Some of the best gigs happening across the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Surf Coast region in March

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Some of the best gigs happening across the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Surf Coast region in March

Ability Fest, Melbourne. Credit: Tim Lambert and Britt Long
Words by Chester Ogilvie

The best upcoming gigs, live music and concerts in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Torquay and more.

Welcome to March, a nice little homonym month to be sure. In the world of linguistics, a homonym is the umbrella word (homonyms can either be homographs or homophones) for words that possess any combination of the same sound or spelling, but differ in their meaning. This makes the sentence ‘The old man the boat’ grammatically sound, even if it sounds awkward. Referred to as a garden path sentence, ‘old’ and ‘man’ are both homonyms, making the sentence read ‘The old people serve on the boat’.

See you next week on I’m Not Sure We’re Having Fun with Words. 

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

As we march on in March, consider one of these wonderful gigs…    

Daniel Champagne – The Capital, Bendigo on March 3; Queenscliff Town Hall, Queenscliff on March 4; Kyneton Town Hall, Kyneton on March 11; and Mozart’s Hall, Warrnambool on March 17 

It’s a busy start to the year for Daniel Champagne with the songman and guitar whiz set to perform some sixty shows in the first half of the year.

Pat Tierney – Daylesford Hotel, Daylesford on March 3

Fresh from supporting Harry Manx, roots singer-songwriter and slide guitarist Pat Tierney returns to Victoria for his first headline shows since 2019. 

Mick Daley’s Corporate Raiders – The Eastern, Ballarat on March 3

Need a hangover cure? Mick Daley’s Corporate Raiders are the greasy remedy for a fuzzy head, forged through alt-country and alt-rock outfits you know and love.  

Joe Mungovan – Paper Scissors Rock, Halls Gap on March 3

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Mungovan is hitting the road with band in tow on the back of live album, Live from Dovecote

Scared Weird Little Guys – Sphinx Hotel, Geelong on March 3

They’re a little older, perhaps a little wiser, but all in all they’re still the same Scared Weird Little Guys that burst onto the scene more than three decades ago.  

SupperClub Presents – The Palais, Hepburn Springs throughout March

Your SupperClub month features Birdpop on March 3, Carole King Hits & Rarities on March 24 and Matt Joe Gow on March 31.  

Tent Pole – Mt Duneed Estate, Waurn Ponds on March 4

Enjoy a musical jamboree featuring the bright and sunny sounds of Pavement, Spiderbait, Magic Dirt, Floodlights, The Schizophonics and more.  

Geelong’s Tent Pole: A Musical Jamboree set times are here

Connor Toomey – The Eastern, Ballarat on March 4 

After fronting bands including Medico and Grim Fandangos, Connor Toomey stepped out on his own. ‘Empty House / The Judge’ is his new single.  

Peter Black & Tim Steward – Valhalla Brewing, Geelong on March 4

When you have Peter Black of the Hard-Ons and Tim Steward of Screamfeeder doing an acoustic tour, you know something is right in the world. 

Anticline – Volta, Ballarat on March 4

With new priorities in life, Anticline will be calling time out. But not before they release one more treat in Jagged Type, and not before one final show.  

The Dolly Parton Experience – The Palais, Hepburn Springs on March 4

Vanessa Wawruszak and her Jealous Guys pay tribute to the one and only Dolly Parton, playing all the songs that keep you warm at night.    

Eilen Jewell –Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on March 4

The ‘Queen of the Minor Key’ returns to Australia, leading a quartet that blends surf-noir, early blues, classic country, folk and rock and roll of the ’60s.  

Red Hot Summer Tour – North Gardens, Ballarat on March 4

Another red hot menu of Aussie favourites come together once again, including Paul Kelly, Bernard Fanning, Missy Higgins, Mark Seymour, Ian Moss and Troy Cassar-Daley.

The Smith Street Band Torquay Hotel, Torquay on March 4

Released towards the end of last year, Life After Football became the sixth album from the Smith Street gang. They will be joined on the night by Press Club.

Royale with Cheese – The Wool Exchange Entertainment Complex, Geelong on March 4

What’s your favourite slice of the ’90s? Royale with Cheese will salute all your favourite jams, including those from Nirvana, Radiohead and You Am I.

Bars, Bands & Brawls – Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong on March 4

Australian Outlaw Wrestling presents a royal rumble of The Fckups, Bastard North, Mortuary Sickness and Nephalem. Suplexes are not allowed.   

Old Mervs – Volta, Ballarat on March 5

Two high school friends are behind Old Mervs, a couple of lads leading the surf-rock renaissance in WA. Get Better is their debut EP. 

Vince Jones – The Palais, Hepburn Springs on March 5

With a career now five decades young, Vince Jones is one of the country’s premier jazz exponents. He will perform original material and updated jazz standards. 

Austin Mackay – secret locations in Torquay on March 5 and Bendigo on March 12

Indie-folk/rock singer-songwriter Austin Mackay is packing up his van for a series of shows showcasing new tunes, including new single ‘Call Me Lover’.  

Vieux Farka Touré – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on March 9

Taking up the guitar in secret, Vieux Farka Touré is now one of the most respected guitarists in the world. Last year he released the albums Les Racines and Ali.   

Bridge Folk Night – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine on March 9

House of the Rising Song is a new, semi-regular singer-songwriter night at one of Castlemaine’s favourite joints. The first show features Haven City and Mon Coeur. 

Eliza & the Delusionals x The Buoys – Tonic Bar, Bendigo on March 9 & Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong on March 11

A couple of breakout artists are hitting the road together where music will be shared, friendships will be made and good times will be had.   

Ajak Kwai – The Dart & Marlin, Warrnambool on March 10

Performed in English, some Arabic and Ajak’s native language of Dinka, Let Me Grow My Wings is a reflection of observations and influences since moving to Oz in the ’90s. 

Among the Restless – Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong on March 10

With a new EP on the horizon, Melbourne powerhouse Among the Restless are giving fans a taste of what’s to come with latest single, ‘No Sense // No Feeling’.

Steve-O Bucket List – Ballarat Civic Hall, Ballarat on March 10 & Geelong Arts Centre on April 29.

The Steve-O Bucket List tour marches on with all the ill-advised shenanigans you would imagine. Note that you must be 18 to attend this event. 

‘Jackass’ star Steve-O brings The Bucket List Tour to Geelong in April

Jim Lauderdale – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine on March 10

Two-time Grammy winner and A-list Nashville songwriter Jim Lauderdale has released more than thirty albums since 1986. He will be joined by Ella Hooper. 

Mdou Moctar – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on March 10

A self-taught Tuareg guitar prodigy, Mdou Moctar and his band will head to Castlemaine for a night that fuses contemporary Saharan music with rock music. 

Hidden Intent – The Eastern, Ballarat on March 10

SA-bred pub thrashers Hidden Intent have been fighting the good fight for more than a decade. They’re eyeing a new album, so you may get to sample the goods. 

Ben Waters – Pistol Pete’s, Geelong on March 10 

As part of their ninth birthday celebrations, Pistol Pete’s is pleased as punch to welcome the British piano king of boogie woogie, Ben Waters. 

Diesel – Ararat Town Hall, Ararat on March 10 & Horsham Town Hall, Horsham on March 11

In 2021, Diesel tested the waters in NSW when he showcased his solo blues album Alone with Blues and extensive hits. The tour is now hitting the rest of the country. 

Pitch Music & Arts Festival – Moyston from March 10-14

A blend of sonic soundscapes and curated art selections awaits you at Pitch, including ABSOLUTE., AK Sports, Dax J, Interplanetary Criminal and Kim Ann Foxman. 

Pitch Music & Arts Festival drops 2023 lineup headed by Four Tet, Moderat, Helena Hauff and more

Steve Poltz – Regent Cinemas, Ballarat on March 10 & Ararat Town Hall, Ararat on March 15

A founding member of The Rugburns, Steve Poltz released his first solo album in 1998. His latest, Stardust & Satellites, is his fourteenth.   

Rum Jungle – Volta, Ballarat on March 11

Relax into the reggae-rock sounds of Rum Jungle as they tour the country in support of their fresh breeze of a new single, ‘Back Home’. 

Coastal Jam – Rosebud Village Green, Mornington Peninsula on March 11 & Cunningham Pier, Geelong on March 12

A Labour Day long weekender delight featuring Ziggy Alberts, Hockey Dad, Bag Raiders Rochelle Jordan (Geelong only) and a whole lot more.

Golden Plains – Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, Meredith from March 11-13

The golden standard delivers Soul II Soul, Methyl Ethel, Rochelle Jordan, Stiff Richards, Delivery, Freya Josephine Hollick, Jennifer Loveless and many more.  

The Bennies – Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong on March 12

The country’s premier psychedelic reggae ska doom metal punk rock band is hitting the Australian badlands for the first time since 2019.

My Flight – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine on March 12

Inspired by CTI-era Freddie Hubbard and Billy Cobham, My Flight is a funk’n’groove band with big grooves, stabbing hooks and soaring solos.   

Catherine Britt – The Golden Vine, Bendigo on March 12

Four-time Golden Guitar winner Catherine Britt is heading to Bendigo for a night of home-bred country. Her latest album is 2021’s Home Truths

Block Party – The Inn, Geelong on March 12

Stace Cadet (DJ set) and Fantastic Man are hitting up The Inn Hotel for a Labour Day Eve block party. Enjoy the start of your long weekend in style.

Coastal Jam After Party – Geelong Hotel, Geelong on March 12

Once Coastal Jam has packed up the gear, head to the Geelong Hotel for an after party featuring the talents of Loods.

Peking Duk – Torquay Hotel, Torquay on March 12

Adam Hyde and Rueben Styles are Peking Duk, a couple of music-making, waterfowl-loving fellas who are keen to show fans some new tunes. 

Carly Jorja – Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong on March 16

Local singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Carly Jorja is keen to share some tunes, as well as introduce new members of her band. Sun Kings and Takoda Meadow support.   

Blues Arcadia – Golden Vine Hotel, Bendigo on March 16

By combining the soul of Stax and Motown with the heat and power of Chicago and Memphis blues, Blues Arcadia ooze both style and swagger. 

Boo Seeka – The Deck, Bendigo on March 16; Bloom, Geelong on March 17; Whalers Hotel, Warrnambool on March 18; and The Deck Ballarat on March 19

Ben Gumbleton, better known as Boo Seeka, is touring regional Australia in support of his latest album, Between the Head & the Heart.

Adam Eckersley & Brooke McClymont – Gateway Hotel, Corio on March 17

Husband and wife duo Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont are inviting you to join the family nest on their ‘Country Music, You and Beer’ tour.

Ben Salter – The Eastern, Ballarat on March 17

Ben Salter has written more than 200 songs as part of his musician in residence at Museum of Old & New Art. His new single is ‘Stats’. 

Liz Stringer & William Crighton – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on March 17

It’s co-headlining bliss as Liz Stringer (First Time Really Feeling) and William Crighton (Water and Dust) head out for songs and shared experiences.  

Liz Stringer & William Crighton announce co-headline tour for March 2023 

These New South Whales – Volta, Ballarat on March 17

If you are going to party with one animal this year, make it a whale. Punk outfit These New South Whales are coming up for air in support of new album, TNSW

Earthless – Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong on March 17

Formed out of San Diego more than two decades ago, Earthless turned to Japanese folklore for their latest album, Night Parade of One Hundred Demons.

Saoirse – The Palais, Hepburn Springs on March 17

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with Saoirse (see-ur-sha) and their love of all things Celtic – heartfelt ballads, original songs, lively jigs and a story or two. 

Posseshot – The Deck, Bendigo on March 17 & The Deck, Geelong on March 18

The journey of Posseshot began more than a decade ago when Muscles and Kha set out to keep the spirit of Melbourne hip hop alive. This is their Get the Money Up tour.   

a day on the green – Mt Duneed Estate, Waurn Ponds on March 18

I think I got something to say to you. Every song will be a sing-along as Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper team up for a day on the green. 

Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper are coming to Geelong for A Day on the Green in 2023

Majak Door – Volta, Ballarat on March 18

Majak Door are on a mission to spread their surf-dream-pop-rock to as many people as humanly possible, for which many people seem very grateful. 

A night of death, thrash & post-metal – The Eastern, Ballarat on March 18

Your ears will be ringing for days after a night of heavy business spent with Gutless, Hormagaunt, Miserable Creatures and Class Traitor. 

Jennifer Salisbury sings Cole Porter – Daylesford Hotel, Daylesford on March 18

Melbourne jazz vocalist Jennifer Salisbury will perform Cole Porter tracks including ‘De Lovely’, ‘Love for Sale’ and ‘Anything Goes’.  

The Blues Tram – Bendigo on March 18

Enjoy the sights of Bendigo aboard a restored vintage class tram #610 as you enjoy the sounds of Valley Road and T.K. Reeve. 

Wayne Jury 4 – Pistol Pete’s, Geelong on March 18

Pistol Pete’s will be shaking a tail feather when Wayne Jury drags out his team of Troy Love, Luke Hynes and JP for a big night of tunes.  

Kisschasy – Torquay Hotel, Torquay on March 19

Following the ten-year anniversary of their debut album, Kisschasy called it quits. But now they are back and ready for do-do’s and whoa-oh’s all over again. 

Charles Jenkins – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine on March 19

Melbourne songman Charles Jenkins has three decades in the game and more than twenty albums to his name. He will be joined by Little Faiths.  

Rose Tattoo – Gateway Hotel, Corio on March 24

They’ve partied with the best and out-partied most of them. Rose Tattoo have well and truly made their mark on the scene, but they still have some left in the tank.

Rose Tattoo announce Australian tour dates for 2023, reveal new guitarist Ronnie Simmons

Paradise Kitty – Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong on March 24

The five badass babes of Paradise Kitty were bred on a diet of Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction. The band is performing the album in full, plus other favourites.

Urthboy – Volta, Ballarat on March 24

In what may be his final headlining tour, Elefant Traks boss Urthboy has announced an extensive run of shows in support of new album, Savour.  

Alivan Blu – Torquay Hotel, Torquay on March 24

Hailing from the small coastal town of Yamba, Alivan Blu is the roots duo of Anna Stanton and Jed Billington. ‘Embers’ is their new single. 

Owen Campbell – Leaver’s Hotel, Creswick on March 24

With three albums and a couple of EPs under his belt, alternative blues meets soulful cosmic rock songman Owen Campbell has a bit of everything waiting for you.  

Mia Wray – Anglesea Memorial Hall, Anglesea on March 25

Originally from Noosa, Mia Wray made the move to Melbourne in her late teens. She is heading out in support of her latest EP, Stay Awake.

SLOMO & Sid O’Neil – The Eastern, Ballarat on March 25

SLOMO is the trio of siblings Jem and Tom and pal Scott. Sid O’Neil used to be one-third of The Vasco Era, but has been walking his own path for a decade.  

Ned Collette/Leah Senior/Michael Beach – The Dart & Marlin, Warrnambool on March 25

Rather than playing solo or with a fixed band, Ned, Leah and Michael will guest on a bunch of each other’s songs, backed by a group of their various collaborators.  

Conqueror Root – Pistol Pete’s, Geelong on March 25

If you want dirty blues, you have it. If you want funk grooves, you have it. If you want boogie, soul and old rock and roll, you have it with Conqueror Root.  

Jerkfest XIII – Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong on March 25

Hey jerks, your festival has arrived with a line-up that includes Optic Nerve, Vintage Crop, The Toads, Essendon Airport, Modal Melodies and Red Hell. 


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Buddhadatta – Trash Cult, Bendigo on March 26

Japanese punk monks Buddhadatta have sold out their April Trash Cult show, but an afternoon show of punk mindfulness has been locked in for you.  

Steph Strings – Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong on March 31

With a tour of the UK and Europe locked in shortly, Steph Strings will first charm local audiences as she tours her new single, ‘Lion’.

The Black Sorrows – Ararat Town Hall, Ararat on March 31

The Black Sorrows have more hits than they can squeeze into one night, but you better believe they’re going to squeeze in as many as possible. 

Meadow Festival – Bambra Bowl, Bambra from March 31 to April 2

Skip through the meadow to the sounds of Kurt Vile & the Violators, Jen Cloher, Cash Savage & the Last Drinks, Black Midi and more.

Meadow: The Victorian music festival bringing an intimately beautiful BYO weekend of camping and live music to Bambra in 2023

CresFest – Creswick from March 31 to April 2

The fest with the best has a line-up that includes Brittany Haas, Natalie Haas, Charm of Finches, Lucy Wise, Kutcha Edwards, Monique Clare and Headphones Jones.