Hey Universe! Come one, come all! / by Kian West

It’s been two and a half years since Adam Mark Price had the hard task of saying goodbye to Cotton Sidewalk. Going out with a bang by performing their entire “Evil Versus People” album (complete with choir, string quintet and pipe organ) the local band and it’s steadfast following celebrated the fifteen years of music that the band, and Adam, had produced. 

But with every ending comes a new beginning. 

Enter HEY UNIVERSE. Adam’s new venture of fresh tunes with some familiar faces. Featuring Marty Paget (original drummer from Cotton Sidewalk) on drums and Adam’s brother Andy Price on bass. The band began as a simple desire to head to a rehearsal studio and make some ‘noise’ again - but it wasn’t long before they realised the noise they were making was worth sharing.

“It took me a while to know where I wanted to go next after Cotton. I started writing, then started jamming with Marty and Andy, and now I’m busting to show people what we’ve been creating,” says Adam.

Since returning home to Newcastle after a 6-year stint in Melbourne, Adam has been laying low on the gig scene. The occasional solo gig has kept the pipes from developing cobwebs, and attending gigs have kept Adam’s passionate about live music.

“I have played my fair share of gigs since ending Cotton Sidewalk, and have certainly watched my fair share of them too, but one fire that has kept burning this whole time is the desire to have a music venue that is ABOUT the music. Not just an aside to the TV that’s on, to the bar, to the restaurant - the actual purpose of the venue is music, and for a rock band, this is really hard to come by,” states Adam.

In launching Hey Universe and their new tunes, Adam decided he would try his hand at creating such a gig. The band will play at The Dungeon (a small venue that is a part of Adamstown Arts) which consists of a stage, some chairs and a bespoke bar, for a gig that Adam labels, “Lo-Fi @ The Dungeon”.

“If it goes well and people dig the idea, then we might look at doing it more regularly - I would love to give that to the music community,” says Adam.

It turns out Adam was not the first person to feel this way and to follow this path. His father-in-law, Rod Barnes, a devout jazz musician found the same issues with the gigs he played 20 years ago, and so at the very same venue, started Jazz @ The Dungeon which brought many local, national and even international acts to the stage in Adamstown. And if you would like to take the history further, you would also find that Rod’s Grandfather did the same with his orchestral endeavours back in 1924 (in the very same building).

So thanks to Adamstown Arts, who are the proud owners and creators of the venue labelled The Dungeon, Adam now has the opportunity to carry on this legacy and give to the music community that has supported him. 

“We’re going to run the gig from 7-10pm and there will be food and drinks available on the night. We’re hoping this will be a fresh approach that will encourage people to come ready to hear a heap of brand new music.”

Hey Universe will premiere on July 8th at “Lo-Fi @ The Dungeon”. Entry is $5 and doors open at 6 pm. For more information head to facebook.com/lofi.dungeon