20 bands in regional Vic who killed it this year

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20 bands in regional Vic who killed it this year

Some amazing acts have come from regional towns, and we don’t think there’s enough of a spotlight on this. So, we thought we’d put together a list of some of the acts we’ve got our eyes on this year. Take it as a pat on the back in list form.

In no particular order, here are our picks for 20 regional acts kickin’ it in 2016.

ORB – Geelong

For Geelong locals, ORB need not much more of an introduction than this. Coming out of the music scene around the hype of the Murlocs and King Gizz, the band have developed their own blend of psych rock, with a dash of prog thrown in. You can find them giggin’ around town or listen to their Soundcloud.


Residual – Geelong

After selling out their hometown show and performing a residency in Melbourne after 2016’s release Haunt, Residual have had a big year. And 2016 is set to be even bigger still; with support slots for British India already locked in. Check out their Soundcloud.

Image by Lucinda Goodwin


Alice Ivy – Geelong

Forming this electro-soul project in early 2015, Alice Ivy is looked after by Vice Royalty and Select Music and has many claims as the next big thing and festival sets to be proud of. She was once a Sweetheart band member. Check out her Soundcloud.

Image by Dominik Schmarsel

Toxicon – Geelong

When it comes to mastering the heavy music scene of late in Geelong, Toxicon are doing a mighty fine job. This year saw the band release their debut album ‘Purge’ and perform on the bill for Twelve Foot Ninja, Chronolyth and at Metal United Down Under. Check out their website.

Freya Josephine Hollick – Ballarat

Owning the title ‘old world songbird’, Freya incorporates the fiddle, dobro and mandolin into her music to create her blend of country, folk, old timely music. This year also saw Freya release The Unceremonious Junking of Me via Heart of the Rat Records (Ballarat) . Check out her website for more.


Evangeline – Geelong

Having played overseas this year, with significant mentions on triple j, Evangeline has made a heck of year with 2016. Check out her website.

D.D.Dumbo – Castlemaine

Locking in album of the year with triple j pretty much seals the deal for this Castlemaine musician. And it’s been two big years back to back. Check out his website.

Trillionayers – Ballarat

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again. These guys are set for big things coming out of Ballarat. Check out their song ‘Alive’.

Hollie Joyce – Ocean Grove

After rocking it at Queenscliff Music Festival stage, Hollie Joyce has really come into her own. She lists her dad and Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Holly, Patti Smith, Nirvana and Bob Dylan as inspirations to her craft.

The Tiny Giants – Geelong/Ocean Grove

They’re not quite so tiny, or quite so giant, but their sound certainly fills a room. Slotting nicely into the garage psych rock sound, they’ve performed numerous shows across Geelong and the region. They also had a release in October this year. Check them out here.


The Second Sex – Ballarat

You may not have heard of them (after forming earlier this year) but this independent punk band from Ballarat band have recently supported the likes of the Screaming Females and Peachy – all with not much on the interwebs in regards to tracks. Be sure to get to a live gig.

Image by William James Photography. 

Gymnastics in the 70s – Geelong

Bringing the lofi surf rock sounds of the 70s to town, 2016 has been a really solidifying year for Gymnastics in the 70s – made up of Fraser Telfer (Vocals & Guitar), Dom Bell (Drums), Dan Rock (Bass) and Campbell Revie (Guitar). With gigs and releases, these guys are ones to watch in 2017.

Spit & Mac – Geelong

Following a significant hiatus, Spit & Mac returned with a new album and a whole slew of new music – focused heavily around their hometown Geelong. The hip hop duo also released a pretty honest track on the ice issues in town. See below.

The Murlocs – Ocean Grove

With a new clip for ‘Wolf Creep’, a new release and performances at Gizzfest and more, the Murlocs continue on their reign. Showing Ocean Grove has got the goods.

Dec McKinnon & the Knockabouts – Geelong

With shows in Geelong at The Mane Event, Workers Club, The Barwon Club and more, the band recently entered into the Melbourne scene. Think of some rock, with some punk and a little bit of blues and you’re coming slightly close to the band’s sound. But really, just see them yourself. Or have a listen here.

Bel Air – Ballarat

Set for an opening slot at the Melbourne stint of Laneway festival, this band are sure to make their way up the set times in no time. They’ve also had some good props from the folk at triple j.

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Von Stache – Geelong

Von Stache and her fender guitar are somewhat of an icon in G-town, and that’s why she made this here list. Recently changing her style up in the new year, she’s been rocking out in Geelong ever since. Check her out on Bandcamp.

White Bleaches – Surf Coast

If you’re after the next big psych-garage-rockers in the region, we’d put pretty good bets on this band. They showed their craft earlier this year at a hometown show for their self-titled EP, and it was killer. Look out for ‘Bad Character’. Check them out here.


Leah Senior – Warrnambool

Set to release her second album in 2017, Leah’s music touched on the ’60s through her use of parlour guitar and old world folk. This year she performed at BigSound, Queenscliff Music Festival and Kennedys Creek. Check her out here.

Tim Hulsman – Geelong

Releasing his new single ‘Monster’ this year, his music is heavy on the blues featuring lots of slide guitar and heart-felt lyrics that tell a story. Check him out here.

Of course King Gizz, but we feel like that’s a given for any regional list like this. 

But there are so, so many more than just these 20 listed above (trust us, originally this was meant to be a list of 10). So kudos to anyone who’s gigging around the regional towns and help develop the local music scene. These towns wouldn’t be the same without you all.