26 October

Melbourne’s getting a brand new jazz club: sister to New York legend Birdland


Continuing the Birdland tradition, Melbourne will soon play host to its sister club, Blue Basement – a gutsy 200 seater that will run in line with the Birdland model of two dinner shows per evening and share international and local jazz talent with its dead-cool older sibling.

While the closing of Bennett’s Lane left a bloody great hole in Melbourne’s jazz scene, Blue Basement promises to make up for its absence and then some. “Bennet’s Lane was a small club where people came on admission basis to stand or sit and have a little drink if they wanted to,” says Albert Dadon, Melbourne jazz scene stalwart and Blue Basement’s proud owner. “Blue Basement is not the same, though – it follows the Birdland model where people come and have dinner and have a restaurant experience, and at the same time enjoy sublime music. That doesn’t exist in Melbourne.”

Read our full interview with Dadon and jazz impressario and Birdland’s owner, Gianni Valenti, here.… Read more

15 October

GPX: line-up drops for Golden Plains’ tenth birthday bash

Golden Plains

The hot, delicious and golden festival has pulled out all stops to celebrate double digits. Pick of the pack goes to the Violent Femmes (where better to listen to ‘Blister in the Sun’ than GP’s eternal afternoon), original riot grrrrls Sleater-Kinney, Black Cab (Melbourne’s own nod to Kraut Rock), old-school UK punk rockers the Buzzcocks and the ever bluestatic CW Stoneking.

Check out the listing for the full line-up. Your best chance for a golden ticket is via the subscriber ballot, which is is open until 10.10pm Tuesday October 20.

GPX: Mar 12-14 2016, Meredith Supernatural AmpitheatreRead more

4 September

Creators of BBC series Sherlock to host exclusive fan event in November

Picture shows: Mycroft Holmes (MARK GATISS)

If you’re a Sherlock fan, then you know how to wait. The first season of the award-winning BBC series premiered in 2010, and the two seasons that followed were released in two-year intervals. Given that each season is made up of three 90-minute episodes, we’re given a lot of time to speculate on the cliffhangers we’re inevitably left with – and to wonder just how creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat so deftly adapt the hallowed Arthur Conan Doyle story into modern-day London (it helps that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman make a matchless Holmes and Watson). The show has won 12 BAFTAs, seven Emmys and has been sold to 240 territories around the world.

For the first time ever, Gatiss (who also plays Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, pictured), Moffat and series producer Sue Vertue will make their way to the Regent Theatre on Monday, November 23 for Sherlock: From Script to Screen. The creators will share insights into the conception of the show, and into how the plots and characters are developed.… Read more

2 September

Cult podcast Welcome to Night Vale announces live Australian tour this summer

Welcome to Night Vale

It’s hard to put your finger on just what is so intoxicating about the American series Welcome to Night Vale: one of the world’s most successful podcasts, which launched in June 2012. Is it the fact that nightmarish, extraterrestrial subject matter – often so bizarre that it would make Stephen King balk – is communicated through the medium of a community radio station, broadcasted from the fictional desert town of Night Vale? Is it the fact that, as the twice-monthly series continues, characters and plot threads become as nuanced and complex as Twin Peaks? Certainly, the show’s three creators – Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor and narrator Cecil Baldwin – never expected that a show as darkly funny and as surreal as this could command a fan base that now extends to cosplay events, tumblr fan art and fanfiction.

Following on from their tour of the UK in September, the team will make their way Down Under for a stage show, written specifically to be performed live.… Read more

21 August

The George Ballroom’s back in business

The George Ballroom

It’s one of Melbourne’s fabled venues – a bit like the Flinders Street ballroom – a place we know about and romanticise, but where few have been.

Georgina Damm, proprietor of event and catering experts Damm Fine Food, recalls being snuck in underage to the ballroom during its band room hey day (she thinks it was to see Kate Ceberano’s band, I’m Talking). “I can remember the red velvet drapes and being intrigued by the space,” she says. Damm set her heart on running events there subsequently and pestered the owner until he relented and opened the doors after a hefty, and no doubt expensive, bit of refurbishment.

After a varied history (seaside destination for the well-heeled in the 1800s through to early ‘50s, then gloriously seedy post-punk venue under the Crystal Ballroom and Seaview banners from the ’70s onwards – The Cure played there, and it was pretty much a regular haunt for Nick Cave’s outfits – the Birthday Party and the Boys Next Door) the George Ballroom fell into disuse and disrepair after being used as an event space for a few years in the ’90s and early 2000s.

Read more