New Thornbury live music venue to open: ‘Biggest Simpsons meme in town’

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New Thornbury live music venue to open: ‘Biggest Simpsons meme in town’

A new live music venue called Shotkickers is set to open on High Street in Thornbury this January, taking over the space formerly home to Swamplands Bar and Tago Mago.

Melbourne musicians Christopher Windley and Mathias Northway are the pair behind Shotkickers, Thornbury’s newest live music venue on High St. Currently undergoing renovations, the venue will officially open its doors in January.

Formerly Swamplands Bar and Tago Mago, the new ownership comes with a major revamp to the 200 cap venue, including a larger stage, new band room, booth seating throughout the venue and a kitchen menu brought to you by Get Out of Here Burger.

The announcement comes on the same day that the new owners of the 1500 capacity, heritage-listed Northcote Theatre announced it was transforming into a new live music venue.

What you need to know

  • Shotkickers is set to become Thornbury’s newest live music venue
  • The 200-cap bandroom is set to undergo a major renovation
  • It’s in the space formerly home to Swamplands Bar and Tago Mago

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

Windley has been active in the music scene since 2010; spending recent years as a venue booker for The.Beast, Belleville and Some Velvet Morning. He’s performed as a drummer for acts like Mangelwurzel, Dallas Frasca, Harmony Byrne, and as a tour manager for The Teskey Brothers. Northway has toured Australia, and the globe, fronting his rock band CHILD.

With the live music industry recollecting after a turbulent few years, Windley and Northway, both Thornbury locals, say they’re driven by the desire to look after bands extremely well.

“It’s a venue built by musicians, for musicians, says Windley. “The bar was welded by a muso. The stage was built by musos. The roof got painted by musos. Everyone is so excited to bring something fresh to the scene”

“While reimagining the venue we’ve had the artist experience at the forefront of every decision” Northway explains. “Bands have had a rough trot of late and many incredible musicians live a stones throw away. We love the idea that bands could literally walk to the venue, backline is provided, booze is flowing and the sound system is top notch.”

The duo landed on the name Shotkickers as a tip of the hat to a bar featured in an episode of The Simpsons.

“Shotkickers is a band venue Marge visits where the men are super rowdy yet super gentlemanly, and it seemed like a great mantra” says Windley. “I also love Simpsons sh*tposting so hopefully I can claim to own the biggest Simpsons meme in town.”

Swamplands Bar (originally Tago Mago) opened in 2010 and was a Thornbury live music institution, regularly hosting artists such as Spencer P Jones, Kim Salmon and Hugo Race.