A Night Out in Northcote

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High Street Northcote

Last week it was time to hit the town and head out into Melbourne for dinner and a show. Nothing’s better than dinner and a show, right? I was lucky enough to have won two tickets to see ‘Behind the Seams’ at the Wesley Ann in Northcote, featuring two musical acts interspersed with some improvisation.

Melbourne is, folks, a great city to go out and see music or theatre, something I recommend you do if you’re ever in town. There are lots of inner suburbs which have live venues, Northcote being one of them, just to the north of town, and easily accessed by train and tram. For me, coming from the South-Eastern Suburbs, well, it takes a bit longer, and I went by car.

Firstly I did a bit of a search online for restaurants in the area, and after searching through around 100 (oh yes, Melbourne is also brilliant for dining, with every cuisine under the sun available if you know where to look from Ethiopian to Japanese). But in the end we went for a wood-fired pizza place called ‘Pizza e Vino’.

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I had the standard Capriciosa pizza (that’s olives, ham and mushroom) and my wife had a really nice artichoke pizza. They have a deal on three nights a week (Tuesday to Thursday) which is $20 for a pizza and a glass of house wine, and it can be the small or large size pizza so it worked out pretty well. The red was really nice, the white perhaps was a little acidic but for dining out with proper wood-fired pizza, it seemed a reasonable deal.

It turned out, unbeknownst to me, that the Wesley Anne was only a couple of doors down, and it is really a great venue. It has an intimate stage and seating for a small crowd, with tables and so forth so you can eat and watch the show at the same time. They have music or a show on most nights except maybe Mondays. Check their website here – The Wesley Anne.

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Next to the stage area is a nice bar, they do food as I said, but the best thing is the building – it’s housed in an old church which you can clearly see in the bar area. Melbourne is full of these kinds of spots, perfect for a few drinks, an intimate night out, or a meal and a show.

The show featured two acts. Firstly, The Ukulele Ladies took to the stage with a mixture of tunes and improvised comedy. They were great! Very funny and worked well together. I have always been jealous of anyone who could play the ukulele and really should whack that on my bucket list!

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Secondly came ‘Bobby and the Pins’, four girls doing barbershop melodies and also improvised stories in between. The harmonies and arrangements were great, and it’s not the sort of music that’s easy to find to go and listen to, but it is very easy listening. Ok, I know one of the girls in ‘Bobby and the Pins’, which is why I liked and shared their facebook page, which is why I ended up winning tickets!

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The singing and arrangements are really tight, and simply, unless it’s really not your thing, it’s great entertainment. Lots of laughs and toe-tapping for both shows, in a great venue in a great part of town. Exactly the sort of thing I’d love to find when in a foreign city, and because the emphasis is on the music, not a big deal if some of the banter (in English) is a little hard to understand if English is not your first language.

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If you are in town and looking for a great night out (that isn’t, you a giant techno party with glow sticks and the like, each to their own ;)) Then I recommend checking out the Wesley Anne. Melbourne has a lot of hidden gems though, great restaurants and fantastic venues for live entertainment. I’ll be sure to write about the next one I go to too!

By the way, if you’re in town in early July, Bobby and the Pins will have their new show ‘Glamping’ up and about from the 3rd to the 6th of July at ‘The Butterfly Club’. Another great Melbourne venue. If it sounds like something you’d be interested in, please do check it out!

Tomorrow, we hit the rails again in the sub-continent! Until then, may the journey never end!

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