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30 Jun Ripe’s Weekend Gig Guide (30/6/17)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 30th June

Slowcoaching Single Launch

$10 on the door

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Slowcoaching have been hard at work this year, playing a ton of shows (including a v fun set at Shady Cottage) and working on their upcoming debut LP. They’re celebrating the launch of ‘Pillars of Salt’, the first single off said LP, this Friday night at The Worker’s Club.

Playing support are Backyard and POPPONGENE, with tunes from Callum Humphrys in between sets.


Friday, 30th June

Ciggie Witch, Maureen & Skivvy

$8 on the door

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Ciggie Witch are playing at The Tote on Friday night, with support from Maureen and the up-and-coming charmers Skivvy.

Doors are at 8pm and entry is only $8, so grab your m8s (or a d8) and head down to see some gr8 live music.


Saturday, 1st July

‘Lucid’ Live Showcase #2

Tickets on the door

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Lucid on Swanston St are hosting their second live showcase on Saturday, starting at 10pm and going well into the night.

The dynamic Albrecht La’Brooy and Rings Around Saturn are leading the lineup, with Pjenné and Ricci and hosts 6am at the Garage rounding out what will be a fantastic night of music.


Sunday, 2nd July

Birthday Rhymes with Tequila

Free entry

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For anyone without an early Monday morning start looming over their heads (and arguably moreso for those of us who do), head to Section 8 on Sunday for tequila and free tacos.

There will be live sets from LØGØ and Amin Payne & Stacey Gardiner, and tunes from MzRizk (with special guests thando, Soreti, Au Dré, Niasha and Kaiit) and many more.


Sunday, 2nd July

Dark Beaút – Kiti’s Birthday Ball

Free entry

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Later on Sunday is Dark Beaút at The Toff — a celebration of style, art and performance as well as a celebration of DJ Kiti‘s birthday.

There will be tunes from Kiti, Gavin Campbell, Salvador Darling and Nite Fleit and art from Jason Ebeyer, Rose Ng and more. Have a look at their instagram and prepare to delve into the deep dark night

 

 

 


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10 Mar Ripe’s Weekend Gig Guide (10/3/17)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 10th March

Rolling Blackouts C.F. Instore

~Free Entry~

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are releasing their new EP French Press today (Friday), and they’re playing a free in-store tonight to celebrate.

It’s all happening at Polyester Records in Fitzroy from 6pm, where you can also pick up the 12″ or, if you’re lucky, one of the limited ‘Loser Edition’ coloured vinyls.


Saturday, 11th March

Gem Bones ‘Is This Ok?’ Launch

Tickets Here

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Gem Bones are also celebrating a release this weekend — their debut EP, Is this OK?, is out today.

They’re putting on a show at The Toff on Saturday night, with support from Heat Wave, Plaster of Paris and Pearl Bay.


Saturday, 11th March

Loomer presents: Toro Y Moi (DJ)

Tickets Here

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Toro Y Moi is in Australia to play Pitch Music and Arts Festival this weekend, and he’s sneaking in a DJ set while he’s here.

He’s playing at Boney on Saturday night, along with sets from the likes of Edd Fisher, Salvador Darling, Deltoid Curve and a whole bunch more.


Monday, 13th March

GOD$ ‘True?’ EP Launch

~Free Entry~

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GOD$ are taking advantage of the public holiday weekend by hosting their debut EP launch on Monday night.

They’re playing at The Worker’s Club on Brunswick Street from 8pm, with support from Tom Prettys and RAThammock


Monday, 13th March

Piknic Electronik #11

Tickets Here

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On Monday Joris Voorn, Michael Mayer, Robag Wruhme, Uone, and Mela Coia are playing the penultimate Piknic Electronik for the season.

For those of you heading to Babylon Festival or Pitch Music and Arts Festival this weekend you can present your wristband at the box office before 6pm and grab a ticket for only $15.

 

 

 


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03 Mar Ripe’s Weekend Gig Guide (3/3/17)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 3rd March

CTBNF + Greeves

Tickets on the door

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Local lads Greeves and all-stars Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird are playing along with Orcha on Friday night.

Head down to The Worker’s Club in Fitzroy from 8.30pm for what is sure to be a bloody good night accompanied by excellent tunes.


Friday, 3rd March

Club Coco

Tickets here

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On Friday night at Copacabana International on Smith St Coco Club is kicking off a new season of dance parties.

Dance the night away with the night’s curator CC:DISCO!, Rahaan, Rich Medina, Frank Booker and a few local supports from 10pm.


Friday, 3rd March

RVG Album Launch

Tickets on the door

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RVG are releasing their debut LP A Quality of Mercy, and putting on a night of live music to celebrate.

Joining them at The Tote (where they recorded part of the LP) on Friday night will be Ripe favs Scott & Charlene’s Wedding and Girl Crazy.


Saturday, 4th March

Coming In To Bloom

~Free entry~

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Section 8‘s summer mainstay Coming in to Bloom wraps up for the year this weekend, which just happens to coincide with their first birthday.

The lineup for this Saturday includes Harvey Sutherland (DJ set), Kate Miller, Sam Weston and more, playing tunes from 2pm.


Sunday, 5th March

Shady Cottage Housewarming

~Free entry~

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Shady Cottage 2017 is fast approaching, and the boys are throwing a housewarming this Sunday at The Nevermind to give you a sneak peek.

Picket Palace, FLOSS, Flamingo Jones & The Awesome Swells and a few more picks from the Shady family will be playing from 12 midday.

 

 

 


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Listen Out 2015

16 Feb Ripe’s Weekend Gig Guide (16/2/17)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 17th February

Higher Plains

Tickets here

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Higher Plains are throwing a party at The Gasometer on Friday night, with doors from 8.30pm.

Tiny Little Houses and Fazerdaze are playing, along with Braille Face (live) and Roger Shepherd DJing until late.


Saturday, 18th February

Amber Isles Farewell

Tickets on the door

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Amber Isles are playing their last show for awhile on Saturday night, before Tim Shue (bassist/keyboardist) heads overseas indefinitely.

Joining them at The Worker’s Club are Atlas and The Hot Springs, with doors from 8pm.


Sunday, 19th February

Jade Imagine @ The Tote

Tickets on the door

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Jade Imagine are playing at The Tote this Sunday afternoon, the third show of their February residency.

Joining them will be Crepes and Emma Russack. If you can’t make it down this Sunday, never fear! They have one more left next week, when they’ll be joined by Dianas and Great Outdoors.


Sunday, 19th February

The Rather Peckish Caterpillar

Tickets here

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Wax’o Paradiso are celebrating three(ish) years of tunes, vibes and parties with a big one this Sunday at Shimmerlands.

All three Wax’o Paradiso residents will be playing on the day, along with sets from Pjenne and Milla.


Sunday, 19th February

Nai Palm @ The Ev

Tickets here

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Nai Palm (of Hiatus Kaiyote) is back at The Evelyn on Sunday afternoon, playing an intimate solo set of both new and old material.

Due to the bleak weather forecast they’ve had to move the party from the rooftop to the bandroom. This does mean, however, that there are a few extra tickets available. Move quick!

 

 

 


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BadBadNotGood @ Falls Festival 2014

15 Dec Ripe’s Weekend Gig Guide (15/12/16)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Thursday, 15th December

Alice Ivy x Saatsuma

Tickets here

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Melbourne-based beat maker Annika Schmarsel (aka Alice Ivy) is playing tonight with Saatsuma and special guest CORIN.

Head down to the Gasometer Hotel from 7pm to catch DJ Precious (aka Jaala) spinning records in between sets from all of the incredible acts above.


Thursday, 15th December

Neat Lawn Presents…

Tickets here

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New Melbourne label Neat Lawn is putting on an end of year party tonight at The Night Cat from 8pm.

Huntly will be playing, celebrating the release of their new single ‘Please‘, as well as sets from Stay At Home Son, Japanese Wallpaper, Jack Grace, Frances Fox and another headline act TBA.


Friday, 16th December

Polyester Records + Chapter Music Party

Buy Tickets

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Chapter Music and Polyester Records are also throwing an end of year celebration, with all proceeds going to the ASRC.

The supremely minty lineup includes friendships, HABITS, Hit the Jackpot, Nun, Twerps and more, playing tunes across both rooms of The Tote on Friday night.


Saturday, 17th December

The Lovely Days

Tickets on the door

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Lovely boys The Lovely Days are playing their last show of the year on Saturday night at The Worker’s Club in Fitzroy.

They’re playing old favourites and some new songs, and will be joined on stage by special guests Diamonds of Neptune.


Saturday, 17th December

Grace Darling Christmas Party

Tickets on the door

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The Grace Darling is hosting their Christmas party on Saturday night from 6pm.

Spread across the entire venue there’s something for everyone, from Ben Fester and CC:DISCO! playing records, Broadway Sounds, SHOUSE, Postblue, Daisy Chain and even more playing live sets.

 

 

 


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Golden Features LO 15

08 Dec Ripe’s Weekend Gig Guide (8/12/16)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Thursday, 8th December

Dorsal Fins In-Store

~Free Entry~

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Dorsal Fins are celebrating the release of Digital Zodiac on wax with a free all-ages show tonight from 6pm.

They’ll be playing a set of the new material at Vinyl. on Nicholson Street in Fitzroy, where you can incidentally also pick up a copy of the record.


Thursday, 8th December

Willow Beats Tour

Buy Tickets

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Willow Beats are kicking off their national Flowers Will Crown The Tower tour tonight at The Worker’s Club in Fitzroy.

Playing support are the incredibly talented VS and Golden Vessel, so head down before 8 to catch what are sure to be excellent sets from both of them.


Friday, 9th December

PBS – Beyond the Record

Buy Tickets

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PBS 106.7FM Melbourne have put together an amazing event on Friday night, co-headlined by CC:DISCO!, Edd Fisher and DJ JNETT.

It’s on at Hugs&Kisses from 10pm, with the tunes and vibe set to continue well into the early hours of Saturday morning.


Friday, 9th December

Lossless at Yah Yah’s

~Free Entry~

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Following an incredible performance last week at Boney for their LP launch, Lossless have been announced as Yah Yah’s 2am act this week.

Yes, 2am – so yes, technically Saturday morning – but head down before midnight (on Friday!) and stick around for free entry.


Sunday, 11th December

Hands up for Haiti

Donate here

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Section 8 are hosting the 7th Remedy party on Sunday, this time to get funds to people in Haiti after the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew in early October.

The line-up includes Edseven, Jarrah, N’fa Jones (live), Manchild, and a whole host more all getting down for a good cause. Entry is a suggested donation of $10-$15 on the door, but if you can’t make it and want to help out you can follow the link above.

 

 

 


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01 Dec Ripe’s Weekend Gig Guide (1/12/16)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 2nd December

LOSSLESS LP Launch

Buy Tickets

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On Friday night at Boney the HTMLFlowers + Oscar Key Sung collaboration LOSSLESS are launching their self-titled debut LP.

This show is doubling as HTMLFlowers’ official birthday party, and with support from HABITS and Jalé it would be prudent to pick up tickets ASAP.


Friday, 2nd December

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Buy Tickets

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are back after a few months off to launch their new single ‘Julie’s Place’.

Joining them at The Curtin on Friday are Suss Cᴜnts, Tim Richmond Group, and Doona Waves, with Laura Jean spinning records late into the night.


Saturday, 3rd December

Bedroom Suck End of Year Party

Buy Tickets

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Bedroom Suck Records are throwing a massive end-of-year party on Saturday, across two stages at The Curtin.

The stacked line-up features Terrible Truths, Dag, Lehmann B Smith (of Totally Mild), Jarrow, Treehouse and many many more, as well as Christmas Carols feat. Adam Curley, Sarah Mary Chadwick and Summer Flake. The festivities kick off at 6pm.


Saturday, 3rd December

Jack River EP Tour

Buy Tickets

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Jack River is playing at The Worker’s Club on Saturday as part of her first headline tour for her EP Highway Songs No. 2.

Joining her on the night (and for all of her stops this tour) will be Brightness and Seavera.


Saturday, 3rd December

Coming In To Bloom

~Free Entry~

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After the rousing success of the inaugural Coming in to Bloom at Section 8 last month, the second coming is on Saturday and features a similarly impressive lineup.

Head down from 2pm to see Fantastic Man, Andy Hart, NOISE IN MY HEAD, Pjenné and just-announced special guest Tornado Wallace. Welcome to summer!

 

 

 


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I'lls @ Howler 14-06-15

14 Sep Ripe’s Top 5 Weekly Gig Guide (14/9/16)


Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska


Music venues around Melbourne house some of the best local and international acts. We’ve compiled our top five picks for gigs this week so you don’t miss out. Be a part of one of the best live music cities in the world, and check out some of our favourite artists and venues.


This Week…


Friday, 16th September

Rat & Co A.I. Tour

Buy Tickets

gg-rat-and-co-sept-16

Rat & Co are playing at Howler on Friday to celebrate the release of ‘A.I.’, the first single from their upcoming record.

They’ll be playing their new material with visuals by Brendan Harwood and support by Oisima and Tetrahedra.


Friday, 16th September

Nico Ghost – ‘Who Dat?’ Tour

Buy Tickets

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Following on from supporting Wu-Tang Clan, G-Eazy and The Underachievers on their national tours in recent months, Melbourne MC Nico Ghost is currently touring his upcoming single ‘Who Dat’.

You can catch his Melbourne stop Friday night at The Workers Club in Fitzroy.


Friday, 16th September

HABITS 2am Show

Tickets on the door

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Yah Yah’s 2am show this Friday is HABITS, fresh off their appearance at BIGSOUND last week.

Head down early for free entry, or hand over one crisp $10 bill on the door after midnight.


Saturday, 17th September

Skyways Are Highways EP Launch

Buy Tickets

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Another sweet gig at Yah Yah’s this weekend is the launch of Skyways Are Highways new EP.

Playing support are Diamonds of Neptune and The Dukes of Deliciousness.


Sunday, 18th September

Ferdydurke 4th Birthday

Tickets on the door

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Ferdydurke are putting on a big, fun and free party on Sunday to celebrate their 4th birthday.

Mall Grab is playing, alongside Cale Sexton [DJ Set], Mickey Edwards, M.L Lean, S. Vibrato, and Aperol Skitz.

 

 

 


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10 Dec SHAUN KIRK @ The Workers Club – 8/12/12


There’s a decent sized crowd here tonight at The Workers Club despite it being the same weekend as Meredith Music Festival. I’m a little sad I’m not there, actually (although I’m sure my brain and liver are quite thankful). Hopefully the sounds of Shaun Kirk make up for the lack of festival attendance.

My friend Britt and I are almost certainly the youngest people here, and only moments ago I turned to her and said, “Now I know what my mum means when she says she’s going to see a band.” I feel a little out of place, and not just because there’s a vodka lemon lime in my right hand rather than a cider. It’s an eclectic crowd to say the least. Three serious-looking boys dressed in tight t-shirts just walked in and are standing nearby, arms crossed firmly across their barrel chests. There are couples galore, most in their 40s, and there’s one guy over near the bar who’s wearing a cap. Backwards. He was wearing a backwards cap.

Shaun’s on stage, surrounded by instruments. There’s a heavily duct-taped harmonica brace around his neck, a guitar in his arms and four kick pedals at his feet. He is the epitome of a one-man band and possesses an old school charm.

No one is dancing really, except for a woman right up the front. It’s almost embarrassing watching her, maybe because she reminds me so much of my mother. She’s holding the standard “mum stance” – legs more than shoulder width apart. Britt just looked at me and bit her bottom lip. “I feel like we should move,” she suggests. I’m nodding furiously and laughing as quietly as possible. We’re heading towards the back of the band room, still giggling silently.

Now another dancer has joined in, except this time it’s a long-haired hippy looking guy in a paisley shirt. He’s been drinking beer straight from the jug and his dance moves perfectly reflect his level of intoxication. He’s all flailing limbs and thrusting and shimmying. Definitely cause for more laughter. Of course, I have my phone in my hand – moments like these should be recorded.

He’s back with his mate now, and is saying sarcastically, “Just go start dancing. Everyone will join in.” There are still a few laughs in the crowd. Shaun’s sarcasm – “I’d just like to remind everyone that this is my show” – caused my smile to fade rather quickly.

It’s warming up a little in here. The cardigan has come off and I’m doing a bit of shimmying of my own. The music is easy to dance to, perhaps because each song sounds quite similar to the last. Shaun is undeniably talentedThere’s a lot going on and he’s absolutely mastered it, but the songs just kind of blend in to one – broken up only by applause. The wailing harmonica gave me goosebumps the first few times but now it’s a tad predictable. It’s disappointing in a way, because he is so talented. I’m starting to wonder that perhaps this is why he doesn’t have an actual band – as Britt just said, “It’s almost like he doesn’t need anyone else.” And when you’re that talented, why would you? It’s a bit of a shame though and it’s starting to annoy me a little.

The title track from his new album ‘Thankyou For Giving Me The Blues‘ sounds like everything else. I’m waiting for the emotion to kick in. Usually when I see a band or an artist they evoke some emotion from me, but tonight I feel nothing.

We’re spending less time listening than we are frowning and even though it’s only been half an hour, Britt and I are ready to leave. Perhaps it’s the lack of raw emotion, or cider – or maybe it’s the slightly older, slightly bizarre crowd – but I just can’t handle it anymore. Never before have I walked out of a gig, but like they say, there’s a first for everything. I’d love to see Shaun with a full band next time. I think that some accompaniment would elicit his true musical talents. We’ll  just have to wait and see.

 

REVIEW BY GRACE GOODFELLOW

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09 Dec BEN WELLS AND THE MIDDLE NAMES @ The Workers Club – 5/12/12

It’s like that song ‘Pub With No Beer’, except in this case, it’s cider. Unless I want to buy a longneck of Mercury Draught (I don’t). Usually I LOVE The Workers Club, but right now, I’m feeling a little disappointed. Hopefully seeing Ben Wells and The Middle Names play will ease some of the pain. And hopefully the beer I just paid for isn’t too disgusting.

Yeah, it’s okay.

The sky outside is this delicate grey and I swear there’s still a little bit of sunshine, despite it being one of the most miserable Melbourne days in weeks. Six days into summer and we’re back in coats and boots.

There are maybe five people in the band room but Melbourne lad Tom Milek either doesn’t realise or simply doesn’t mind. He’s dressed for winter too – complete with layers and a beanie. My housemate and I are sitting cross-legged on the cement floor right in the centre of the room. I’m definitely going to grab my jacket to sit on, despite having (gold) tights on.

The two guys sitting next to us look strangely familiar (doesn’t everyone though? Thanks, Facebook). I feel like they might be from the second support act, Buchanan – or as Tom just called them, “Buck anan.” I’m not going to ask though. I’ll just have to wait and see.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Tom play a solo show. Usually, it’s with Sleep Decade. Either way, I’m deeply impressed. His voice has this really lovely quality to it. Despite being a concreter by trade, he possesses a gentleness that his vocals reflect. Sitting here in this dark, empty room, I feel my heart swell and I’m surprised by tears welling in my eyes. If anyone asked, I’m not sure I could explain the tears or the excessive number of heavy sighs. There’s just something about Tom’s music that evokes emotion. Real, raw emotion.

In between the sadness, there is laughter too. Moments ago, Tom spoke about his outfit choice for the evening. “I tried on like, three different shirts. But then I realised it wasn’t the shirt. It was my hair. Now I understand what a bad hair day is.” I think he looks lovely, but that’s just me. He’s covering a Radical Face song – which again, seems strangely familiar. It’s called ‘The Family Tree’ and it’s beautiful. Tom is stumbling through the lyrics (which I actually find quite endearing), and that feeling of melancholy is the strongest has been all night.

He tells us this is his last song, but he has CDs for sale. I wish I wasn’t so broke, because I’d really like his EP. Months and months ago, my (ex)boyfriend and I saw Tom play in Geelong. We listened to his CD on repeat on the drive back to Anglesea. Maybe that’s where some of the melancholy is coming from.

Anyway, Tom is gone now and so is all of my beer. I hope a miracle occurred during the forty minute set and there’s a bottle of Bulmers waiting for me behind the bar. I spot the tall guy from earlier – the one who is in Buchanan (probably). Perhaps I should ask him.

Yep, turns out I was correct. Miles (that’s his name) makes me a “Buchanan straw”, which involves joining two long straws together and lots of laughter. He tells me it’s a real privilege to drink from a Buchanan straw. I’m on my tiptoes, head almost tilted back, a few steps away from the bar. It works, but it’s definitely not the most convenient way to drink a beer.

We’ve been chatting for a while now, mostly about the bands and Melbourne in general. I can’t believe how quickly I’m getting through this pint, or how fast those twenty minutes passed.

Back in the band room, it’s nice to see a few more people here, although I would like Tom to have a slightly bigger crowd. Liv and I are right near the bar, standing behind two of THE biggest hipsters I have ever seen. I’m talking slightly ironic, slightly oversized op-shop t-shirt, thick framed glasses and hats. I think of striking up a conversation but to be honest, I’m a little intimidated and I also hate people who talk the entire way through sets.

The room is mostly full of guys and everyone seems to have a pint in hand. There’s a huge empty space in front of the stage – a semi-circle of space. Maybe when the band starts we’ll all move forward. I just want everyone to dance.

Whoa. Buchanan started and they are unbelievably good. I’m dancing already, and thinking “THIS is why I love music.” The boys on stage are dancing too. Miles is jumping around and somehow manages to look cool and hilarious at the same time. He’s all arms and legs. They’re so tight and so in tune. It’s a standard setup – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass and drums. Something sets them apart though. The music is upbeat and fun. The harmonies are absolutely killer (and that is not a word I use very often, but it seems fitting). Looking around, it’s clear that everyone else is impressed too. There are plenty of smiling faces and a handful of people dancing. The sparse semi-circle demands to be filled but I’m not sure I want to be that one (potentially awkward) person to step in.

The Melbourne locals are playing their latest single ‘When The Sun Comes Round Again’ and thanks to maybe seven or eight listens earlier today, I can almost successfully sing along. I’m throwing all of myself into this. Dancing like no one is watching. I keep laughing – little bursts of laughter. Apparently ‘Temperamentally’ may well be Buchanan’s new single and now that I’ve heard the first five seconds, I’m more than excited for its release. These guys are absolute superstars.

It’s taken me forty minutes to drink a pint and my jaw is aching from smiling. The room has lost a few people but the energy is still incredibly high.

Ben Wells is wearing a Santa Cruz t-shirt, with a slightly creepy eye on it and a black Obey cap. I’ve never actually seen him and his band before so I’m not really sure what to expect. I’m beginning to think that maybe I should have left after Buchanan – that their slightly heavier sound was enough for me, and I should quit while I’m ahead. I’m all for stepping outside my comfort zone to expand my musical horizon but I’m not so sure about Ben Wells and The Middle Names.

They start and I’m blown away. The band is incredibly tight and Ben has the biggest, goofiest grin on his face.

I am so glad I’m still here.

The semi-circle is empty but I have no doubt it’ll fill up soon. There are a handful of girls dancing in the front row and if I were by myself I’d probably go and join them. But Liv and I are happy back here by the bar.

Playing their new single, ‘Bear In A Birdcage’, Ben tells us we can download it for free if we want. Watching him on stage, the word “larrikin” springs to mind. Again, this is not a word I’d use normally. Tonight is all about new things, it seems. First there was the beer, then saying “killer” and now I’m channeling my 63-year-old father and describing someone as a larrikin. Well, when in Rome (or, rather, Fitzroy).

Liv is in charge of holding my beer while I race to the bathroom (I don’t want to miss more of this set than I have to). The front bar is still relatively busy and I wonder why those sitting in here don’t come and listen to the band. I can hear them from here and I’m shaking my head in disbelief at how ecstatic I’m feeling.

It only took a few minutes for the semi-circle to fill in. Liv explains how this occurred. He said, “Come five steps closer. We’ll get intimate.”

It keeps getting more and more so, because now Ben and Nick play ‘Old Sea Salt’ – but unplugged. They’re taking advantage of the quiet crowd, apparently. I’m grateful because this is absolutely beautiful. I notice that there’s a real distinctive quality to Ben’s voice. I can’t quite put my finger on it. The harmonies are glorious as well. This is a song for late nights, gently closed eyes, dark rooms.

The whooping and cheering and loud applause just shows how much we’re all loving this. The ironic-t-shirt wearing hipster is dancing wildly and singing along to ‘Lines’.

I haven’t stopped dancing since they started. My feet aren’t even sore! I definitely understood where Ben was coming from when he said, “I’m in a happy mood.” This was a disclaimer after he introduced a song. “This song’s called ‘Running Backwards’ and it’s an angry song.” Then he told us about his happy mood, continuing with, “You guys are amazing tonight.”

He isn’t wrong. This is one of the best crowds I’ve been a part of in quite a while. No drunk dickheads, no hecklers (same same but different). The size of the crowd here lends itself to a certain kind of intimacy and after a week of heading to packed gigs, sometimes with 500 plus people, it’s truly wonderful to be in a room of fifty or sixty.

It’s pretty wonderful to hear some female vocals too and the gorgeous girl in The Middle Names has a surprisingly sexy voice. To be honest, I pay less attention to the names of the songs than usual. I’m just so caught up in all of this. Those little bursts of laughter become more and more frequent and my third beer disappears at an alarming speed. I’m not swaying though – except for when it’s part of my dancing.

This is their last song and the melancholy is back – except this time in the form of “I don’t want this to be over!” I can feel the post-gig blues kicking in already.

Ben’s plugging the merchandise now; telling us to buy a CD or one of their band-made t-shirts if we’d like them to come back. “I wish we could come to Melbourne more often but I hate sleeping on the deck chair on the Spirit of Tasmania.” If we buy something though, then he’ll get to sleep in a bed. If only I hadn’t bought that last drink.

REVIEW BY GRACE GOODFELLOW  

 

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