David Francis is a freelance writer based in Adelaide.
Published January 8th 2012
One thing that makes a city vibrant is a thriving live music scene and the opportunity for local, up-and-coming artists to perform. The Grace Emily Hotel has a long-standing tradition of welcoming local musicians to its small but functional stage.
It doesn't mean you have to be a musician to hang out there. Anyone looking for entertainment at low cost can be assured of something happening at the Grace Emily every night of the week. The pub is open from 4pm and the music generally kicks off around 9pm until late.
Entry is always free on Friday, Saturday and Monday nights. While it is usually free on the other nights, there can be exceptions. There will be a cover charge if, for example, an international act is playing. George, the booking contact at the hotel for acts wanting to get on the bill, says they always try and keep the costs down and make it free entry whenever possible.
Monday nights for over ten years have been given over to Billy Bob's BBQ Jam which is an "open mic" night (put your name on the list and you can perform) and, yes, there is a barbecue - a sausage-sizzle is on from 10pm or so.
If you want to see who's playing, check local gig guides - otherwise roll up and take your chances. The Grace's Facebook page lists who is on each week, as does the blackboard outside the venue.
Anyone wanting to play at the Grace Emily should contact George on 8231 5500 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will probably need to supply some examples of your music if you are unknown. Note: the Grace Emily doesn't put cover bands on the stage, so you need to have mostly original material to perform.
Apart from all that, it's a pub - you can have a drink, play pool, or wander around and listen to the music.
The layout means you can stay at the bar and still listen to what's playing, but one downside is that the reverse is also true - in the quieter moments of a performance you can often hear noise from the bar. This just seems part of the atmosphere, however, and doesn't seem to detract from the enjoyment of the live music.
The Waymouth Street location is handy for any backpackers wanting to experience some local colour.