Grant Spencer

About Grant Spencer

Grant Spencer is a psychologist in private practice who wanted to be a writer who wanted to be a rock singer. He has a BA in Creative Writing and Literature, and continues to write poetry intermittently in order to avoid the panic over running his own business.

School night kicks: LazyBones Lounge Jazz Club

Resident cool guy Grant Spencer has a discovered a cool new hangout – on a school night! – so hop to LazyBones Lounge in Marrickville, daddy-o.

“Why isn’t there anyone here?” I look across the empty space that is filling with the sound of a 12 piece jazz band. The venue is gorgeous in a ramshackle way. All deep leather lounges and a gaudy Kama Sutra inspired ceiling mural. I feel like I am keeping some kind of secret that really should not belong to me.

This happens every Monday at a place called LazyBones Lounge in Marrickville.

The Sonic Mayhem Orchestra are changing up old standards and original work in such a complex way that it is far enough beyond my capacity to judge that I’m left to unreservedly enjoy what they’re doing to me. Goosebumps come unpredictably. I glance around the room looking for eye contact, to confirm this isn’t just happening to me. A good friend who rarely goes to live shows anymore but is a big jazz fan provides what I was looking for; she is bouncing on her lounge, childlike, beaming. There are about twenty people in the audience, perhaps less.

LazyBones is one of those places that I take friends visiting the neighbourhood. As if my knowledge of the place makes me as cool as the dozens of old, deep-seated leather lounges. There are random decorations everywhere; a cow skull painted with muscle car flame-decals, articulated dentist equipment and a gigantic Thai-carved wooden door. The first time I went with my best mate Aaron we sat down and we shared the sigh you’d give walking through the door of your home after a long day. We didn’t spend a lot on alcohol and we paid a donation for the band. There was nothing prohibitive about the night. Which brings me back to the question, “Why isn’t anybody here?” Granted, jazz can be a divisive musical genre, but a nine-piece horn section speaks to the lizard brain.

The first time I met Craig, the owner of LazyBones, was when Aaron and I were scouring the local Liquorland for a new beer to try. Craig was in overalls spattered with paint and making a fedora look cool somehow. He is well over six foot tall, dark skinned with black and grey curls. He leant over and said in a gravelly voice (with the faint melody of a South African accent), “Hey guys, I couldn’t help overhear you, try this one, it’s really delicious…trust me, I’m an alcoholic!” After thanking him and grabbing the six pack, we watched him falter and turn back to us and say, “You know what, I’m opening a little jazz bar across the road, you should come and check it out sometime, it’s called LazyBones.” With that, he turned away and loped off at a backward slant, a tall person with no fucks to give. All of a sudden we were in a film noir.

I could basically hear the hi-hats playing in time to each step; “tsss-t, t-tsss-t, t-tsss-t”. Aaron turned to me and laughed out loud.

Now don’t get me wrong, LazyBones Lounge is often busy, particularly Thursday to Saturday. Providing live music seven nights a week is an amazing risk in Sydney, but it demonstrates the love of everyone involved and has definitely been successful. This place has still managed to provide the inspiration to write this article. An experience that provides a strange dissonance. The pure joy of “discovering” something relatively untouched and then the accompanying outrage that that thing is not being supported and might become untenable.

More recently I visited and Craig mocked me for bringing another new friend to a Monday night. That’s his night off usually. I’m actually looking to change that. The Big Smoke is a vibrant community of writers and readers, so get stuck into the comment section below and we’ll organise a time to ruin my solitude.


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