Live Music Venue Series - Part 2: The Evelyn Hotel (For Part 1: The Esplanade Hotel click here)
The Brunswick Street precinct is one of the great cultural, dining and entertainment destinations in Melbourne. Arguably the best. And it also features one of the great live music venues of the city, the iconic Evelyn Hotel.
After the demise of the Punters Club (which was replaced by the Northcote Social Club, 10-15 minutes drive away in High Street, Northcote) several years ago, The Evelyn became the absolute focus for live music on Brunswick. And it carries that mantle with great aplomb.
Very centrally located right in the heart of the precinct, The Evelyn is a great place to go for a quiet drink with friends during the week or during the day on weekends. There's a great beer garden, pool table and big screen, so it's a fantastic place to meet and hang out over a few frothys. Their drinks are very affordable too, especially on Thursdays, which is their drink specials night.
As great a hang out as it is, The Evelyn truly comes alive at night, in the band room, when all manner of amazing bands come out to play. The hotel features live music every night of the week, and the room itself is beautfully decked out. The bar is large and well stocked, features many great beers on tap and is always busy on a big night. The stage is big and well laid out, and the sound and lighting are absolutely top notch. There are also plenty of comfy couches where you can chill out for a moment between band sets.
And speaking of bands, the list of fine acts that have played The Evelyn is impressive, to say the very very least. Among them has been Jeff Martin, Missy Higgins, Dead Letter Circus, Bliss N Eso, Pete Murray, Jericco, Mammal, The Sleepy Jackson and so many more. You can see everything from acoustic folk to extreme death metal at the Evelyn, by way of hip hop, indie, rock, dance, alternative, country and jazz. Virtually all tastes in contemporary music are catered for, often in the space of one week.
The price of admission to the band room is ever reasonable too, you can attend ten amazing local or overseas band nights at The Evelyn for the price of one big international show at Rod Laver Arena or whichever other massive venue you care to name. Plus you'll be supporting Australian artists, which can only be a good thing.
Live music venues across Melbourne, and indeed the entire nation are under threat, from greedy developers who want to put in yet more apartments that they can make money out of, unnecessary and unreasonable liquor licensing laws and all manner of other factors. So it's fantastic to see venues such as The Evelyn staying steadfast and true to their philosophy of supporting live local music. For if they don't, that part of our culture will disappear for ever.