Another week, another round of announcements.
We’re really getting into the swing of things in regional Victoria with a slew of artists slated to perform over the next few months, including the likes of Paul Dempsey, Didirri and The Jungle Giants, allowing Victorian music lovers to return to one of their creature comforts, basking in some damn fine live music.
It’s been a busy start to the year for some of our favourite regional music venues, with The Torquay Hotel, The Barwon Club, The Bridge Hotel, The Inn Hotel and Volta all putting on some pretty great acts.
Torquay has already hosted James Reyne, NZ rock royalty Shihad, EDM producer What So Not, Bryon Bay muso’s Jack Botts and Kyle Lionhart, with The Chats hitting the bandroom on April 22, King Stingray taking on music duties on Anzac Day, Babe Rainbow celebrating the end of the month, and local favourite BEANS bringing the heat in May. Fremantle indie-pop favourites San Cisco also recently announced two shows in June/July, when Thelma Plum and The Rubens are also slated to perform for two sold-out shows.
From the owners of The Torquay Hotel, the Barwon Heads Hotel is now delivering on the music front, announcing Something for Kate frontman Paul Dempsey for a rare and intimate solo show on Friday, May 28.
With a guitar strap on his shoulder, Dempsey will deliver an acoustic, solo performance, drawing on his extensive back catalogue, including songs from his breakthrough solo album, Everything is True and cuts from his new album with Something For Kate. Personally, we’re hoping to hear treasured Something For Kate songs like ‘Captain (Million Miles an Hour)’ and ‘Monsters’, and the favourites off his debut solo album Everything is True and 2016 follow-up Strange Loop. If you love acoustic, intimate shows this is one not to be missed! Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 21 at midday via Oztix.
Heading closer to town, The Barwon Club is also back in full swing, announcing new gigs every damn day like the legends they are. Having already hosted DZ Deathrays, Hachiku, The White Flower Society, Hideous Sun Demon, Phaedo, Grindhouse, Wil Wagner of The Smith Street Band, Jeff Martin and the renowned Jerkfest, the BC are ensuring locals have a healthy menu of gigs to get to.
Looking ahead this week, they’ve got Pierce Brothers on April 22; Geelong’s own Nemesium on April 23; John Floreani of Trophy Eyes on April 24; and Frenzal Rhomb on April 25. Looking into May, they’ve just revealed a whole crop of new gigs with Paraquay and Justin Keenan on May 2; Melbourne alternative metalcore band Thornhill on May 6; Luke Yeoward and The Nebari All-Stars on May 7; double-header with Drunk Mums and Dumb Punts on May 22; and Jason Singh playing hits from Taxiride on June 5. Exciting additions come from local band Dr Colossus on June 12, and Warrnambool-born Didirri who is returning to regional Victoria with his ‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong’ tour on June 18. Emerging from the studio to take on a small run of shows to celebrate the new year, Didirri will be introducing his new band members, new songs and celebrating his triple J Like A Version contribution.
These join the already announced Vintage Crop on May 1; Bones and Jones on May 8; and Jeff Lang on May 14. Other upcoming gigs also include Melbourne’s Private Function, Perth indie-punks Sly Withers, Mark Wilkinson, Valhalore and Bootleg Rascal later in the year. Keep your eye on their Facebook page for future events, and purchase tickets via Oztix here.
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Renowned for their epic car park parties, The Inn are also doing their bit to bring national talent to the region. Having already hosted the likes of Alice Ivy, Client Liaison, Set Mo and Loods in the past month, the party-starters are upping the ante with a massive act for the June long weekend. Slated for Sunday, June 15, The Jungle Giants DJs are set to headline The Inn Hotel’s Queen’s Birthday Eve Block Party. Known for their high spirit live performances, the Brisbane outfit have been roaming around Australia, blessing listeners and festival-goers with their groovy blends of indie rock and pop for the past few years. Supported by a hand picked local line-up and festival grade sound and light show, this year’s Block Party will be royally epic. Presale tickets are available via Eventbrite.
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Geelong’s very own colourful children’s entertainment masters The Mik Maks also join the list of newly announced gigs. Returning home to perform their first live Geelong show in over a year, these shows will be a must for the family with kids across the world going NUTS for the Mik Maks due to the recent explosion of streams on their YouTube channel. The Mik Maks will be performing three shows across Saturday, April 24 at 12pm, 2.30pm and 5pm. This is a COVID Safe event and tickets are strictly limited, check out the details here.
In more exciting news for the region, we’re also welcoming the return of the Blues Train later this year with a new revival concert series. October will take the form of regular trains under the banner The Blues Train Revival Concert Series, thanks to the support from the Borough of Queenscliff and the Melbourne Arts Centre, and will see performances from the likes of The McNamarr Project, Bill Barber, Louis King & the Liars Klub, The Von Robertsons, Sammy Owen Blues Band and Jimi Hocking, among others. They’re staggering ticket sales but you can suss all the details via the website.
Over in Macedon, the music is coming along in the form of an Americana Carnival at Macedon Railway Hotel. Pulling from folk, bluegrass, country, alt-country, soul, gospel and rock, Americana music is defined by the Americana Music Association as “contemporary music that incorporates elements of various mostly acoustic American roots music styles, including country, roots rock, folk, gospel and bluegrass resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw.” Taking place on May 8, the mini festival welcomes some familiar figures in local Americana sounds, as well as presenting a full cultural experience with the likes of Ryan & the Wildes, Hana and Jessie-Lee’s Bad Habits, Danny Walsh Banned, Brooke Russell and Duncan Phillips.
As a music lover, that’s a lot to be excited about – and that’s barely covering it all. We’re also blessed with weekly gigs from Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues (check out what’s on here), a bounty of regional tours at Volta in Ballarat, Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine, alongside a steady flow of local music at The Hop Inn, The Grovedale, Bombora’s, Beavs Bar, The Barking Dog and Flying Brick Cider, among many others. The Wool Exchange is even back on board with the gigs, with a sold-out Polaris show happening in June.
If you still need convincing of just how lucky we are, there’s also a number of regional music festivals headed our way this year, including the likes of Meadow, Land of Plenty, A Day on the Green, Fresh Produce, and Loch Hart Music Festival – just to name a few.
You can check out the latest gigs coming to town via Songkick.