Melbourne Loses Another Live Music Venue As Old Favourite Reopens
It seems that Melbourne’s live music scene is always in a state of flux, and while things have been picking up lately, following on from the news that the beloved late-night institution Pony Bar would be closing, with its new lease holders saying that it’s “likely that after renovations live music will continue;” and Brunswick’s Sydney Road getting a new live music venue in The Rare And Reclusive, Oft Neglected, Lesser Spotted Mallard (yes, really) – the north side has lost another venue.
As The Age‘s Sticky Carpet reports, Smith Street’s Blue Tile Lounge will be closing its doors this weekend after six years of live music servitude.
“It is the end of my lease,” says Cameron Scott, the business owner, “although there was an option to extend. I actually had sold the lease twice and the landlord wouldn’t transfer the lease both times. My guess is that the landlord has another agenda for the space that doesn’t involve live music.”
The small bar secreted away in Smith Street was a regular spot for local musicians, while also playing host to a range of art exhibitions, comedy and stand-up as well as swap meets.
To help celebrate the venue’s going into that good night, this weekend sees Boy Red, Rattlin’ Bones Blackwood and Charm playing on Saturday night, while Sunday will hold a day-long punk festival with 13 acts marking the close of the live music venue.
While its sayonara to another live music venue, there is a bright side to be had for Melbourne music lovers.
As previously reported, North Melbourne’s Public Bar – which closed its doors at the tail-end of last year after 18 years of supporting the music scene – was to be resurrected by owners of fellow live music hot spot, Fitzroy’s Old Bar, after rescuing it from the market as a potential residential development.
Tonight sees the re-opening of the Public Bar, and looks to reestablish itself amongst the live music scene with the new owners holding a 15-year lease on the pub, as well as following the model of its sister bar by hosting live music from Wednesday through Sunday every week.
Co-owner Liam Matthews told Mess + Noise, “we hope to have live music every day that we trade – same at The Old Bar. We will start by opening three or four days a week until we find our feet then blow it out as much as we can handle. I’d suggest we will end up at some point being open seven days a week.”
They’re already making good on their intentions, with gigs already booked and announced for the end of the month with shows from the Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders on October 24, followed by Skyscraper Stan & The Commission Flats the following evening. Cash Savage & The Last Drinks play October 26, while the Quarry Mountain Dead Rats play October 27 (see below for full details).
Sydney Road’s newest live music venue, The Spotted Mallard also has it’s free launch gigs planned for Saturday 20th October. The Taste Test Party will feature Sydney’s ‘Alt Blues’ act Papa Pilko & The Bin Rats, alongside the two-piece shuffle and boogie of Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk and Mathew Stott of Melbourne’s gravedigging rock-band, Howlin’ Steam Train.
Meanwhile, St. Kilda’s Pure Pop Records announced an epic program that sees over 60 local acts tackling as many classic albums for the ‘Summer of Classic Albums Series’, with gigs running from December well into March 2013 that sees Aussie bands and artists covering iconic albums from Bowie, Hendrix, The Beatles, INXS and many, many more.
Public Bar Re-Opening Shows
Wed, Oct 24 – The Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders
w/The Death Rattles + Rattin’ Bones Blackwood
Thurs, Oct 25 – Skyscraper Stan & The Commission Flats
w/Lonesome + mystery guest
Fri, Oct 26 – Cash Savage & The Last Drinks
w/100 Acre Woods + Guy Kable
Sat, Oct 27 – The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats
w/Stoney Joe + Little Wing
full details at: http://publicbar.com.au/
Ever wandered down on a Friday evening to catch a beer and some live music only to find your beloved venue has up and disappeared? We take a look over the last two years and the key events that have shaped the state of Australia's live music and its venues. Mostly for the troubles they've faced, with a large number being forced to close down. But it's not all bad news... some have managed to pull through while there's even been new venues that have sprung up. So if you've been wondering "whatever happened to my local music venue?" perhaps we've got the answer. Watch this slideshow »