Similar to Max Watt’s, you can easily walk past the entry to this venue and miss it. The entry looks like a fire exit door, but it opens up to a big basement venue (can hold 900 people), what was once a theatre restaurant.
The building that the venue resides in is called Total House, built in 1965, is an early example of Brutalist architecture and is listed with the Victorian Heritage register.
One of the great things about this venue is all of it’s levels, you can see the performance from just about anywhere. However this is also a disadvantage for the visually impaired (like myself) as you have to watch out for those stairs.
While we are in lockdown, I thought it would be a good time to go out for a walk and take photo’s of music venues, dig into my photo archive and my favourite gigs .
The Tote Hotel, operating under this name since 1980 (wiki link).
Address: 67-71 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066
My mate and I wanted to go to the closing down day in 2010 and have one last drink and watch some bands, but as you can see, the line to get it was quite long.
We ended up complaining and walking down to a nearly empty Gem Bar, had a couple of Carlton Draughts and talked about the getting bitten by flea’s, sticky carpets and how the smell of cigarets cover the smell vomit.
Above picture has Sun God Replica playing in the front bar, currently that’s where the pool table is. There were a few front bar gigs played here rather than the front door location.
The above photo is a mess, either using a Pentax or a Canon digital camera.
This gig was a solid line up, supporting Jay Reatard were Digger & The Pussycats, Cut Sick, The Focus and UV Race all for a mere $27.
Jay Reatard was touring ‘Blood Visions’ album, I had no expectations on this gig, enjoyed the big hair stylings, and though they were fresh and tight.
Another favourite gig at the Tote was Eddy Current Suppression Ring, who played with The Sailors, The Onyas and The Breadmakers.
Eddy Current were a really hot act at the time, I thought they were the future of Aussie Rock. They also played the whole set in area in front of the stage. That was great as everyone could see the performance.
Also my original thoughts on this gig can be found below.