Just when you thought the Brisbane music scene might be quietening down, a host of new live venues have burst into existence to leave it looking as strong as it has ever been.
Top quality performing spaces not only encourage acts to visit town, they stoke the fires of the local scene.
Brisbane is fortunate at the moment to have given birth to some brilliant new venues over the last 18 months that range in size and setting, and that complement the existing institutions that we know and love, such as The Zoo and Black Bear Lodge. The fact that most of these new live music venues also double as some of Brisbane’s best new bars only sweetens the deal.
Here are six new live music spots that should keep the Brisbane scene electrified for, oh, the next hundred years or so.
You get the feeling The Triffid is going to be a game changer in old Brisbane town. The baby of Powderfinger bassist John Collins, a man who knows a thing or two about the live music, it would be no surprise if this 800-capacity Newstead newcomer becomes as iconic in Vegas as places like The Zoo or the old Cloudland. The old commercial hangar has been transformed into a venue of international standard through Collins’ vision and state-of-the-art sound and lighting rigs, while retaining its original industrial edge. The pop-up beer garden outdoors provides a more chilled space to enjoy a few pints as well.
The Skukum Lounge has been around for a little while now, but we’re betting most of you are yet to check it out. This joint is IDEAL for solo or acoustic acts. It’s intimate and cosy and hidden away inside Ashgrove’s Junk Bar, which is hard enough to find to start with. The mountain cabin décor is cheesy in a charming kind of way and some really amazing artists stop by to showcase their talents. You do want to get up close and personal with really amazing artists don’t you?
The New Globe Theatre
Originally a cinema theatre, there have been a few attempts at turning the Globe into a gig venue, but this latest reincarnation is right on the money. The re-renovated space includes two stages, one with cinema-style seating and one without. With superb sound quality and lighting, the Globe is an awesome spot to catch emerging music acts at their very best. Then when you see them on Jimmy Kimmel you can say you were there at the start.
A Wickham Street backpacker joint has been converted into a three-level hub for musicians and other creative-types, which should spur on the next generation of acts to bigger and better things, while also encouraging groups from afar to visit our fair city. The bottom floor features the live music space itself, which has a capacity of 300, while the top two levels has rooms that can be grabbed by the bands themselves to use for practicing (or sleeping), their managers and any small businesses involved in the arts. All the elements are in place for The Foundry to become a focal point for Brisbane’s music scene in the years to come.
Sonny’s House of Blues
Successfully capturing the ‘80s LA divey live music venue vibe (or what we imagine that would be like), Sonny’s features a hodge podge of artists over the course of the week. The styles of the bands may vary, but you can be guaranteed the hear quality, original stuff happening on stage. No Hunters and Collectors covers here. The place is set up so that the atmosphere truly thunders when the rock ‘n’ roll is pumping.
Channelling the New York underground is the cool new kid on Eagle Lane, Brooklyn Standard. This is the kind of atmospheric bar we would gladly spend many an evening regardless, but the fact there are acts performing six nights a week from 7:30pm makes it a must do. The stylish locale features the sounds of jazz, soul, funk, and blues. And of course it don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing.
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Image credit: Daniel Maddock