If Melbourne has a beating pulse, it’s the sound of our bandrooms.
With more live music venues per capita than other major cities in the world like London, New York and LA, going to go see a gig in Melbourne is pretty-damn easy. Or, at least, it was pre-pandemic. (Featured image: @natalieparham)
When the city went into lockdown, the majority of our bandrooms shut up shop and went into hibernation. But now that Melbourne has gone one month with zero community transmissions, and restaurants and pubs have opened up, retail too, it’s only right that our bandrooms be allowed to fill with sound.
It’s not easy for them, though. Seated gigs mean fewer punters and less money — most probably won’t turn a buck. However, that’s not stopping these venues from putting on shows and reviving Melbourne’s pulse.
1. The Corner Hotel, Richmond
One of the first gigs I ever went to was at The Corner, so to hear that they’re still supporting live music and putting on shows isn’t that much of a surprise. Gigs at The Corner returned in late November with Kingswood taking to the stage, and the gigs are continuing with Black Cab, Alive Ivy, and Carus Thompson to name a few that haven’t out all their shows.
Find The Corner Hotel at 57 Swan Street
2. The Curtin, Carlton
The John Curtin Bandroom is back in business and they’re kicking off proceedings with Melbourne-born, LA-based Banoffee on 11 December before Blake Scott and Jess Ribeiro take over on 12 December for a double headliner. There are more gigs too, but even with multiple shows a day, you’re going to have to be quick to score your tickets.
Find The Curtin at 29 Lygon Street
3. The Retreat Hotel, Brunswick
The Retreat has started back up with DJ sets from local musicians such as Poppongene, Good Morning, and Hachiku. However, that ain’t it. They’re back in the bandroom too with bands but three of the five acts lined-up have already sold out their shows. If anything, this goes to show how much we’ve missed live music.
Find The Retreat Hotel at 280 Sydney Road
4. The Night Cat, Fitzroy
If there’s a venue to be able to hold seated live gigs and make for a special night, The Night Cat would have to be up there. December already has eighteen gigs lined up with quite the number sold out already including Nai Palm’s four shows. Sex on Toast perform on Wednesday, 9 December and Domingo Latinos have returned also.
Find The Night Cat at 137-141 Johnston Street
5. Max Watt’s
One of Melbourne’s go-to big bandrooms, Max Watt’s is turning back time. On Saturday, 5 December Eighties on Sunset will be rocking the room whereas the following week the 90s gets their turn with a fundraiser for Support Act. They’re even getting burlesque back into the room with two special shows on Sunday, 20 December.
Find Max Watt’s at 125 Swanston Street