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MAX MOOSE Melbourne Review:



The Chapel


Ocotber 13, 2000
FingersMust get this passRest of Max
NOTE: I have since found out that Friday does various themes. This night was a Gothic night, but on other occasions they have other themes.

A conference in Ballarat, so of course, checking out the local nightlife was a priority. It is always fun going out in a place you don't know well. You have no idea what is decent, but you inevitably have fun, because nobody know who you are.

After checking out a few venues, we eventually discovered the Chapel, probably the most club-like venue in Ballarat. As the name suggests, it used to be a church, with awesome bluestone walls. It looked fairly inoccuous from the outside, except for the odd Goth heading toward it. We had tried everywhere else in Ballarat, so figured we'd give it a go.

Surprise, surprise, inside we discovered a full-on gothic night. We were dressed in slacks and shirts, and we felt like the freaks. More black, leather, and studs than you could poke a stick at. Goths and freaks of all ages, but all pretty cool, and friendly.

I have no idea what time we arrived (about half-past smashed), but I guess it was around 11.30. At that time it was comforatbly busy, without being packed. It didn't get a whole lot busier, but it didn't matter.

The Chapel is about two and a half rooms. As you walk in, there a cruisy band room on your right, and the main room straight-ahead. The main room also has a viewing deck. The band room feels kind of cellar like. On the left is a pool table, and a stage for the band (an accoustic duo on this occasion). Straight-ahead is a bar, and to the right is a standing area with a couple of tables, and doors to the main room.

The main room has two sections, not too dissimilar to Billboards. There is the bar and milling around section on the left, and a sunken dancefloor to the right, with a bar at the back too. The dancefloor fronts a stage that hosts a DJ, or a band (a gothic band on this occasion). There are a couple of podiums which can be used as a catwalk. The DJ plays classically gothic stuff, a bit of alternative and gothic retro. It is a pretty good combo, even if you are not gothic.

Beside the dancefloor is a set of stairs which leads to the elaborate viewing deck, which was closed on this occasion.

As best I can recall, prices were pretty reasonable. I think entry was about $6, and drinks must have been good value, judging by the amount consumed.

I had a great night at the Chapel. The entertainment was good, and the people interesting. Eventually the Thorpdale Netball team showed up, so we were not the only non-goths there. Tasha and the crew made the night better, but we would have had fun there anyway.

Ben Clissold
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