The Annandale top ten with Matt Rule

The Annandale Hotel will kick off its 10th Birthday celebrations tonight with a super-sized gig featuring The Vines, Bluejuice and the John Steele Singers. This show will be the first of eight celebratory happenings taking place at The ‘Dale over the next fortnight, all in honour of The Rule Brothers decade long support of live music.

The Annandale has had a turbulent journey to say the least. After enjoying a solid run as one of Sydney’s most popular live music venues in the 80s and 90s, the hotel was sold-off and converted into a poker-machine playhouse, just as it was becoming ever so fashionable to do so in the Harbour City.

When this ‘revamp’ failed to have the desired effect Matt and Dan Rule swept in to save the day, purchasing the hallowed ’ Dale in 2000 and slowly but surely revived the hotel, making it the staple of Sydney’s live music scene that it is today.

On the eve of The Annandale’s 10th Birthday, Matt Rule talks to FasterLouder about some of his favourite moments in his time at the helm of the Dale.


This was supposed to be the band using the Annandale to just rehearse for their Big Day Out set in between shows. There was just four of us in the bar at the time and they ended up playing their whole Big Day Out set from start to finish for us.


To this day I think that Gerling is one of the most dynamic live bands in Australia. Each year, while they could have played larger venues, they played here [instead]. They were by far the most anticipated shows of the year and would sell out in a day.


That huge hit of their’s had just come out on radio here and the show just exploded off the phones. It ended up being epic.


This was ages ago and one of the first times he had come to Sydney. He had just played the Blues and Roots Festival and called us asking whether he could play, with only a weeks notice. So he played this show on a Sunday arvo, he played solo with a small foot stomping box and there was like 200 people who watched him and were just flawed. We didn’t even have our stage up at that point, so he just played in the corner.


This was pretty much exactly the same [as John Butler]. They had played Blues and Roots and we got a call, and they said they promised they’d bring people. We were like whatever, and then they had the place absolutely jumping and from that show on they sold out everywhere.


I think this was The Sleepy Jackson’s first show as a three piece, around the time of that song Miniskirt and we didn’t have a stage. Not that many people were actually there and they were so much heavier than what they would become. It was just two guitarists going berserk and kneeling down Hendrix styles.


This was the first time they had played together for ages. It was unreal. Just to see that legendary, influential act play their first show back.

SYDNEY SWANS MAD MONDAY (after winning the 2005 Grand Final)

We use to let the Sydney Swans celebrate Mad Mondays at The Annandale cause we lock them in and let them go ballistic and they’d have a great times. And this one was a particularly good one, as you could imagine.

THE BRONX – 2004

They played their first Aussie show here. And we ended up doing a live at The Annandale DVD with a hand-held camera. It was the first show they ever sold out in the world. And the place went wild. I was a big fan and it was fucking brilliant.

You Am I – 2009 three night run

This was when they played the three nights in a row. They changed their set every night. They are good friends and they have been great supporters. It was like they were coming in and playing their lounge room every night. Three great shows.

Photo credit: David Campbell.