The Bakery in Northbridge is a very interesting venue - firstly, you have enter through the back (the front is to display artwork), and secondly, the decor is eccentric. You can choose to lounge on the seats covered in fake grass while resting your drink upon their wooden tables, or you can find a sofa inside.
The venue inside is fairly dark and the lighting tends to be too red, but the sound is good - it is loud enough for all instruments to be audible, but not so loud that it leaves your eardrums quaking with fear.
A small but thriving bar on William Street in Northbridge, The Bird is a good place to check out the Perth indie scene because indie bands are generally attracted to the quirkiness of the bar. They also have various DJs in the back spinning tunes for the beer garden crowd. The lighting at The Bird is a little too intimate, and sometimes it can be hard to see the band on stage.
Black Bettys is one of the few places around the CBD who are not shy of holding hard rock and heavy metal gigs. Wired runs every Thursday night and it is a good place to check out the Perth hard rock and heavy metal scene.
The Fly By Night is the largest of the independent gig venues in the metro area. There is a spacious stage, with plenty of standing room, seating on the side and a bar at the back. There usually isn't much seating, so unless you arrive early, you will be consigned to standing for the entire event.
In the past, the Hydey (as it is affectionately known) was a dive bar. It was scruffy and dirty, but it had a great intimate vibe for bands. It has been cleaned up and while they still hold live gigs, the atmosphere has changed to a corporate feel. This is a decent place to catch quieter acts while over dinner.
Mojos in Fremantle is one of Perth busiest original live music venues, with gigs happening just about every night. There are some shows that are held weekly, such as their Blues Club nights. Parking can be a struggle, so heading there early is a good idea.
Largely a cafe, but they also regularly feature original live music. Of interest is their Wednesday nights, where acoustic and stripped-down bands are invited to play.
The Railway Hotel
The Railway is a long-established venue with a small stage that sometimes struggles with any setup that moves away from a three-piece. However, the sound is good and there are comfortable chairs, which can sometimes kill the mood of a gig because people are too comfortable to move closer to the stage.
The Rocket Room is a fairly busy venue. Since its facelift, the lighting has improved and so has the stage setup. There is a decent amount of space if you want to stand towards the stage, and the bar is no longer in the way.
One of the larger venues, with a variety of events happening throughout their week. The Rosemount is a very good live venue, with great sound mixing and lighting. Usually you will be given the choice of heading inside to listen to a band, or staying outside in the beer garden while a DJ spins some background music.
The Swan Hotel / Swan Basement
The Swan Hotel is basically two venues mixed into one. There is the Swan Hotel, which is upstairs, and there is the Basement, downstairs. Both sides have their own bars, so it is commonly used for two-stager events. The upstairs is smaller and so it suits quieter acts like folk acts, while the downstairs is more suitable for louder acts. The sound mixing is good without being ear piercing.