I thought I should cast my net a bit further afield this time. After all, heading out of town from Geelong is no problem, there are venues in every direction. You do have to be a bit careful with that Melbourne road though. As many of us have found, it’s only a short drive up to Melbourne, but coming back seems to be twice as long – just ask anyone from Melbourne!
So, Portarlington. Portarlington is only about 30km out of town, and that’s about as much as I’m giving in the way of directions, JFGI!
Saints and Sailors is a bar and lounge at the beginning of the central strip of Portarlington. It’s just across the road from Nash Park, and has beautiful bay views (I’m starting to sound like Postcards).
The venue is a setting for displaying the works of local and new artists and the walls act as gallery space. The building itself goes back about 100 years, and has a quirky laid back decor! (I think I’ve got that Postcards gig nailed!)
In short, they showcase the local wines, food, art and music of the Bellarine Peninsula. Gigs usually take place in the front area, but I’ve seen one or two in the garden bar, out the back. They are pretty much every Friday and Saturday night from about 8pm, and Sunday afternoon from 2pm.
Previous gigs have included House Wreckers, Derek & the Champs, Buxom Blues, Kyle Taylor, Blues Alley, Jessey Jackson, Sarah Carroll, Shaun Kirk, DC Bellamy & Storm Cellar, Amie Brûlée, Alister Turrill and Lukey Luke.
Mainly locals, but they splash out for the internationals in the area. Recently they had Martha Tiltson and her band from Scotland.
A good friend and Sleepy Hollow member, Judyth, lives out that way, and she is a regular at their music sessions, in fact the last time I dropped by, she was already settled in and enjoying the session. I think that was for Jessey Jackson, and we had quite a number of people in that front area, all relaxing and drinking up the music.
As well as drinking up the music, you can drink up the ambience in the front, with the bar cunningly fashioned out of a dinghy. (Yeah, more Postcards stuff). In a venue like Saints and Sailors, that means a very comfortable, “cosy” even, room, where you can pretty much rub shoulders with the performers, rather than be craning your neck to see them on stage.
It’s almost like having the band in your own front room, than at a venue.
In that environment Jessey had a ball, she’s a chatty performer in the first place, and this worked so well at Saints and Sailors. Saints and Sailors is committed to live music and all year round features live acts on Friday, Saturday and selected Sunday afternoons.
Get out and catch a gig there, it’s not that far up the road and it’s not just the music, they have a great menu and it’s no surprise to find a swag of seafood on it.