LOCALITY – Canberra Kicks Off 2023 In Style

Canberra Local Column by Ruth O’Brien

Happy New Year!! How is 2023 kicking off for you? Hope you’re having a good time wherever you are and that you’ve had some downtime over the holiday period.

I had a very pleasant time myself, thanks for asking. Ate Macca’s on Christmas night for the first time ever, that was actually really great. (Bossman Note: This is what happens when you AI image generate McDonald’s at Christmas)

Also got into an array of non-alcoholic beers; can totally recommend! It’s so great to see that cultural change.

When I was in my 20s (which wasn’t very long ago tbh!), non-alcoholic beer was unheard of. Like, barely existed. Now, it’s becoming so commonplace that it’s almost (almost) becoming weird to WANT to drink alcohol. Getting sloshed just ain’t as cool as it used to be, apparently.

Anyway, great to see these shifts happening as we enter another year which, by the way, is looking to be a fantastic one for shows, festivals, and fun times all ‘round! Please see below…

Step Into My Salon

Coming up on the 3rd and 4th of Feb is another instalment of Ainslie Salon! Presented by Arts Capital at the Ainslie Arts Centre, Ainslie Salon is an exciting project that has been on the go since early 2022.

Potential @ Ainslie Salon

Produced and programmed by the ever-talented, Sia Ahmad, Ainslie Salon this time ’round features Bree van Reyk (vibraphone) and Mick Turner (guitar) who will perform tunes off van Reyk’s new album, Superclusters.

Performing on Saturday, there’s the wonderful dark-pop synth wave (plus sax) three-piece from Sydney, Potential. The band will be joined by local act Lost Coast, and are releasing their new album, Normal, a concept album with the focus on the body within an ableist society. You can find out more about all of the acts at Ainslie Salon via the website, ainslieandgorman.com.au/whats-on

Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Elton John Together At Last

If you wanna spend your afternoon on Saturday, 4 February outside being serenaded by lovely music from the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, you’d best get along to Queanbeyan’s Music By the River from 3-11pm.

The program this year is dedicated to the Rocketman  – A Tribute to Elton John, with Darren Percival as guest vocalist. There’ll also be some other local musicians performing including Canberra Harmony Chorus, Duralla Street Dudes and Woodface. This event is all ages and is free in some areas. Paid tickets are only $12.10! For all the details, head to cso.org.au

On Tuesday, 7 February, the Belco Jazz Band will be performing at Molly from 7:30pm until 11pm. Led by Matt Dennett (piano and organ) and joined by Chris Johnstone (guitar) and Stephen Richards (drums), the trio will perform a variety of jazz classics and originals. For more info, head to molly.bar

Further Canberra Shananigans [sic]

On the Saturday, 11 February, The Basement (in collab with Shananigans Entertainment and Oztix) brings you a right ol’ blast from the past with the 90s N 00s Music Festival.

There’ll be eight acts (made up of local musicians) featured in the night who’ll be paying tribute to some unforgettable favourites including Korn, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, System of a Down, Guns ’n’ Roses, and many more. Tickets can be purchased from the Oztix website for some coinage to the value of $30 + bf (or $25 if you get in quick!).Definitely a fun night to be had at this one.

That VERY SAME NIGHT, they’ll be a competing yet completely different event happening over at the amazing Flazéda Hub on Emu Bank from 7:30pm.

GlitterBox is a party for the LGBTQIA+ community, BIPOC folk and friends and had several sold-out events throughout 2022! This one is a Valentine World Pride Edition and is all about love, kindness, freedom, and self expression. To book tickets, head to trybooking.com/CFDON.

On the Saturday, 18 February at 5pm, Big Reef will be taking the Live at the Polo stage with local faves, Miroji. Also on the bill is Realname (Naarm/Melb) and My World Blurry.

This one is only $13 for four bands, can you believe? For this absolute bargain you’ll see four up ’n’ coming acts plus you might even have a dance, have some remarkable conversations, meet the love of your life, who knows? Worth finding out for $13 bucks, I say! 

Sisters Doing It For Themselves

And, just to give a li’l plug early on, BurntOut Bookings presents CBR GRRRLS To The Front on Saturday, 4 March at The Basement! The line-up includes VOIID, Box Dye, Masochist and Pretty In Punk and is a celebration for International Women’s Day.

Gigs like this ensure the voices of women in our local music scene continue to be heard and lifted. And, in case this gig wasn’t already wholesome enough, $5 of every ticket sale will be donated to Girls Rock! Canberra to ensure more young people have the opportunity to play music from an early age. To buy tickets, head to thebasementcanberra.oztix.com.au

That’s just a small snapshot of what’s going on in our amazing music community this month. Always be sure to support local music where you can! It may seem small but it helps those in the scene immeasurably; possibly in ways you might never know.

See ya next month! 

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