Melbourne Music Venue: Grace Darling Hotel

Address: 114 Smith St, Collingwood VIC 3066
Capacity: 180 (going by their website as of 20/11/2020)
Opened: 1854

One of the last remaining gold rush era pubs left in inner Melbourne.

Constructed with bluestone and rendered brickwork with sandstone windows.

Also 1st meal was a parma in a pot.

Taken 28/03/2020
Current sign
Shrimpwitch playing in the band room (upstairs), for their 7″ Launch, 03/06/2017.
Mote playing in the Dungeon (downstairs) on 13/04/2018.

Melbourne Music Venue: Festival Hall

Address: 300 Dudley St, West Melbourne VIC 3003
Capacity: 1,741
Opened: 12 October 1956

Was formally known as West Melbourne Stadium and once held boxing and TV wrestling matches (which my Dad likes to remind me).

Before entry you might be lucky enough to get a pat down by a security guard, as they tend not to like people bringing in camera’s or recording devices, which often amuses me as you can get some great small camera’s and even phones do a excellent job in low light.

If you ever go in the general admission, is like a sweaty pit, people are rearing to go to see their favourite band.

Every gig I’ve been too here you can walk down the street to find someone selling bootleg t shirts (which I been a sucker for).

My first gig was The Presidents of The United States of America, back in 1996. Highlights have been seeing Devo, Eddy Current Suppression Ring supporting Devo, Pulp and TISM.

Festival Hall, 28/06/2020.
One entry to Festival Hall and Merchandise, 28/06/2020.
Ticket for Presidents of the United States of America, 26/07/1996.

Melbourne Music Venue: The Gem

Address: 289 Wellington St, Collingwood VIC 3066

Know as The Gem since 2006 and is currently listed.

The Gem, 20/06/2020
The Gem sign, 20/06/2020

The Gem is a nice intimate watering hole, suited to Collingwood Cowboys and people who love Elvis.

Elvis, taken around 2010, with a Nokia phone.

Gigs are in the front bar, squished amongst seats, tables and pool, are very much right in your face, especially when you walk in the front door.

Unknown band, photo taken 20/02/2010, with a Canon PowerShot s90

Melbourne Music Venue: Billboard the venue / 170 Russell

Address: 170 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000

170 Russell street, 31/03/2020

Similar to Max Watt’s, you can easily walk past the entry to this venue and miss it. The entry looks like a fire exit door, but it opens up to a big basement venue (can hold 900 people), what was once a theatre restaurant.

Total House, 170 Russell street, Melbourne, 21/06/2020

The building that the venue resides in is called Total House, built in 1965, is an early example of Brutalist architecture and is listed with the Victorian Heritage register.

One of the great things about this venue is all of it’s levels, you can see the performance from just about anywhere. However this is also a disadvantage for the visually impaired (like myself) as you have to watch out for those stairs.

City Calm Down, 1/09/2017

Reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_House

Melbourne Music Venue: Hi-Fi / Max Watts

Hi-Fi Bar and Ballroom from 1998 to 2015

Max Watts from 2015 to today (changed due to Hi-Fi going into administration)

Address: 125 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

This is a venue where you can easily walk past it and miss it. If there’s a gig on people will be outside and you may wonder what’s going on.

Max Watts, 31/03/2020
Max Watts, 31/03/2020

I really enjoy walking down the narrow staircase to what opens up to a large ballroom.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a photo, so here’s a ticket from an awesome At The Drive-In and Magic Dirt gig (27/01/2001), before they played the 2001 Big Day Out.

At The Drive-In and Magic Dirt Ticket, 27/01/2001

Melbourne Music Venue: The Gasometer Hotel

The Gaso, 10/05/2020

Address: 484 Smith St, Collingwood VIC 3066

Trading as The Gasometer Hotel (from 2011), was also know as Gasometer Hotel (1861 to 1997), Irish Murphy’s (1997 to 2000), Father Flanagan’s Hotel (2001 to 2010 (information via https://collingwoodhs.org.au/view/all-hotels-2/entry/44/).

Currently this venue is up for sale. There’s some nice interior shots via the link https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/business-for-sale/gasometer-hotel-1p4990-2016213506. Hopefully it will stay a venue rather than turning into appartments.

1st gig to see here was Home Blitz, Ruined Fortune Band, Constant Mongrel and East Link, on 7/10/2012. (going by my concert archives account https://www.concertarchives.org/gregory/venues/the-gasometer-hotel–10)

Highlight were Maggot Fest Three and seeing my mates band The Pink Tiles play a residency in the upstairs band room.

Above photo has current colour of red, which I didn’t notice as most of the times I would be here at night time. This corner shot is at the tram stop for the 86, where I would normally get off.

9/09/2018 – picture of the band room looking down from the mezzanine level, which you can also see the retractable roof. Not sure if the band was The Sugarcanes or Baby Blue.
The Pink Ties playing in the upstairs band room, was taken during their Wednesday residency for June 2013.

Melbourne Music Venue: The Old Bar

Location: 74-76 Johnston St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Trading as The Old Bar since 2001 (wiki)

My 1st gig at the Old Bar was back in 2001, an open mike night to support a work mate Martin Myles.

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The Old Bar, 5/04/2020

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Old Bar’s Gig Board, 28/03/2020

Old Bar Gigs 29 08 2007
Old Bar’s Gig Board, 29/08/2007

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Posters of gigs at The Old Bar, 16/05/2010

Plague Doctor at The Old Bar 28 12 2012
Plague Doctor, 28/12/2012

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Richie 1250 & The Brides of Christ, 1/05/2009

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That Elvis poster in the beer garden (my mate Mara on the right), 27/06/2010

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Bar Drinks (1), 16/05/2010

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Bar Drinks (2), 16/05/2010

Melbourne Music Venue: The Tote

While we are in lockdown, I thought it would be a good time to go out for a walk and take photo’s of music venues, dig into my photo archive and my favourite gigs .

The Tote Hotel, operating under this name since 1980 (wiki link).
Address: 67-71 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066

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The Tote, 28/03/2020

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The Tote Johnston Street side gig listing, prior to shutdown. 28/03/2020.

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The last day of The Tote before it closed on Sunday 17/01/2010

My mate and I wanted to go to the closing down day in 2010 and have one last drink and watch some bands, but as you can see, the line to get it was quite long.

We ended up complaining and walking down to a nearly empty Gem Bar, had a couple of Carlton Draughts and talked about the getting bitten by flea’s, sticky carpets and how the smell of cigarets cover the smell vomit.

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Sun God Replica at the Tote (Front Bar) on Sunday 28/01/2012

Above picture has Sun God Replica playing in the front bar, currently that’s where the pool table is. There were a few front bar gigs played here rather than the front door location.

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Useless Children at The Tote (Band room) 22/12/2012

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Jay Reatard, The Tote (Band room) 10/3/2008

The above photo is a mess, either using a Pentax or a Canon digital camera.

This gig was a solid line up, supporting Jay Reatard were Digger & The Pussycats, Cut Sick, The Focus and UV Race all for a mere $27.

Jay Reatard was touring ‘Blood Visions’ album, I had no expectations on this gig, enjoyed the big hair stylings, and though they were fresh and tight.

My original thought from 2008 about this gig can be found here https://noisecity.blogspot.com/2008/03/jay-reatard.html

Another favourite gig at the Tote was Eddy Current Suppression Ring, who played with The Sailors, The Onyas and The Breadmakers.

Eddy Current were a really hot act at the time, I thought they were the future of Aussie Rock. They also played the whole set in area in front of the stage. That was great as everyone could see the performance.

Also my original thoughts on this gig can be found below.

https://noisecity.blogspot.com/2007/02/eddy-current-suppression-ring.html

March 2020 Highlights

Sydney Road Music Festival Street Party, 1/03/2020

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Burnt Sausages
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June Jones
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Majestic Horses
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Garlic Nun
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Garlic Nun
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Can’t remember who this was, but it was at the Cornish Arms Hotel
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Slim Jeffries
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Slim Jeffries

Ezra Collective at Northside Record’s, 5/03/2020

Having a drink and playing Daytona with Stevie D, 5/03/2020

Monnone Alone, at The Tote front bar, 5/03/2020.

For Lost & Lonesome Records – Front Bar Residency.

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Slypon at The Last Change Rock and Roll Bar, 7/03/2020

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SPAWN, at The Last Chance Rock and Roll Bar, 7/03/2020

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Deathmatch Downunder, Bar Open, Friday 13/03/2020

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DICKLASER
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UDDER UBDUCTEES
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UDDER UBDUCTEES
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CASANOVA VALENTINE (USA) v JOEL BATEMAN
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CASANOVA VALENTINE
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James and Alisi

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Remember when we could go out and have fun, good times
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Yard Duty via awesome Bar Open ground floor screen projector
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Yard Duty
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Yard Duty

A Fruity 40! w/ Girlatones / Thee Cha Cha Chas / BJ Morriszonkle, Labour in Vain, 14/03/2020.

This was my last gig prior to COVID-19 lock down. 

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Thee Cha Cha Chas
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BJ Morriszonkle
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BJ Morriszonkle
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Mara and Victoria enjoying BJ Morriszonkle

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Sandwich (Hoagie) and Victoria

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Victoria enjoying Girlatones

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Everyone enjoys the Girlatones

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Girlatones
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Hot topics are discussed
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even more hot topics discussed

February 2020 Highlights

PBS fm Drive Live, Thursday 6/02/2020.

Ice cold can of Mountain Goat Fancy Pants, while at Drive Live.

The Clowns performing live on air (in studio 5).

Outside PBS fm and Drive live poster.

Girla Tones (due), Tote front bar, 6/02/2020.

Still one of the classic beer, taste and design. In Barter Town, the Tote, 6/02/2020.

Heart Beach, Tote front bar, 6/02/2020.

Not the best beer ever, but the most economically priced beers at the Tote.

The Men’s urinal at The Tote, 6/02/2020.

My mate Mara showing off her New Pornographers album after their performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre. 20/02/2020.

You Legends at The Last Chance Rock and Roll Bar, for Friday’s Knock Off!. 21/02/2020.

Fovndlings, The Last Chance Rock and Roll Bar. 21/02/2020.

Slim Gritty playing on a Sunday at The Catfish. 21/02/2020.

Rocket Science, Tote Band room, support for 5678’s and Guitar Wolf. 27/02/2020.

5678’s, Tote Band room. 27/02/2020.

Guitar Wolf, Tote Band room. 27/02/2020

Cut Wire, playing at the Tote front bar. 27/02/2020.