Grub up and get down: Here’s what’s on at Merri Bar this May

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Grub up and get down: Here’s what’s on at Merri Bar this May

pete broadway
Pete Broadway
Words by Kalani Giddey

We're in for a folky affair at Merri Bar people, so don those not-quite-warm-enough jackets and that old pair of boots, and get your weekend plans sorted!

Nestled into a quiet little corner of Preston, Merri Bar is serving up yet another month of indelible acts for our ears to feast upon. With a show every Saturday and Sunday for the entirety of May, you’d be remiss if you didn’t do anything about it!

Not only serving up a fine roster of some of the best folk, flamenco and bluegrass acts that Melbourne has to offer, the masterminds behind the bar have concocted a wide array of sumptuous libations to keep you company as these cold autumn nights grow colder still.

Merri Bar

  • 15 Gilbert Road, Preston
  • Gigs every Saturday and Sunday
  • Dog-friendly beer garden out the back

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

And if it couldn’t get any better, once again they are also holding an open mic competition on the first Thursday of the month, hosted by his eminence, Mr Alford. If you’d like to take part, do so here via the venue’s IG (link in bio). Happy Hunting!


  • Saturday, May 4

Melbourne-based Flamenco-fusion maestros Huanchaco are known for their electrifying sound; bounding rhythms dance around relentless flamenco runs as vocals and violin soar over the soundscape, the music carrying the audience to another place. They’ve carved out a path for themselves playing at venues like The Wesley Anne, The Thornbury Local, and The Bergy Seltzer and it won’t be their first time playing here either. Sizzling. 

Pete Broadway

  • Sunday, May 5

As part of several acts, Pete Broadway has his hands full. Under the names Ezra Hem and Fear of Flying, Pete Broadway has been playing around Australia for a number of years and has now decided to make his way around the Melbourne circuit under his own name. From the sounds of it, we can expect a lot of the same acoustic-driven emo-pop rock sound, albeit with a folky twist. Won’t be an act to miss!

The Delvenes

  • Saturday, May 11
  • With Zeitgeist Riders

The Delvenes are gearing up for a display of jangle and twang, bringing their Melbourne-flavoured surf rock to the small stage. With two singles and an album out, they describe their sound as “sweet songs that are scuffed in all the right places”, evoking the go-betweens with a “band-next-door” ethos. Supported by the alt-bluegrass band Zeitgeist Riders, it’s sure to be a night with smiles for miles.


  • Sunday, May 12

Clark and Harrison Knight will be bringing their gorgeous brand of Americana and folk to Merri Bar. Prepare yourselves for a bit of a tear-jerker, as these finger-pickers guide you downstream on a sturdy raft of melancholy, anguish and yearning, like poets from an age long past. They both possess this wistful quality that’s quite the rare commodity these days, with each melody like a wind whistling through the forest. So sit back, relax, and let it all wash over you.

Campbell Mowat


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  • Saturday, May 18

Campbell is perhaps best known as the bassist of Melbourne punk superstars Slim Jeffries, who played a farewell show on the 24th of April at Old Bar. Safe to say, this show will be a bit of a departure from that. Campbell has performed an eclectic variety of music from all sorts of genres, and it’ll be interesting to see what he conjures up with only an acoustic guitar in hand.

Szara Fox

  • Sunday, May 19

Hailing from the Netherlands, guitarist and songwriter Szara Fox bills her music as “indie-gypsy folk”, bringing influence from her own life and travels into her music, conjuring infectious, danceable grooves with her backing band, The Midnight Secrets. Sure to be a night of debauchery, let this sultry songstress help you dance the night away.

Matt Burrows

  • Saturday, May 25

Matt Burrows creates reflective and intelligent folk-pop, like something straight out of Nashville. Delicate guitar work lays the groundwork for his tales of trials and tribulations, his vocals oozing with woe as he jumps between a whisper and a shout, his high falsettos carrying us on home. Really beautiful stuff.

The Deadly Apple-Johns

  • Sunday, May 26

A sweet little act, two friends playing a mixture of old-school country numbers and pensive folk tunes. The duo are just as at home chicken pickin’ over some changes as they are pouring over a microphone, aimlessly plucking away over musings of love, loss, and time. Their voices blend together in perfect harmony, guitar lines weaving in and around each other like waterfalls. This band sounds like autumn.

For the scoop on all things Merri Bar, head here.