Loving live music isn’t just about attending music festivals and seeing an international artist’s massive arena show.

Even the biggest of big-name headliners started in the trenches, on the sticky carpets and bandrooms of your local bars and pubs – which is exactly where you should be if you want to discover your new favourite band or venue.

Here are our picks for this week’s best local gigs from Aussie talent – from Perth to the East Coast – and all for the price of a good meal.

Total Giovanni & More

Where: Red Bull Sound Select, Bondi Beach NSW
When: 8pm – 11pm, Friday Dec 16
Why: In a night curated by I OH YOU, Melbourne’s rhythmic geniuses Total Giovanni are joined by András & Oscar Key Sung, Confidence Man and DJ Levins for a damn good night of music in Bondi – and it could all be yours for just three bucks if you RSVP. That’s ridiculously good value, so get around it.
Tickets & Info: $10 or $3 w/ RSVP, more info here.

Holy Balm & More

Where: Portugal Madeira Club, Marrickville NSW
When: 5:30pm – 2:30am, Saturday Dec 17
Why: Sydney party-starters Holy Balm head up a stacked lineup of acts including Second Sight, Sex Tourists, Video Ezy and plenty more as Sydney label Paradise Daily Records celebrate their second birthday, kicking off in the arvo and raging on into the night.
Tickets & Info: $13, more info here.

Ali Barter

Where: Wildlife, Brisbane QLD
When: 8pm – 1am, Thursday Dec 15
Why: Wildlife celebrate their first three months with a perfect pairing of Ali Barter and Cloud Tangle, a perfect way to wind the week down of a Thursday evening.
Tickets & Info: $10, more info here.

The Creases & More

Where: The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
When: Thursday Dec 15
Why: The Creases pull out the DJ decks this week, joined by Mumgenes, Top Dollar, Max Chillen & The Kerbside Collective for a free party celebrating “the best Electronic, Post-Punk, New Wave, Britpop, Synth Pop, Acid-House & everything in between”.
Tickets & Info: Free, more info here.


Where: The Northern, Byron Bay NSW
When: 8pm – 12am, Friday Dec 16
Why: For the second-last leg of their ‘All Of The Noise’ EP launch tour, Catlecomer bring their guitar-pop anthems to Byron for a free gig, before wrapping the tour up the following night – one of the best free shows you’ll find, no doubt about it.
Tickets & Info: Free, more info here.

Gretta Ray & Ainslie Wills

Where: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC
When: 7:30pm – 9:30pm, Wednesday Dec 14
Why: Winner of both triple j Unearthed High and the prestigious Vanda & Young songwriting award (worth a cool $50k, incidentally), Gretta Ray has had a big year, as has Ainslie Wills, who is fresh off supporting Grouplove in the UK and Bernard Fanning locally. The pair head to Melbourne for an intimate show on Wednesday night – what more can you ask for?
Tickets & Info: $14.50, more info here.

Lanks & Hein Cooper

Where: Rocket Bar, Adelaide SA
When: 8pm – 5am, Saturday Dec 17
Why: Rising Melbourne star LANKS heads to Adelaide as part of his tour with NSW indie-pop artist Hein Cooper, a great double bill if ever there was one – and that’s before throwing in a live support from Rin McArdle, and choons all night from Brandeaux, J. Hennessy and Young Muscle DJs for those who want to keep the party rolling.
Tickets & Info: $15, more info here.

Alice Ivy & Saatsuma

Where: The Gasometer Hotel
When: 7pm – 11pm, Thursday Dec 15
Why: Poor Alice Ivy may have just broken her leg, but other than that she’s had a pretty great year, and we know it won’t stop her from delivering one of her signature high-energy shows, joined by neo-soul outfit SAATSUMA for a double-header. CORIN in support is a very juicy bonus, not to mention DJ Precious (of Jaala) on the decks.
Tickets & Info: $15, more info here.

Japanese Wallpaper & More

Where: The Factory Floor, Sydney NSW
When: Thursday Dec 15
Why: Now, Japanese Wallpaper is a great start, to be sure – but don’t discount the rest of this bill, assembled to celebrate the launch of Melbourne label Neat Lawn. Jack Grace is an incredible act to witness live, Huntly is launching a new single, and Stay At Home Son & Frances Fox round out a great night. A tenner, get on it.
Tickets & Info: $10+bf, more info here.

Polyester Records / Chapter Music

Where: The Factory Floor, Sydney NSW
When: 8pm – 12am, Friday Dec 16
Why: Polyester Records and Chapter Music have preeeettty pretty good rosters, we must say, and when you throw a bunch of their acts together in the two rooms of The Tote on a Friday night, you’re in for a good’un. Official Tone Deaf Track of the Year 2016 winners friendships are joined by Nun, HABITS, Twerps, and a stack more. It’s $16, we know, but if you consider each room a separate stage, it’s almost like two amazing gigs for $8 each…
Tickets & Info: $16, more info here.

Confidence Man & More

Where: The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne VIC
When: 6:30pm – 1:30am, Sunday December 18
Why: The new Aussie supergroup to watch, Confidence Man are joined by a host of local talent in Batts, Huntly, Aeora, Elish Gilligan and heaps more as they pile into The Gaso for an epic Sunday sesh with a stack of DJs.
Tickets & Info: $15, more info here.

Don Fernando 10th Anniversary

Where: Cherry Bar, Melbourne VIC
When: 6pm – 11pm, Saturday December 17
Why: Melbourne rock stalwarts Don Fernando celebrate an epic decade of blood, sweat and beers this week at Melbourne’s home of rock, Cherry Bar. A rotating lineup of past and present members will be there, including members of King Parrot, King of the North, Warped, Swidgen and Grindhouse, and a huge turnout of support acts are celebrating, including Dr Colossus, Two Headed Dog, Black Rheno and Junkyard. Here’s to another ten years!
Tickets & Info: $13, more info here.

Horace Bones

Where: The Evelyn, Melbourne VIC
When: Tuesday December 13
Why: How’s “free entry, cheap as fuck drinks” sound? Horace Bones continue their psych-garage residency at The Evelyn tonight supported by General Man, followed by sets over the next couple of weeks with Going Swimming and The Football Club.
Tickets & Info: Free, more info here.