SYDNEY, Australia is more than just its iconic Opera House on the bay–It’s a buzzing hub of culture, art, and musical creation. AC/DC, Wolfmother, Sneaky Sound System, and the Wiggles are a few of the many acts that call Australia’s largest city home. With so much talent just around the corner, the jewel of New South Wales has a ton of great venues for hearing your favorite music live.
Black Wire Records
Nestled in a bustling little neighborhood along Parramatta Road in Annadale, Black Wire Records is a not-for-profit, volunteer record shop, label, and all-ages music space. The sounds here err on the side of all things alt rock, punk, hardcore, industrial, and distorted. The groups that play here are plucky little acts that are still up-and-comers who embrace a lo-fi DIY approach to music production and the close intimacy the venue’s compact stage provides. You might hear bands like Yes I’m Leaving, Hostile Objects, Enabler, Black Vacation, No Art, and more.
Oxford Art Factory
Inspired by Andy Warhol’s Factory in New York during the 60’s, the Oxford Art Factory is three-tiered mixed-use hub of artistic activity in the heart of downtown Sydney. The entire location is a mixture of a club, dynamic art space, and music venue complete with an atmosphere that is simultaneously gritty, elegant, and fashionably urban. The OAF has a healthy balance of underground niche acts mixed with more popular mainstream groups. You’ll hear groups like Mudhoney, Born Ruffians, Tokimonsta, Okkervil River, Gold Panda, and others perform your favorites. With so much to see and do at the OAF, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to share photos and videos between you and your friends’ T-Mobile cell phones.
Goodgod’s co-owners Jimmy Sing and Hana Shimada dedicated their “one-stop funhouse” on Chinatown’s Livepool Street to the local “community of music lovers, artists and party-heads.” The atmosphere is fun and zany with an interior that seems like 1950s Cuba and the creators of the Flinstones had a love baby while watching Rocko’s Modern Life. Get a bite to eat at The Dip, the venue’s diner segment dishing up Americana favorites like hot dogs and pulled pork, before you head down to the Danceteria and have a jolly good time until the wee hours of the morning. This is the sort of place you’ll visit with your friends on a regular basis. You’ll hear yupster favorites like Thom Yorke, Mount Kimbie, The Drums, SBTRKT, Architecture in Helsiniki, RiFF RAFF, and Toro Y Moi play their hearts out at Goodgod.
You’ll have to travel down grungy London-esque avenues of Surry Hills to get to The Standard, “a premier all-purpose art space created to fulfill the needs of Sydney’s burgeoning creative community.” This is a no-frills place that dedicates its space solely to one thing–the show. Nearly all of the venue’s 355 square meters are wide open, excluding the bars and bathroom amenities conveniently placed near the entrance and away from the stage. The Standard’s built up a bit of a legendary reputation since the 80s, hosting big names like the Beastie Boys, INXS, Childish Gambino, and De La Soul, as well as smaller cult-following acts like XXYYXX, Wavves, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
If you’re looking for a more muted, intimate place on the fringe of Sydney’s music scene, 505 is the place to go. This inconspicuous place in Surry Hills is rife with all things roots, groove, funk, and jazz. Curl up at one of the club’s cozy tables and have an enjoy an intimate evening of up close and person live music performance. The staff of 505 always has something going on through the week, featuring six themed nights of music and activities for local audiophiles. You’ll see all variety of local, national, and international acts come through here. Jesse Witney, PeÃ±a Flamenca, The Hpstones, James Muller Trio, and Freaks in Love are some of the acts slated to perform December 2013.
Sydney, Australia attracts some of the best musical talent the world over. Make the best of your evenings and experience that talent live at one of these venues.