If you listen to mainstream media, you will have heard about the terminal state of the Wollongong Music Scene; with the closure of Live Music at The Patch (Illawarra Mercury, May 2013), the cessation of gigs at Barcode and news of the sale of Yours and Owls creating waves of concern in Wollongong’s creative community.
From where we sit, things are looking a little different. Not only is the Wollongong cultural landscape undergoing a ‘renaissance’ with the small bar scene blossoming, and creative agencies, artists and artisans experiencing unprecedented success and popularity; but the music scene too is burgeoning.
While 2013 did see the sale of Yours & Owls, In the words of owner Ben Tillman the new venue, Rad, won’t be ‘…just another trashy place for the trashy folk of Wollongong to spend their senseless night lives’. Instead, new owner Daniel Radburn will be ensuring this place stays RAD for a long time to come.The Illawarra Brewery has commenced Home Brew’d and Dicey Rileys have stepped up their game as small bars Alibi, Living Room and Red Square are consistently booking live music. Also new to the scene this year was our baby, The Den, bringing the best in local and touring acts to the gong. And the future seems equally bright, with a proposed ‘Shipping container bar’ set to pop up in Keira Lane, with approval to do live music several nights of the week.
And it’s not just the venues leading the way, Wollongong’s bands are doing their part too. Shining Bird, Rocking Horse and The Baby Dolls, DLINKWNT, Tommy M and The Mastersounds, Basil’s Kite and BRUCE are all releasing new material in 2013, leading to stacks of excitement around Wollongong’s musical talent. According to Mess + Noise, the Wollongong music scene is “a very vibrant scene…’punching above its weight’.”The article goes on to highlight some exciting Wollongong bands making waves on the national and international circuit namely psych rockers The Walking Who, funk favourites Beaten Bodies, singer-songwriter Bec Sandridge, punk rockers Born Lion and new local outfit Hockey Dad.
From where we’re sitting, the Wollongong music scene is a vibrant and ever changing tapestry. In the words of Indie favourites Round The Corner, ‘Wollongong is the the best. Freaking gods country in our opinion. We don’t have to hire space to practice, we all live so close to each other that it is easy to get together and jam, we can surf before and after jams and you can work part- time and still cover rent. Living such a dream lifestyle definitely influences your music…This part of the world must be good for musos cause there are so many talented bands and singer-song writers out there.’
You can catch The Walking Who and Born Lion in support of The Delta Riggs this Friday the 27th of September at the Den Wollongong.Tickets are $15.
For more info head to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/538022886268877/
You can catch the Walking Who at The Farmer & The Owl headlined by the Drones and Dappled Cities Saturday November 23rd. For more info, head to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/156973287826644/