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Pom in Oz: Geraldton barber shop offers best of traditional and modern worlds wrapped up in one neat haircut

As a modern man living in a digital, social media-driven and often fast-paced world, it’s often hard to find time to slow down and do something that takes time.

It’s equally hard to hold on to old-fashioned ways of life and traditions that can often be seen as outdated or simply pointless.

But the exception for me has always been a good old-fashioned barber shop haircut and beard trim. For me and many chaps my age (and younger and older), the only place to ever visit is Cut Throat Joe’s.

Now, up until quite recently, visiting Joe’s was like stepping into a time machine.

The décor was straight out of the 50s, the furniture and fittings vintage and the technology was limited, to put it politely, although the big screen TV was the exception.

No EFTPOS, it was a cash-only joint, which got some rather confused reactions from anyone not familiar with how Joe and his crew do things. A visit to the cash machine in Northgate was often needed.

No bookings either, Joe barely had a social media presence and the only option you had was to turn up and sit and wait, and wait and wait.

Now for some this could be a burden, but if you planned it right, having an hour sitting in Joe’s place reading a book or watching the basketball wasn’t the end of the world.

We rarely get a chance to stop and simply be somewhere. There are plenty of worse places to be on a Saturday morning than sitting on one of Joe’s vintage leather sofas.

But now spin forward to January 18, 2022. Boy is the traditional haircut world in for a shock (well, in Geraldton). Cut throat Joe’s has entered the 21st century with style.

I am proud to say I managed to bag the first online booking with Joe himself, 8am sharp. Choosing from a comprehensive list of haircut types, plumping for the old-fashioned men cut. The online booking system was one of the best I have used.

I must say when I walked into the refurbished Joe’s it took me a few minutes to take it all in. Double the amount of barber chairs, no more pool table and glory be — an EFTPOS machine (although I did have the cash just in case).

The place looked very different but exactly the same — it was a little surreal to be honest.

Now I am not saying Joe’s is going to be for everyone, but boy it’s the place for me. It’s undergone a huge refurb but still kept the Joe’s feel. The décor still harkens to a simpler, slower-paced time. The music is still as rockabilly as you can get.

But Joe has clearly embraced, or has been slightly helped to embrace a lot of new things.

I was utterly shocked and slightly confused to be asked if I wanted a latte or capp while I had my cut. The poor lady serving me must have thought I was an idiot.

So in a time when we are pushed to constantly find quicker, smarter more efficient ways to work, to play, to simply be, it’s nice to visit somewhere that happily sits across both ages.

Traditional and modern all wrapped up in a nice little haircut.

Derek Goforth is a teacher at Geraldton Christian College

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