Winter is warming: Friday Nights at the NGV

Melbourne’s characteristically cold winters are heating the hell up. 

Even with the sun in hiding and rain clouds tempting, there’s a corner of the city that runs hotter than all the rest every Friday night. Melbourne’s very own National Gallery of Victoria has brought back with a bang their famed Friday Nights, boasting a catalogue of Australia’s best bands and after-hours access to the gallery. 

A staple to the Melbourne landscape, just as the music born of the city is a soundtrack, the NGV has upped its game with this year’s line-up of local music. From early June, NGV Friday Nights has been boasting some of this country’s most talented musicians under the stained-glass ceiling of the Great Hall. With instrumental Melbourne groove band The Seven Ups due to take the stage – along with sets from Afrodisiac – this coming Friday August 12, and other locals such as Snowy Band and Sweet Whirl tackling the stage later in the calendar, Friday Nights at the NGV is a sure-fire way to take care of your cultural health. 

Last Friday Night, groove machine and local band Polly and the Pockets set the Great Hall alight with an electric set of exciting music. The moment the five-piece took a hold of the stage, it was near impossible not to be tapping one’s toes. Flaunting the kind of groovy guitar lines and contagious beats Melbourne music is best known for, for the hour in which Polly and the Pockets played, none of the other art that adorned the walls of the gallery dared compete for attention. Picasso had nothing on Polly and the Pockets. 

The renowned Spanish-born artist, however, did get his time to shine once the show was over. The world premiere of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition, The Picasso Century, is a curation of works from both Pablo Picasso and a series of artists his work and craft was in dialogue with throughout the 20th century. From recognisable paintings to lesser-known sketches, the exhibition combined framed and digital art in an immersive experience of the artist’s life. 

With only a few weeks to go of this miserable Melbourne winter, the promise of sunshine feels not far away. But there’s almost no need to wait, really, to feel warm and sunny outside, when every Friday night until the first week of October this cultural staple of our city is heating things up inside, all thanks to the Aussie bands bringing the flame.

Check out the program here.

Article written by Juliette Salom

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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