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March 1, 2004 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Watching music in Wellington

Indigo Bar

(Level 1, 171 Cuba St, (04) 801 6797, – check out the weekly event guide)

Indigo has been in full operation for almost six year now. In that time it has played host to top local and national bands, DJs songwriters and comedians. Friday and Saturday nights are generally the busiest nights during the year.

One distinguishing feature is the recent addition of their balcony, which overlooks the hustle and bustle of Cuba St. Open seven days a week from 3p.m. till late, Sunday through Thursday, the bar is a decent size and entertains punters with nightly acts:
Tues Rock Cradle – Rock DJ plus weekly guest band. (No cover charge.)
Wed DJ’s Mode & Flex (Redline) – Jungle, D’N’B & Trip Hop. (No cover charge.)
Thurs Comedy runs for the most part of the year including local and national comedians.
Sun DJs Sam Dickson and Harley – deep, soulful and funky; different acts each week till 4a.m. (No cover charge.)

Bar Bodega

(103 Ghuznee St, (04) 384 8212, – weekly gig guide available)

The old, petite, albeit slightly rundown, but still wicked Bar Bodega, could be found on the corner of Abel Smith and Willis Sts. for the last ten years. The new flashy establishment (retaining the same name, ownership, staff and general features) is now located at the top of Ghuznee St. Playing host to many an excellent show over the years (including early Shihad, Supergroove and White Stripes shows), the bar is also heavily populated on Tuesdays (Beats & Bubbles night – $2.50 champagne flutes, very cheap, plus DJ). The bar also boasts a fair selection of good beers on tap. Bodega does its bit in supporting local artists, putting out a regular memo with reviews, a gig guide. Once again Fridays and Saturdays are generally busy, but keep an eye out for bands on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, doing the rounds throughout the year.


(Cnr Majoribanks St & Kent Tce, (04) 385 7698, – very flashy gig guide)

By far the more plush of the regular live music venues in Wellington, Sandwiches is a very recent staple in Wellington’s music scene. The bar is separated into a lounge bar and a club. It’s a tad on the expensive side and I’ve got the ‘young professional couples’ vibe every time I’ve been there. Still, dance, hip-hop, dub and electronica fans take note – this is the bar for you! Top national and local DJs seem to always be playing here. Most recently were Rhombus, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Freq Nasty and Tayo. Their website is absolutely sexy and they stream lots of info on the acts that are playing. Watch this space!


(154 Vivian St, (04) 385 1630, – yip, they’ve got a gig guide)

Hidden away discreetly behind a slightly seedy looking door in Wellington’s red-light district, Valve always seems to have a good variety of shit going down. Tuesday night is Drum’n’Bass night ($2 handles, $3 vodkas, three Heinekens for $10). Thursday, Friday and Saturday – you can always catch a handful of local rock bands blasting out tunes till the small hours of the morning. Greg, the owner (also known affectionately as Bro’), is always friendly and up for a chat. So if you can’t get access to the net, give him a call and he’ll gladly let you know what’s on during the week.

There are many more venues to check out music that caters to your tastes. I’ve just highlighted a few that seem to be dedicated to live music for over half or all the hours they’re open. For more info on live music each week check out the Package ( and Live Mag in cafes and bars around the city, or the Groove Guide.


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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