The Slab hosted writer, journalist, poet and music critic Mark Mordue, to take us back to the inner city where our paths crossed at the many gigs and live venues that populated Sydney then.
Mark read from his recently published book of poems Darlinghurst Funeral Nights, a song cycle that takes the reader on a journey through Mark’s experiences in the Sydney post-punk music scene of the 1980s. It begins with his arrival in the big city, his immersion in the culture and the spirit of the times, his deep contact with bands, art and films as a leading rock journalist of the era, the corresponding hedonism and bohemianism that characterised iconic suburbs like Newtown, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, and the disintegration of that world as a relationship ends and drugs, disillusion and displacement overtake people’s lives. The nature of the book is effectively a Dante-esque journey though Sydney in the post-punk 1980s. As such it is both a personal and a cultural history of the times: a creative history and internalized autobiography of a now mythical era.
Accompanying the reading were projected images from artist Madeleine Preston’s work Darlinghurst Eats Its Young. The photos show a pre-digital version of an almost disappeared city. A Sydney of cheap housing; a Sydney yet to be gentrified.