The-Big-Smoke

NextThursday is moving out of Newstead into the big smoke after 7 years. There goes the neighbourhood.

Moving. Everybody hates it. Personally, I’ve moved so many times in my life, I kinda like it. Change is good.

So, nextThursday is moving from Newstead to the city. Why? Simply, the lease has come up and to commit to another 3-plus-3 in these times – everybody felt it was the right time to look elsewhere. Easy money to be saved in these times. And a change is as good as a holiday, right? 

Well, here’s what I’m not going to miss…. 

The safety feature that no one ever uses on James St

Being nearly knocked over on my bike every time I go via James Street. (Well then, don’t ride via James Street!)

Seriously. What’s with window shopping from your Range Rover at eight in the morning? Or, quickly grabbing that George Costanza car spot. Far out. Surely your 4WD chariot has park assist.

I know you were most likely on your mobile when you bought the Evoque, so I’ll forgive you once. It looks like this by the way. Use it. Please.

The Wallace Bishops giant logo. The one with the diamond as the icon. And there’s another one if you look closely over the ‘i’ of Bishop. Just in case you missed the first giant one. Anyway, that’s what I stare at everyday, if I gaze outside, that is. I’d redesign it for them for free. Shit, I’d even pay them to do it.

The wifi speed. Wow. I remember making bromides (look ’em up kids!) with the chemicals on their last legs faster than our wifi delivers an email to my inbox. It’s all TPG’s fault. ‘It’s Fortnite time’. ‘It’s just Newstead’. ‘There’s been an accident on James St’. Now that I’ll buy.

The eyesore from our old balcony
The Queens Arms, Newstead

Getting calls from security at 10:35pm. You know those ones. When you’re in you jarmies. Or on your last glass of wine. Or that third Gin and tonic. ‘Andy, section b of the office hasn’t been alarmed’. ‘Really. But, I’m in my jarmies’. Guilt. What if we actually get broken into. Shit happens. ‘But I wasn’t last to leave’. Then you go through the culprits. And I’m the closest one to the office who can re-arm the joint. ‘Uberrrr!’ Fun times. 

Or bin night. There’s 18 of them. Or kitchen duty. I do that enough at home. Ahhh, the memories will be many and grand, in a few years when I’m reminiscing. 

Speaking of, here’s what I am going to miss…

The Queens Arms. A great pub. A bit of everything. God I miss one, off the tap.

The lack of crowds. I could run naked around the block, and even with the Fed’s new building opposite Wally B, I’d still not get arrested. No-one would even see me to call 911. Or is it 000. Funny, in all my years I’ve never had to dial the police. (Strange, with all that road rage too). 

The Valley. It took me a few years to even comprehend the Valley. From De Pasquale days, opposite BMW on Anne Street, to BCM, in Wickham. (Like Kings Cross used to be in the early 80’s, but more people). I do enjoy the Valley vibe though. Always a restaurant/club/cafe opening. A police siren. Followed by an ambo. Always something going on. Although I won’t miss trying to get the hell outta the Valley anytime from midnight. I’ve walked home to Ashgrove, twice. Finding a cab some nights was like finding someone who wants to host the Oscars today. It was pre-Uber days though. Funny even saying that. Pre-Uber days. I need to get out more.

Fortitude Valley at 1AM

The hopscotch version of our logo on the floor before you walk in. It was there to remind staff, and clients, that if you’re in a bad mood, leave it out in the car park. We’re an ad agency after all. Imagination. Creativity. Fun. I realise that can’t happen everyday, but it has helped me on numerous occasions. And when I tell a client that brand identity should be fun, and that their logo needs to be dragged into the 21st century, I can back it up with ours. You see nine configurations and colour versions of nextThursday’s logo by the time you walk into the agency. I will miss that.

nextThursday, Newstead

I will miss the size of the one we’re leaving. It’s actually too big for us. We had the whole ground floor a few years back. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

We will be sacrificing space, but that’s deceiving, because we’ll be utilising all the amenities of wework at any time. It’ll just take a little getting used to. It does have a fully stocked bar, I’ve heard. And wonderful end-of-trip facilities. God, I’m looking forward to that first 24-minute shower.

A totally unsimilar likeness of moir

I remember back in the day’s of Leo’s, Sydney; my writer at the time, Monty Noble and I weren’t getting any work through. Obviously it was due to the feng shui of the office. We consulted his wife Trina, who, growing up in Hong Kong, was fully tuned to the rules of feng shui. And her report was bad. Really bad. On the surface, it was a large corner office in Walker Street, North Sydney. But things aren’t always what they seem. A fully stocked fish tank was needed asap. Followed by a 50’s plastic door fly strip. Due to fire regulations, we had to compromise. A roll of silver foil around the support right outside the door. Pictures of mountains facing north and sea facing south. Or was it the other way around? But, the piece de resistance, was the platform. It took a whole weekend and two trips to Bunnings. We had to be in a position of power, above anyone who came into the office.

We built a massive platform and got rid of our chairs. Chairs are for wimps. Futons baby! Four-feet above ground. The best thing with all that space was playing hide the bar fridges. It worked for 2 months. We even did freelance for the nearest pub, The Greenwood Hotel, and got paid in beer. They even delivered it to us. And then the most bizarre thing happened. All of our work started sailing through. We were even sent to Amsterdam for an induction course for the Heineken account. Client insisted. I’d already been there! So, I’m not saying it was because of our fung shui, or the beer, but something triggered the change. You do need to analyse the vibe of your office. And if it’s not perfect, try to tweak it. Just a little. Funny, the vibe was so strong, Rob Clarke, CEO, and now CEO of Rugby Australia (good luck with that!), kicked us out and moved in. 

One more memory regarding moving offices… When at Leos, we had to move floors within the same building. There were approximately 200 staff, so everyone had to pack their belongings on the Friday and take Monday off work so the removalists had room to move. Come Monday, I went to my local cafe – the Tropicana in Kings Cross (home of Tropfest, where it all began) to work with my writer on other creative teams’ briefs, which, as anyone in the creative department will tell you is kind of a no-no. We were a very hungry team, I digress. While I was waiting for Dave Shirlaw to rock up, I looked across the road and there was Rene, an old girlfriend of mine from college days. Cutting a loooong story short, within 2 weeks, we’d moved in together. 21 years of marriage and 2 kids later… happy days. So, moving can be fun. You never know what’s around the corner.


Anyway, here’s the view of our new office. It’s not bad. If you look real hard, you can almost see the Wallace Bishop head office. Just kidding. I’m pretty sure the feng shui is strong with this one.

And now, for a little sell: if you’d like to visit us in our new digs, hit us up on the contact page. Be one of the first 10 to call by and you could win a trip to the bar (yes, there’s one in the office – feng shui!) for a complimentary cold one, off the tap. Just like the Queens Arms, only they’re my arms; strong ’25 push ups in 25 days’ kind of arms 😉

ANDY ILES

Creative Director, nextThursday