LIVE music is facing numerous challenges in Newcastle be it from the development of residential housing, lock-out laws or from TV and home entertainment.
But it’s not stopping Mayfield’s Stag and Hunter Hotel from investing in live music. On January 31 the venue will launch its new expanded front bar with a performance from Hunter Valley Americana band Magpie Diaries.
The Stag's front bar has been under construction over the holiday period to create more viewing room for music punters. New toilets have also been installed.
It’s all part of Stag and Hunter owner Mick Starkey’s plan to further establish the hotel as one of Newcastle’s premier live music venues.
“There’s so many things people can do from their own lounge rooms these days, but watching live music isn’t one of them,” Starkey said.
“In a nutshell, I just love it. An accountant would tell me I’m mad because there’s no money in it, but it’s my hobby.”
Starkey will continue booking local rock, blues and Americana bands, but he also has plans to expand into more international touring acts.
They include Barcelona-based Australia musician Steve Smyth on February 3 and Irish folk singer-songwriter Daoiri Farrell on February 28.
PRESETS PROGRAM WINE MACHINE
THERE were plenty of disappointed Newcastle music fans last year when The Presets avoided the Hunter on their national tour for their impressive comeback album Hi Viz.
The good news is Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes will be performing their first Hunter show since the 2017 This That Festival on March 23 when they headline Hot Dub Wine Machine at Roche Estate.
The electro heavyweights will be joined by house maestro Hayden James, indie-electro act Confidence Man, Hot Dub Time Machine, Graace, Happiness Is Wealth and Maitland sister duo Kinder.
ANYONE hanging out for Deep Sea Arcade’s anticipated return to Newcastle will be waiting a little longer.
The Sydney psychedelic-indie band were supposed to kick-off their Australian tour at the Cambridge Hotel on Friday, but they have been forced to postpone their tour dates for January “due to forces beyond our control.”
Deep Sea Arcade have offered full refunds and promised to reschedule the dates for March and April.
PIGS GO TO MARKET
BLUEGRASS clowns, The Pigs, are preparing to unleash a more pop-rock sound on their forthcoming fifth album, Hillbilly Synthesiser.
The album is due for release on January 18 in time for their appearance at the Tamworth Country Music Festival five days later at the Capitol Theatre. Newcastle audiences have their opportunity to see The Pigs, complete in their blue singlets and hats, when they play Lizotte’s on March 8.
BOB AROUND AGAIN
BOB Evans, aka Jebediah frontman Kevin Mitchell, is dusting off his fabled songbook for another series of intimate shows around NSW and Victoria throughout March.
The Full Circle Tour will arrive at Newcastle’s 48 Watt Street on March 15 and there will be a special treat for longtime fans.
Each audience member will receive a ticket in the Bob Evans Song Raffle and the winner will have the opportunity to request any song Mitchell has ever recorded.
With five albums of Bob Evans material to choose from, ranging from his 2003 debut Suburban Kid to 2016’s Car Boot Sale, the choice could be potentially challenging.
OZ DAY PARTY
THE chances are high that either Luca Brasi or West Thebarton could be celebrating inclusions in the Triple J Hottest 100 come January 27.
Tasmanian four-piece Luca Brasi had a massive year with their fourth album Stay, while West Thebarton exploded out of working-class Adelaide with their debut Different Beings Being Different.
With both bands performing shows at the Cambridge Hotel on that day, it made sense to extend the Newcastle West venue’s Triple J Hottest 100 party celebrations into full block party mode.
Joining Luca Brasi and West Thebarton on the bill will be Newcastle punks Split Feed, Northern Beaches indie lads Stumps, Jacob, Cry Club, Spit Chewy, Blue Velvet, Zampa, Good Thanks, Cooks & Bakers, Good Pash, Indigo Bloom, Gel and Two Knives.
THE 20-year and 10-year album anniversaries have become a regular occurrence on the touring circuits as bands attempt to recapture past glories.
But San Diego post-hardcore band Secrets aren’t even waiting that long to tap into nostalgia.
On February 3 the three-piece are celebrating their sophomore 2013 album Fragile Figures by bringing their five-year anniversary tour - which began in 2018 in the US - to the Cambridge Hotel.
Brisbane band Awaken I Am will support Secrets on their Australian tour.