Bendigo Au Go Go #27

Bendigo Au Go Go #27

Even the unpredictable inclement weather couldn’t dampen the buzz and excitement surrounding the inaugural Gold Roses alt-country music festival, staged at Handle Bar earlier this month.

Local roots rockers Four Lions were joined by Melbourne-based honky-tonk collective James Ellis (another homegrown product) and The Jealous Guys; singer-songwriters Katie Bates (accompanied by guitarist/fiddler Hamish Davidson of The Davidson Brothers), Kate Alexander and Hana Brenecki; and Geelong troubadour Nathan Seeckts.

Festival director Shann Lions – also the frontman for Four Lions – was thrilled with the response to the bill, which featured some of Victoria’s finest musicians working across alt-country’s associated genres.

“I was so happy with the turnout of Central Victorian alt-country lovers who packed out my local watering hole,” Lions says. “The acts – all handpicked – were superb. I truly am excited about building this into something special each year on the local calendar.”

Never one to rest on his laurels, Lions says planning has already started for next year’s festival.
“The line-up for Gold Roses 2021 is almost worked out and will build upon this year’s success,” he says. “It’s onwards and upwards!”


In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album, some of Australia’s best-loved musicians are bringing Abbey Road Live to Ulumbarra Theatre on Thursday, February 20.

ARC, which comprises self-confessed Beatles tragics Kram (Spiderbait), Mark Wilson (Jet), Davey Lane (You Am I) and Darren Middleton (Powderfinger) — will perform Abbey Road in full, from start to finish.

It will be followed by a second set comprising a selection of Beatles hits from throughout their storied career.

Joining ARC on stage will be special guests Ash Naylor (Paul Kelly, Even and Rockwiz), Linda Bull (The Black Sorrows, Vika and Linda Bull), Brett Wolfenden (The Pictures, Jim Keays), and James Fleming (Eagle And The Worm, Bob Evans).

From 6-10pm; tickets available from

Also happening in and around town in the next fortnight:

Irish singer-songwriter Fieldsy brings her alt-Celtic rock show Hey Irish to the Golden Vine on Saturday, February 15. With special guests. From 9pm.

Melbourne-based heavy doom purveyors DROID will be performing songs from their debut album Hyperreality at the Golden Vine on Saturday, February 22. Supported by Jack Harlon and The Dead Crows and Vessel. From 7pm.

Travelling up the highway as part of a national tour, Melbourne-based folk/blues/country singer-songwriter Nathan Power will launch his new single Wildfire at Handle Bar on Saturday, February 22. From 6pm. He will be followed by fellow Melbourne-based folk-rock-soul singer James Franklin and his band, performing in Bendigo for the first time as part of The Coming Of Kid tour. From 7.30pm.

Axedale Tavern features a host of local artists this month, including Hey Mister on Saturday, February 15, from 6.30pm; David Knight on Sunday, February 16, from 1pm; and Ben Whiting on Sunday, February 23, from 1pm.

Written by Lynette Walker. Lynette is a journalist who also manages Verse Chorus Verse. Contact: