Ten unmissable Brunswick Music Festival gigs to catch before the festival ends

Ten unmissable Brunswick Music Festival gigs to catch before the festival ends

Cong Josie and the Crimes
Words by Eva Marchingo

Brunswick Music Festival’s 2021 iteration is in its final week and there are still a host of exquisite gigs to see before she goes.

Making up for its mid-festival cancellation in 2020, Brunswick Music Festival has outdone itself with a program of gigs all under $10 plus booking fee.

We know Moreland has a strong knack for providing the best Melbourne has to offer regarding musical talent and gigs, which is never quite as obvious as during this auspicious event.

Here are our picks of the best gigs to see in the last five days of the festival.

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D’Arcy Spiller

Tender and poignant, D’Arcy Spiller is gracing the Brunswick Ballroom this Wednesday for Brunswick Music Festival. Her powerful and unique voice contrasts with a gentle stage presence to make her a truly engaging performer.

Joining Spiller upstairs at the Brunswick Ballroom is songwriter, Harris. Perhaps known better as the frontman of rock group, Fan Girl, Harris describes his solo pursuit as, ‘naturally confessional’.

The combination of their music will so beautifully collapse you into those all too achingly familiar places, coating your shared experiences with validation.

It’s happening at 7pm on Wednesday March 10 at Brunswick Ballroom (Upstairs). Tickets $10 +BF.


From Native Tongue success in 2018 to playing a show with Orchestra Victoria at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl earlier this year, there is no stopping Mo’Ju.

Characteristically undefinable, the sounds of Mo’Ju are ever-surprising and always enjoyable.

Joining Mo’Ju at Gilpin Park will be River Boy – the solo project from Narayana Johnson, a.k.a one half of Willow Beats – and a DJ set from Soju Gang.

Make the most of this outdoor event by bringing a stocked (non-alcoholic) picnic basket and ground covering.

It’s happening at 7pm on Wednesday March 10 at Gilpin Park. Tickets $10 +BF.

Play Something We Don’t Know (Dancing with the Ghost of Jim Cuomo)

Inspired by internationally renowned composer and musician, Jim Cuomo, comes an amalgam of delicious jazz, psychedelic, electronica, and world music.

The late Jim Cuomo spent his time in Melbourne creating work for the MCB Phoenix Project among other local groups. A group of eight bands are coming together at Cross Street Music to pay tribute to the legend.

On the line up: MCB Phoenix Project, The Jim Cuomo Trio, Ronny Ferella, Callum G’Froerer, Jenny Barnes, Eugene Ball, Phil Noy, and Hans Knutson.

Bodies swaying and toes tapping, this is one night guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

It’s happening at 7:30pm on Wednesday March 10 at Cross Street Music Hall. Tickets $5 +BF.

Cong Josie and The Crimes

All hail Australia’s sleazy snake-oil-selling cowboy. Nicolaas Oogjes alter ego, Cong Josie is putting on a bolo tie-wearing, synth-loving party of a show at Noisy Ritual this Thursday.

With Simona Castricum on support, it’s hard to see this show get any more enticing, but somehow it does. With free entry and both seated and standing room available, this show will transport you to a neon-clad wild west for the night.

It’s first in best dressed, although no one could be better dressed than cowboy Cong himself.

It’s happening at 6pm on Thursday March 11 at Noisy Ritual. FREE.

Bitch Diesel

The rock and roll troika are ready to pull you into a night that will remind you just how much you love live music.

The Melbourne band are set to release their long-awaited debut album and rumour has it, their local independent record label, Roolette Records, will be releasing a limited edition run of cassettes to accompany.

Joining Bitch Diesel upstairs at the Brunswick Ballroom is The Bush, self-described as incorporating, “gentle guitars, yet brazen attitudes [to] deliver songs of contemporary anxieties with a calm eloquence”.

Get ready for a night packed with cheeky charm.

It’s happening at 7pm on Thursday March 11 at Brunswick Ballroom (Upstairs), Tickets $10.


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The Pretty Littles

For all lovers of fiery yell-along gigs, The Pretty Littles are throwing an event for you. The four-piece garage rock band knows just how to satiate the Brunswick appetite.

Supporting them will be Barefoot Bowls, a homegrown indie three-piece, and The Spaghetti Stains, an all-female alternative surf rock group.

Get in early to this free event as The Pretty Littles have a knack for selling out venues due to their contagious likeability. With seated and standing room available, you’ll be catapulted right into the raucous fun.

It’s happening at 7:30pm on Thursday March 11 at Stay Gold, FREE.

Zoe Fox and the Rocket Clocks + Gena Rose Bruce

For a whimsical show that will have you shimmying and twisting all night long, Zoe Fox and the Rocket Clocks have you covered.

Their quirky ’60s-inspired alternative-pop and shimmering galactic inspired outfits will transport you to another dimension.

Joined by Gena Rose Bruce and DJ Lyndelle Wilkinson at Barkly Square, this free afternoon event will dip in and out of disco, funk, soul, jazz, and new wave.

The joint forces of these three acts are sure to jumpstart your Friday night.

It’s happening at 4pm on Friday March 12 at Barkly Square, FREE.

Romero and Program

Rich riffs and heavy-hearted pop hooks, Romero are a testament to old-soul rock and roll. The band sports a rumbling sound and houses an immaculate way of building energy in their music.

Supporting them for this afternoon gig is Program, the collaborative songwriting project taking inspiration from Californian indie rock and guitar-pop from New Zealand.

For an afternoon gig that feels like a best-of for late-night share house jam sessions, head to Edinburgh Castle Hotel to see Romero and Program.

It’s happening at 4pm on Saturday March 13 at Edinburgh Castle Hotel, FREE.


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Music in Exile Presents Ausecuma Beats

Ausecuma Beats are so much more than just a band, they are the sound of a musical community conducted by nothing but an idea.

The ensemble is lead by master djembe player, Boubacar Gaye, and is made up of nine unique individuals, each exceptional in their craft.

The visceral spirit in their music comes from a joint philosophy: wanting to inject cultural heritage into this contemporary city

Playing two sets at Sparta Place, the beautiful sounds of Ausecuma Beats are the perfect treat for a Saturday night.

It’s happening at 6pm on Saturday March 13 at Sparta Place, FREE.

Swinging Sunday

Who wouldn’t love an afternoon at The Moldy Fig swinging along to jazz-blues classics from the ’20s to the ’60s?

Just about the perfect event to round out the weekend – and indeed Brunswick Music Festival itself – Swinging Sunday features music from Flying Home and Floyd Thursby.

Floyd Thursby kicks the gig off with a kaleidoscope of musical brilliance from secret corners of the world while Flying home brings the show home with swing music that will make sitting still a mean feat.

It’s happening at 1pm Sunday March 14 at The Moldy Fig, FREE.

Grab tickets and find out more by visiting the BMF website.