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Geelong music scene alive and thriving

Posted: September 27, 2012 by danmea in Arts & Culture, Geelong, Music

We dance to it in clubs, listen to it in the car, sing to it in the shower, play it at weddings, funerals, birthdays and even over dinner, and it’s borderline unheard of to go into a shop that doesn’t have some form of it playing in the background.

Signage outside popular music venue, Beav’s Bar.

Music has permeated all aspects of today’s world, so it’s no great surprise that Geelong’s music scene is alive and thriving.

With international stars Jay Sean, Sidney Samson and Tommie Sunshine playing here in the coming months, the Geelong music community is in its prime.

Group Editor of Geelong music magazine Forte Magazine and Queensland music website Tsunami, Brigitte Stone, believes this is because of the talent Geelong is producing and the venues available.

‘The Geelong music scene is basically my career and at the moment we’re at a really exciting time.’

Local musician Will Gardiner, also known by his stage name Famous Will (or part of the duo Famous Will & Rach), is just as immersed in the music community.

‘The Geelong music scene is full of life,’ he said, ‘there’s an abundance of bands out there.’

However, with the growing number of performers, the question of whether or not venues are able to cater for their sets and the crowds they attract.

Busy Geelong hot spot Little Malop St- home to The Eureka Hotel and Beav’s Bar.

As it currently stands, there   is magnitude of clubs, pubs, restaurants and general event venues attracting performers.Geelong’s The National Hotel (commonly referred to as The Nash) was once the buzzing hub of the music nightlife, but with The Eureka Hotel, Home House, Beav’s Bar, The Pier, The Bended Elbow and the Barwon Club (to name a few) all pining for live acts, performances have been more evenly spread across the CBD.

Local hotspot Home House are hosting live DJ sets from international acts Tommie Sunshine and Sidney Samson later this year, while international British heavyweight Jay Sean is also Geelong bound when he will play for up to 1000 people in October at The Pier.

However, musician Famous Will is wary about international acts headlining local venues.

‘It’s important that the ones that do come embrace the local talent and get them to open up their shows for them. That’d be really important to give them some status in their music and help them get fans and sort of bridge the gap between the people who have made it and the people that are trying to get out there,’ he said.

With support from the music community, growing venues that have ‘got the capacity to host exciting gigs’, and big names heading south-west of Melbourne, Stone urges more venues to host live gigs; whether they’re big names or local beginners.

‘The more venues willing to host live music, the better. It can only be a good thing. ‘There’s enough good talent and enough diverse talent … to have good quality music in a plethora of different venues on any given night,’ she said.

Gardiner says an emphasis on local talent should be maintained.

‘We need more venues to cater for the up and coming [but] the Geelong scene is absolutely fantastic, especially for beginners.’

However, the music scene is backing the growth with nearly 80% stating there was a place for live music in Geelong in an independent poll. As the music scene, and its resulting community of fans, participants and admirers, grow, the only sure element is that it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.

Stone says music is a pillar in the bayside city of geelong.

‘We’ve come a long way. Without live music, I shudder to think what Geelong would be like.’