NUMBER 31: The Computer
In the mid 90’s, a lot of things changed. Namely the advent of the internet which was dropped into our lives and the easier accessibility of PC’s. Whilst I didn’t have my own PC until 2002, I was using my sister’s and friends PC’s when and where I could to discover the new found adventures on the internet. It was a sublime feeling being able to talk to other people in chat rooms about music and more specifically, Bowie.
There was one chat room I would frequent a good deal around 1999 through to 2002. A place called Suedeland which was constantly brimming with other Suede fans, mainly those from Europe who were just as excited as yours truly about Brett Anderson and the rest of the band. It was a lovely feeling being able to express oneself about the things we all loved and eventually, I began emailing some of the fans and swapping CD-R’s of concerts and out-takes.
Of course, one must remember that internet speeds were incredibly slow around this period of time and cost a fortune so you have to choose and use wisely. I look back now and wonder how on earth we all survived this period with small hard drive’s and minimal internet data. Not to mention the prolonged booting times for PC’s! You could walk away at times, make a cup of tea and cook up eggs on toast before you were able to get in.
Another significant change in the landscape during this period was the advent of online ticket sales for concerts. Of course, in 2016 it is pretty much the only way to obtain tickets however, in 2000 and the short period either side, we were finding our feet as we stopped camping out for concert tickets and began lining up in the virtual world. And to be fair, I do miss those night time sleep outs at concert venues with other music lovers as we eagerly awaited the 9 am sale time. You’d more often than not meet new friends and find out about new bands.
PC’s, laptops, tablets and smart phones have had an immeasurable impact on our lives. Younger people today don’t even know what life was like without the technology we glue ourselves too. I have to admit, my nostalgic side does miss those all nighters at Festival Hall as we waited to get our hands on concert tickets. Like that old tradition, Festival Hall itself is now a block of apartments and part of Brisbane’s lost history.