Shoestring Melbourne: Venues, Clubs and Bars … Oh My!

I realised the other day that I have been somewhat remiss in my entries by not even touching on live music, which is arguably one of the big draw cards Melbourne holds as a city.

To be fair (on me), a lot of it has been economical and a lack of time, considering I live an hour out of the CBD by train.

So, now that I’ve started listing places for future reference, I thought I’d give you a peek at my list of places to check out.

As always, don’t take this as anything more than a small teaser of the types of venues available.

Go out and find more, because there are a LOT all over the place.

Starting on a somewhat classy – and rather more expensive – note is the Melbourne Recital Centre, which hosts plenty of classical concerts throughout the year, with showcase performances of standout performers alongside orchestras performing specific suites or pieces.

Keeping with places you might not immediately think to go looking for, nestled among the north-eastern alleys of the city is the Bennetts Lane Jazz Club.

I cannot guarantee how easy it’ll be to get a spot in this place, I am assured it is not only famous but busy, so possibly aim to go there early or very late to get a seat.

Heading to Carlton, Bella Union is less of a music venue and more of a catch-all performance space where a variety of shows are performed.

They have some music, they have some comedy, they have some theatre.

Incorporating a variety of genres, the famous Ding Dong Lounge (sister to the New York club of the same name) can be found amongst Chinatown, where they have indie, soul nights and club nights.

If you’re looking to focus more on the rock side of things, the Cherry Bar is the place to go.

Apparently Noel Gallagher (from Oasis) tried to buy the place, he liked it so much.

In a way, that should give you an idea of their music style.

Going darker, for the goth/industrial types, Cabaret Nocturne has you covered and even houses a stage dedicated to allowing newer DJs a chance to get their name out there.

Just forgive the terrible web presence.

Lastly for this list is Brown Alley, which is a multi-room nightclub, for those of you who like to dance until all hours of the morning.

As you can see, there is no end to the number or

variety of places to see shows, so get out and give them a try and I will see you next week.

Alastair Collins


Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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