Tonight’s the night of the Live Music Safari, Melbourne Music Week’s biggest night of music. Right across the CBD, 13 venues will be opening their doors and showcasing some incredible talent and the best part is it’s all free. We’ve set Lee Snipes a challenge – see at least one band at each venue and stay sober enough to live blog the entire thing. Keep checking back throughout the evening to see where Lee is, what he’s drinking and who he’s seeing. It’s bound to be entertaining!

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The Time: 6:25PM
The Venue: Thousand £ Bend
The Drink: Red Bull
The Band: Atolls

More a warehouse space than a music venue, Atolls’ psychedlic garage rock actually seems right at home here. Crowd is a little sparse right now, no doubt people are still making their way from work.

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The Time: 7:15PM
The Venue: The Liberty Social
The Drink: Peroni
The Band: Jonny Telafone

Inside this underground bar it’s neon lights, lasers, smoke and a huge mirror ball. Jonny Telafone’s future noir makes the whole place feel like you’re in a Philip K Dick novel and it’s awesome.

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The Time: 8:20PM
The Venue: Cherry Bar
The Drink: Fat Yak
The Band: Sweethearts

Stunning vocals and gorgeous horns, Sweethearts killing it at Cherry. It’s packed in there – couldn’t even get to the stairs, let alone down them.

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The Time: 9:35PM
The Venue: Bennetts Lane Jazz Club
The Drink: None
The Band: Tim Willis & The End

Wandered up to Bennetts Lane but couldn’t even get in the door of the Jazz Club. Tim Willis & The End totally filled the joint. The sounds wafted out to where I was standing and it was easy to see why. Loved it.

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The Time: 9:45PM
The Venue: Section 8
The Drink: None
The Band: JPS (The Operatives) …I think

Another popular one! Went to enter and was stopped by a security guard directing me to line of about 80+ people. The music was funky as hell and the view down the alley looked like a lot of fun but I wasn’t about to wait…

The Time: 10:10PM
The Venue: The Curtin
The Drink: None
The Band: None – just missed Mesa Cosa

And this is the end of the challenge. I really love Mesa Cosa so missing their set is devastating. But that’s kind of what happens: 13 gigs all in one night, across the CBD, all with conflicting (and hardly concrete) set times kind of puts you in a position where you have to choose one or two tops if you want to see a whole set.

Despite failing the challenge, I think I did pretty well to see as much as I did. I managed to visit 8 of 13 venues (I rocked up to Boney and Ding Dong well in advance of their first bands) and did manage to hear plenty of great music. The walking between venues would have been fine if I could have timed it so I arrived right on the start of a set but it didn’t happen once.

Next year I’m picking one and staying there all night.

Editor’s Note:

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