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Pub Music Venues of the Northern Suburbs

Home > Melbourne > Bars | Clubs | Bands | Music
by Clay Steele (subscribe)
Nutritionist & Life Coach Meeting all requirements to call myself so (i.e. none)
Published July 1st 2012
In the current live music scene those harbouring dreams of rock n roll stardom, following in the pub-rock footsteps of Jet and AC/DC must find space to play amongst a dwindling amount of live music venues. With more profit in pokies and/or DJ's and the internet meaning that the 'young folks' are more likely to want to hear Pink's latest single it's harder and harder to find a place happy to let budding music superstars ply their trade.
Brunswick Hotel Stage
An at risk species...

Fortunately Melbourne's north remains a haven for original artists who need a stage to let their creative juices spill over in front of an audience. From your polished professionals to the novice ensembles just cutting their teeth in live music there's a venue in the north for all of them.

Northcote Social Club
301 High St, Northcote
The NSC sports a relaxed pub atmosphere with more dreadlocks per patron than is the industry standard. The band-room fits four hundred and grants all of them a good view of the stage. When the room is packed the atmosphere is outstanding. Most of the acts playing at the NSC have a reasonable following and have been on the scene for a while. This means that your highly unlikely to come across a dud act should you turn up and pay your $10-20 cover charge.


The Retreat
280 Sydney Road, Brunswick
One of my favourite venues around Melbourne, the Retreat lives up to its name. Offering a haven on busy Sydney Road for those who want to relax with a beer in the front bar (where you might even come across the publican's dog), the beer garden or the band-room cum bistro. There isn't usually a cover charge at the Retreat and most months there is a band doing a residency (remember them).
Brunswick Hotel Ext
The Brunswick Hotel

The Brunswick Hotel
140 Sydney Road, Brunswick
A small pub on the corner of Sydney Road and Weston St this venue is one of the few places in Melbourne that will give just about any band a go. The band-room is also the front bar so admission is free and with the only a small patch of floor in front of the stage you're pretty much getting an intimate performance even if only ten people turn up for your gig.

This is just a sample of the venues in the north that are giving bands a go. If you really want to experience Melbourne you need to get out there and check some of the live music scene - something the city is renowned for. You'll be amazed at the talent on show out there and, like me, you'll probably feel a little bit sorry that the poor schmucks aren't earning as much as One Direction.
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Why? Music is the spice of life
When: After dark
Where: Northern suburbs
Cost: Free at the Retreat and the Brunnie
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