THE Substation at 1 Market Street, Newport is an unusual and exciting venue in Melbourne’s inner southwest.
Built in 1915 for the purpose of converting electricity for the suburban rail system, the Newport Substation fell into disrepair after ceasing operations in 1967. By the 1990s it had become derelict, the victim of vandals and squatters. Nevertheless it remained an impressive building which inspired two local residents – Nigel Edwards and Darren Williams – to develop the idea of restoring it as a community arts space with gallery, performance, concert and function facilities.
It took fifteen years and lots of hard work by a small band of volunteers, but this is how the old girl looks now.
On Saturday 16 February the Substation will become Swingstation when those two swinging bands, The Shuffle Club and Leigh Barker’s New Sheiks will be on deck to welcome in the Year of the Snake with Shanghai Shuffle which promises to be a night of “dance and decadence”, better than a slow boat to China the publicity says.In the 1920s and 30s Shanghai was known as ‘The Paris of The East’. Jazz was king and sophisticates flocked to the Peace Hotel and Metropole Club to hear the music and show off the latest dance steps.
There will be dumplings (available from the Yum Cha van from 6.30pm.). As advertised, there will be dancing. There might even be a dragon.
This is a chance to hear some really vibrant jazz – jazz for dancing – and experience this magnificent heritage building in its new finery.
Doors Open at 7.30.
Tickets $25 online at http://www.trybooking.com/CFLG, $30 at the door
Further information: 9391 1110