Melbourne Recital Centre’s April contemporary music series is bound to astound you

Melbourne Recital Centre’s April contemporary music series is bound to astound you

Recital Centre - Photo by Jackson Grant.
Words by Eva Marchingo
In partnership with Melbourne Recital Centre

With autumn setting in, Melbourne Recital Centre also turns over a new leaf with an array of exciting immersive live music experiences.

The award-winning venue is renowned for the acoustic brilliance in both performance spaces, which have seen some of the best local and international artists and ensembles perform.

Exquisitely designed, Melbourne Recital Centre is no ordinary venue, and is certainly one of the rare places in Melbourne that makes you forget you’re in the city. The building does more than just eliminate the sounds of surrounding Southbank, it provides a responsive environment for the music glowing within.

Check out Melbourne’s most comprehensive gig guide here. 

The Centre’s contemporary music series is providing a home for some of the world’s best contemporary musicians, bringing genres from prog-rock to pop, and sounds born from cross-cultural collaborations between boundary-breaking artists.

From April to June, the Centre presents Season Two: Evolve, a series drawing inspiration from the metamorphosis of autumn. Entering a new phase of live music experiences, Season Two: Evolve is a celebration of the richness of Australia’s diverse talent.

A venue as divine as Melbourne Recital Centre only deserves the best, and with a packed lineup for April, we’re giving you an inside look at the most exciting acts on the horizon.

Martha Marlow

Sydney singer songwriter Martha Marlow is bringing her ARIA nominated album, Medicine Man, to Elisabeth Murdoch Hall for one special night in April. Known for vulnerable yet powerful performances, Martha is bound to infiltrate your soul with music you can feel.

Accompanying Marlow and her band on stage is a 17-piece chamber orchestra led by Nigel Westlake, which will prove Marlow’s voice, in all its delicacy, has an unyielding ability to hold court amongst impressive ensembles.

On the night, Marlow will perform her debut album in its entirety. Medicine Man is an introspective display of longing and hope, which showcases Marlow’s mature storytelling and ability to use old school influences to create something contemporary. It received a nomination for Best Blues and Roots Album at the 2021 ARIA awards.

Catch Martha Marlow from 7.30pm April 6. Tickets cost $55-$65.

Amadou & Mariam

The duo labelled as, “[Africa’s] most prominent cultural exports,” are returning to the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall with their expressive Afro-pop. They’ll be bringing bright and creative tunes, inspired by their own love story, to demonstrate the prowess they’ve achieved after almost four decades in the industry.

Synergy is evident not just in Amadou & Mariam’s music, but in their stage presence. Those lucky enough to snap up tickets are in for a transformative night that will leave no wonder as to why the duo are considered the most famous ambassadors for Malian and African music around the world.

Amadou & Mariam exude joy and optimism even while exploring themes of inequality and uncertainty, displaying depth and creative nous in their work. Prepare yourself for the lively event with Melbourne Recital Centre’s Sound Junction – a free outdoor series featuring Melbourne’s best-loved DJs, starting from 6pm.

Catch Amadou & Mariam from 7.30pm April 14. Tickets cost $65-$85.

Endless Boogie & Howlin Rain

Endless Boogie & Howlin Rain are coming together in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall to co-headline a night of sonic exploration. Endless Boogie can always be relied on for their minimalist sound that lies somewhere between electric blues and classic rock.

In a similar act of fusion, Howlin Rain’s takes its poetic lyricism and lets psychedelic sounds shape it into something truly joyous. They’ll be playing songs from their newly released album, The Dharma Wheel, which makes you feel like you’ve dipped into a new world, unsure of whether it’s in the past or present but blissfully content, nonetheless.

If you’re still getting back into the groove of concert going, this is the one for you. Remember why you fell in love with live music while you’re cocooned in sounds that are both nostalgic and modern all at the same time.

Catch Endless Boogie & Howlin Rain from 7.30pm April 20. Tickets cost $65.

Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders

Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders are gracing Elisabeth Murdoch Hall with their finest work to date, Hijack! which was released in 2021. Ladder’s deep voice is like velvet as he delivers poignant line after line over lush orchestral stings, and will no doubt find its home in the acoustic heaven of Melbourne Recital Centre.

The performance will revolve around the latest album, in all its beautiful sorrow, and feature Ladder’s band The Dreamlanders to produce an atmosphere thick with life, death, love, and pathos.

Ladder is renowned for embodying then discarding genres spanning from folk, blues, new-wave, and electro-pop. His latest album is a down-tempo journey through wreckage that elicits a life-affirming ease in the listener.

Catch Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders from 7.30pm April 27. Tickets cost $49-$59.

Book tickets and find out more information about Melbourne Recital Centre’s Season Two: Evolve program here.