Bloodied blades, blazing guns & bombed gigs!
Whatever Happened To Paul’s Place?
by Joe Kidd
It’s been almost a year since the much sensational tabloid-baiting New Year’s Kambing Hitam Raid at Paul’s Place. The most recent hoo-haa was when an ex-commando newbie cop tried to break-up a fight in the nearby parking space by shooting his gun up in the air and later aimed the smoking barrel at Paul Millot’s head!
I haven’t been there much these days, apart from the one time hanging out at the nearby mamak during The Exploited’s gig there, watching some seriously demented aggro people beating each other up and that was just outside of the venue! And yes, there was blood splattered up the staircase walls going up to the venue too. Somebody said someone accidentally stabbed his own friend or something similar. A skinny kid walked up to the mamak with blood on his face, apparently after getting beaten up near the stage front. A good friend of mine showed him the toilet, “wash that blood away,” he said; and later sat him down and “belanja” him lunch.
“Bloodied blades, blazing guns & bombed gigs!” – that could be the “punk rock” blurb underneath Paul’s Place logo, that is if some people would have their way with it. The truth is however very far from the “reputation” really.
So yeah, those bloodied happenings really did happened but they were very, very rare indeed. Most of them are hyped-up little incidences pumped up to the hilt by the brain-dead sensationalist media. The exaggeration later brought forward and bigger by the usual mill of rumour-mongers, breast-beatings macho boneheads and over-imaginative story-tellers everywhere.
Many of us frequented Paul’s Place for years, ever since it was situated in Uptown, Damansara; and such violence were extraordinary, isolated incidences, but of course it always took precedence over the normally peaceful, amiable and fun gigs we had there. People have the tendency to “glamourise” violence, and so Paul’s Place will always be remembered for those episodes.
If we are living in the West and Paul’s Place is situated in some dodgy New York street, such tough-neigbourhood reputation would be used by the management to gather publicity. Like I said, slogans such as “Paul’s Place – Bloodied Blades, Blazing Guns & Bombed Gigs!” would adorn t-shirts everywhere! But no, no such things here. Paul’s Place is changing, in fact it had changed for many months now.
It’s time to say goodbye; Paul’s Place is Dead! Long Live Paul’s Place!
Around the middle of this year, owner Paul Millot and supportive friends has opened up a cafe at the ground floor of the lot. It’s called Giggers Art Cafe and it’s a combo of a small restaurant with some floor space for acoustic gigs.
The original space on the third floor, where we saw so many great and memorable gigs, has been dormant for a long time but this month (November 2006), it would be opened again for the usual business, but this time it’s no longer “Paul’s Place”; the name had change to “Giggers Centrestage”.
Yesterday, there was a good article in The Star on how hard it is to run a live venue in KL (or in Malaysia!). According to the report, Giggers is now being run by a small outfit known as Acuseed Management and they are savvy enough to start having it’s own MySpace site with gig listings and all.
Looking at their page, it seems like things are rocking good again at the venue. I’ve met people and bands who were very scared to go to there, but hopefully that would change soon. I also strongly believe that the management should start being careful of what sort of bands they are hosting, most of the time a lot of these bands were to blame for the violence. It’s time to shift through the names and kick out those who brought so much unnecessary bullshit to the venue, because if the management don’t then the same old shit will hit the fans again, and again.
One thing we should never forget though, the venue is still going on! Isn’t that a miracle? I mean if the place was managed by an entity interested only in making a profit and damn the music, there’s no way it would still be here. We have seen so many venues opening doors for the scene with only one thing in mind, “make money off these young fuckers!”. We have gone through so many asshole venue managers who forced gig organisers to pay 70% to 80% of the door-takings and they didn’t even had the courtesy to offer the damn PA!
Those people who have been dissing Paul’s Place and owner Paul Millot all these years should think about that fact. For me, apart from No Black Tie (which is too posh and dandy these days!), Paul’s Place is the only other live venue in town who is in it for the music and the scene; a place being run by musicians for musicians; of course it was not “perfect” and had its own ridiculous faults, but it’s there for us. Some people would add in KL Jam Asia (Sri Hartamas) in that equation, but I think KL Jam Asia with its RM1,300 down-payment for a gig is a bit too far off from a scene-friendly venue.
To cut a long story short, Paul’s Place is now known (or should be known) as “Giggers Art Cafe & Centrestage”. But of course, we will always call it Paul’s Place lah!
ABOUT GIGGERS ART CAFE:
Opens Wednesday to Saturday, 7pm to 12am
Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.
Showtime: 8pm onwards most of the time.
Cover:¬†¬† Free entrance.
Giggers Art Cafe is located at: 8-G, Jln 2/137b, Resource Industrial Centre, off. Jalan Klang Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ¬†
Giggers Art Cafe is a private space dedicated to the local visual art, poetry, independent music and film.
Giggers Art Cafe is available for private function such as anniversary, birthday party, exhibition of local artists, including talented local youth, product launching, and also community non-profit events.
For availability/reservation please contact: email Giggers Art Cafe
click here for:
Articles about the “Black Metal” incident:
A collection of reports on “Black Metal and the Malaysian Media”
Four held for suspected involvement in Black Metal culture released on bail