Lost Spaces explores queer experiences as told through now-closed bars and clubs. 

In each episode, singer/songwriter K Anderson interviews a different member of the community to find out about a venue from their past, the memories they created there and the people that they used to know. 

“It’s been about people more than anything else, but the buildings are the root of what we start the conversation about,” he said. 

“It’s me finding out about other people’s experiences and how they navigated the world and came to find themselves on sweaty, sticky dance floors with a group of strangers.” 

During May, the podcast turned its focus to Australian venues inviting along guest stars such as Bob Downe and Katie Underwood. 

They shared their memories about nights out from the past and “snogs with strangers on the dancefloor”.  

 Anderson said he does not want to put out the message that the loss of these venues is “the end of the world,” as there is a reason for it. 

“The reason for it is probably a good thing because people are feeling more accepted in non-queer places,” he said. 

“There was a time when queer people – some queer people – would not step into a straight bar, for want of a better term, because they were afraid. 

“It happens less frequently now, so some of the reasons queer venues are disappearing is not a terrible thing, but at the same time, I think it’s important to preserve the spaces.” 

Anderson said the coronavirus pandemic provided a chance to revisit Australia virtually. 

 “I spoke to Bob Downe about the Albury Hotel in Sydney, and he had a really great attitude, and a f***-it attitude,” he said. 

“When he first developed the character of Bob, he was performing alongside the drag troupe at the hotel called The Showbags. 

“I said ‘even in 2020, people struggle with boy drag, what was it like then’ and he said ‘people hated it … and I didn’t give a shit I was having so much fun.” 

Anderson talking to the “icon” Katie Underwood from Bardot about having “fun” in the accessible toilets at The Market was another highlight of creating the podcast. 

The London-based, but Adelaide raised, singer-songwriter is well-known for his 2014 single 14 Year Old Me, a song in which he apologises to his younger self for being “weak-willed, and a little bit slutty.” 

 However, Anderson shifts focus to the death of queer nightlife through the podcast and accompanying songs. 

“I hate using the term, but there is a concept record sitting alongside the project,” he said. “I am writing songs about queer venues, people meeting people in queer venues and having that snog on the dancefloor.” 

Anderson said there is something for everyone in the podcast because anyone who has been to a nightclub will recognise the anticipation and the excitement. 

“It really does help you reexamine yourself in the context of other people and what other people are doing,” he said. “That sounds very grand, but that’s what it has done for me. There is something humbling about that.” 

Listen to all episodes here.

By Annie Lewis

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