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February 14, 2005 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Places to Hear and Buy Music in Wellington

Bar Bodega )103 Ghuznee St; 384 8212)
Ahh, Bodega, the hang out spot of the beautiful people, particularly on a Tuesday night with Beats and Bubbles offering up cheap $2.50 champagne and a DJ. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest, but bands often play on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Bodega is well known for good music, with performances from the likes of The White Stripes and The Brunettes, as well as Shihad and Supergroove, while still managing to keep up the local contingent and support our city’s newest talent. There is a chalkboard right outside the front door, so a mere jaunt past will give you all the info on who’s playing and when.
Indigo Bar (Level 1, 171 Cuba St; 801 6797)

Indigo, by far my favourite place to spend a Saturday night, is home to of a number of different styles and tastes, ranging from rock on Tuesdays, to drum n’ bass and trip hop on Wednesdays, to local and international comedians of varying skill (just a quiet warning, rookie night can be a bit of a gamble), and Hip Hop on Thursdays. Pick which night of the week suits you, and make it a habit.

Indigo also sports a balcony, for those exiled smokers, which overlooks Cuba St and provides a nice change of pace from the thrum of inside.
Valve (154 Vivian St; 385 1630)

Don’t be afraid, although Valve is in the midst of Wellington’s red light district, its not that kind of bar. Valve showcases a number of different types of music, with drum ‘n bass on Tuesdays accompanied by cheap drinks, and local rock bands battling over the Thursday, Friday and Saturday night slots. Gigs at Valve rarely cost much, making it an affordable place to check out live music.

Sandwiches (Cnr Majoribanks St and Kent Tce; 385 7698
Sandwiches is fairly new in the Wellington music scene, but ever since it opened it seems to have been making up for lost time. If your a fan of electronica, drum ‘n bass, dub, house, the list goes on, Sandwiches is the place to be. Sandwiches has played host to international, national and local acts since its conception. In its first year it showcased acts like The People Under the Stairs, DJ Marky, Nathan Haines, and Bad Company, to name but a few. Tickets to these gigs, depending on the artist, aren’t cheap, but if you’re a fan you’ll be happy to pay the price.
For other venues and gigs check out The Package. (

Real Groovy (250 Cuba St)
In a word (or two) – the best. I was in heaven on my first entry to Real Groovy. They have the city’s best selection of new and second-hand compact disks, as well as a healthy vinyl section, and DVDs, books, and clothing.

If they don’t have what you want they are happy to order it in for you, and if you’re a club member (only a measley $5), you don’t even have to leave your flat to shop there, just hope online and visit You can also trade in your old CD’s.

The staff are on to it in practically every area of music you could think of. A visit to their spacious store always does the soul good, even if it hurts the wallet.

Slow Boat (183 Cuba St)
Slow Boat could be seen as the introverted older brother of Real Groovy. It’s independently owned, smaller, more intimate, less intimidating, and while it probably can’t beat Real Groovy’s selection, the staff are as knowledgable as they come and there’s always a conversation lurking behind every CD.

They stock second-hand, and new CDss (another place for you to offload your old CDs) as well as vinyl, posters and other paraphanalia. There is a loyalty card which amounts to a free CD after every ten, and you can order online at

CD and DVD Store (Corner Cuba St and Dixon St)
While many of you will already have shopped in one the CD Store’s chain stores around New Zealand, this particular shop is worth a mention for its great selection of vinyl in the back of the store, under the name of Chelsea Records. They cover it all, – hip hop, drum ‘n bass, electronica, everything your heart could desire.

Other than that, the CD and DVD Store on Cuba is pretty much like any other CD Store chain; there are almost constant sales, which is always a bonus, but don’t go there expecting to find a fantastic range, or stimulating words of wisdom from the majority of the staff.

Tower (Manners Mall)
Tower is an affiliate of Sounds, and like Sounds the range is fairly limited. If you only want to buy Top 40, then this is definitely your kinda place. Tower, like most other chain stores at present, has a pretty constant price for CD’s of $24.95, which is always nice.

Both Tower and Sounds have a loyalty card, an ordering system, and respectable DVD sections. If you want the latest and greatest at a cheap price, Tower and Sounds are a good option. Tower is slightly better in its service and atmosphere than Sounds, but if you are in there buying the Rhythm Vol 25, these things probably won’t matter to you anyway.


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