Castlemaine State Festival
If you’re a live-music fan with a proclivity for memorable gigs and a regional road trip, it’s worth hightailing it an hour-and-a-half inland to Castlemaine this March.
The Castlemaine State Festival has curated an enviable line-up of international, local and very local acts for a series of shows at the iconic Theatre Royal.
Castlemaine’s own Puta Madre Brothers will kick things off with their gringo-garage grooves on March 22. Iceland’s mesmerising songstress Jófríður Ákadóttir, aka JFDR, who counts Björk among her fans, will make her Australian debut on March 28, and you might want to pack earplugs for Tropical Fuck Storm’s show on March 24 – the Drones-spawned noise rockers are a musical tour de force. Their debut album A Laughing Death in Meatspace was one of the best local releases of 2018.
Melbourne songwriter Laura Jean’s 2018 Devotion also made plenty of “best of” lists at year’s end. The record was a synth-heavy pop departure from her usual brand of elegant folk, and she'll be bringing her new sound to the theatre stage on March 23.
Founding member of the Birthday Party and Nick Cave’s right-hand man in the Bad Seeds for more than two decades, punk icon Mick Harvey will perform a selection of Serge Gainsbourg songs with a live band and string quartet in the arvo on March 31; Indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan and the Putbacks will be grooving into the night on March 30; and self-described “cosmic funk house band” Mildlife are playing March 29.
And last up you can Whip It with Castlemaine’s premier Devo cover band – Davo – on March 31 from 8pm.