own insights about the place. He is a chatty, outgoing and very friendly personality with great communication skills. You can find him on Facebook, click here. He is originally from Melbourne and his mother and six brothers were always ‘a musical family’. Since being a very shy kid he has changed a lot. He plays a few instruments, including guitar, and he loves singing on stage. His mother, a former Speech and Drama teacher is also a great singer with a love for Barbara Streisand and Julian Anderson. Anthony has a great love for the stage too and often performs at The Loft. So, why The Loft and not the countless bars and restaurants that the Gold Coast has to offer? I still wonder…
Anthony says, “It’s like being in a lounge room. It’s a very relaxed and homey atmosphere. You can sit at the balcony; have a conversation with friends, drink and smoke, and all the while enjoy a million dollar view of the Gold Coast’s night sky-line. Doing all of this at the same time is rare. We know that and everyone who comes here knows that. This is a great atmosphere all around…we all have a really great time here.”
I notice that The Loft’s balcony is definitely the place to talk as I try to find out the answer to the question, “Why does everyone likes this place so much?” This time I place my recorder in front of the members of the group Electrik Lemonade.
They say, “We love this place because it has excellent vibes. You can see the people you are playing for – their faces and eyes – you can see their happiness. It is a very intimate communication between us and the guests. This feels like a homey place. Everyone is here for a good time. We also recognised a dozen or so people who came to see our previous performances. We have done three shows here already and we can only imagine what it will be like in a few years. Our music is all about having fun and a good time. It’s about forgetting your problems because it looks like there aren’t enough good times in the world. If we can bring a good time to people, it makes us happy.” (The full interview with Electrik Lemonade is coming soon.)
I personally agree with their views and attitude, but what about their fans’ opinions? I spotted this lovely and very pretty girl who I saw at Electrik Lemonade’s last performance and I was keen to ask her a couple of questions. I introduced myself and she (Vanessa) was happy to oblige: “I came here because of Electrik Lemonade. They are so cool! They have an awesome sound and they look great. This group to me is all about fun. Their lyrics are very passionate and in-depth about music. It is so much about the love of music. Their songs are simply amazing.”
Electrik Lemonade didn’t disappoint their fans. They played nine songs and people were glued to the stage. I believe it is because the sound of the lead singer Muffins’ voice has the incredible effect of luring you in. Once he starts to sing you just want to hear more and more. His voice wraps you up in a comforting cocoon, sliding magically over the ceiling and walls to hold you in attentiveness. All the eyes around the room follow his suave movements and magical smoothness of his on stage presence. His voice just has that power of strong attraction. When they finish, Marc, the lead singer of The Vaudeville Smash is one of the first few people to congratulate Muffins for his successful performance tonight.
The Vaudeville Smash is standing next to the stage as I take a small break from my conversation with (another) Vanessa. To clear all possible confusion, this Vanessa is the wife of Grant ‘the Great’ as I have decided to call him. She comes to The Loft every two weeks to enjoy the groups she likes. Today she is here for The Vaudeville Smash and when I ask her what she enjoys the most here, she says: “The atmosphere, definitely the homey and relaxed atmosphere. I am here today to enjoy one of my favorite groups, The Vaudeville Smash from Melbourne. I like them because they are so energetic and their music is all about dancing. Their music draws you in and makes you dance.”
I can believe everything she said because from the first chord of their first song, everybody moved to the floor in front of the stage. They knew what they came for and they just went for it. Hands up in the air, girls climbing on top of chairs, bodies jumping up and down in a unity of joy; this was the instant result of their performance. Wow! They really can make people dance as if they have some magical spell over them. Even Electrik Lemonade was there dancing with their fans around them. Marc, the lead singer, had a very powerful voice, and was a very good dancer himself. He was unstoppable. The amount of energy he and his group were creating was atomic in proportion. They must have been very excited (not to mention very fit) to keep this 40 minute, non-stop, disco spree going. However, even this wasn’t enough for the crowd, who asked for more and more.
I finally managed to get a hold of Marc to arrange a full interview, which will be published soon.
Marc said: “I tell you what. The first time we came here it felt very unusual. It’s not like any other place I have seen. The vibes and the amount of fans which come out to The Loft are amazing. At first you would never think that this place is set as a common band venue; but something is very magical about this place and it works. I just love it. It really does feel like home. It is like playing in front of your friends, and we have become friends with a lot of people here over the year. It is just so great here. Nothing is pretentious about this place and when a few bands play during the same evening it gives you the opportunity to know them better and to enjoy their music. I would like to say to people who haven’t been here, come to The Loft and enjoy the magical atmosphere of this place. Last year, we came here to perform about five times and we now have a great following here on the Gold Coast.”
The next person I was waiting to talk to was Daniel, the sound engineer at The Loft. He used to come here to drink, dance and relax. He ended up playing here with some of the bands and eventually started to do sound engineering. He said to me: “I have been working here for three nights a week and I love the atmosphere of The Loft. It feels like home. It feels like being in a lounge room. It is all about an amazing atmosphere and great music.”
If you still have any doubts about The Loft, here is the opinion of a first time guest. Her name is Ariel and she says: “This is my first night. I came with my two friends who are also from the Gold Coast. I only saw two bands because I came late. I really liked Electrik Lemonade. I like their lead singer and his voice. The other group was pretty good too. I love it and I love this place. I will definitely come again, definitely.”
So, what about you, my readers? Are you looking for pleasant company, good music and a great atmosphere? If yes, then come to The Loft and enjoy it!
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