Good news for fans of live bands: Manly Leagues Club in Brookvale is ramping up its entertainment a notch or two in a new program of rock ‘n’ roll rhythms, which aims to reverse the downturn in live music on the Northern Beaches.
When the Covid-19 pandemic forced lockdowns of popular venues, along with restraints on people socialising and a halt to musicians performing, live music across Australia, and particularly Sydney’s Northern Beaches, went into serious decline.
These factors contributed to the sad demise in March 2022 of beloved community centre Narrabeen RSL Club – affectionately known as ‘The Razza’ – whilst several other music venues in the City also shuttered their doors.
However, the dynamic duo behind the booking of bands at Narra RSL, Skylar Kyu and Claire Morris, have teamed up again to keep music live and loud on the Beaches, this time bringing the beat to the cultural home of the Sea Eagles – Manly Leagues Club.
How did Skylar and Claire come to book bands for Manly Leagues?
“It was via Narrabeen RSL how Claire and I came on board with Manly,” Skylar told Manly Observer. “I used to book all the live music into The Razza and after it closed down I was asked by Manly Leagues to start booking over there.
“Obviously The Razza situation was devastating to both of us (and thousands of others); we had a ton of shows booked into the venue but when it became clear we would not be able to keep them at Narrabeen, we had to start the work of finding new homes for them.
“Manly Leagues was willing to not only take on some of the Narrabeen shows, but they were also keen to reinvigorate their own live music program, so it just made sense to continue working together beyond the Narrabeen shows.”
Has it been a while since Manly Leagues Club hosted live music events?
“The venue has always done live music,” Skylar said. “However, in recent years it has been a bit low key, a lot of tribute stuff, which is very well loved, so we’ll definitely keep doing that. But expect to start seeing some sick original touring bands in the mix.
“Historically, they’ve had some massive acts come through: Midnight Oil, The Monkees, Jimmy Barnes, INXS, Xavier Rudd, The Whitlams, even Silverchair played Manly back in the day!
“I was so surprised to find out they used have MASSIVE bands and dance events all the time! I’m excited to get touring acts like this coming back regularly.”
Tell us something about the venue; what capacity is the live music area? Is the stage large enough to host, say, a ska band, which typically have a 3-4 piece brass section as well as the usual guitar-bass-drums-keyboards combination?
“We’re currently rolling with 500 capacity shows,” Skylar revealed. “The stage is large enough for all sorts, we could chuck a 10-piece up there, no worries! We also have an amazing new production team on board who have worked with some of the biggest acts in the country, they can handle anything!”
What live bands have you lined up for the Manly Leagues and which dates should we mark in our calendars?
“Eep, I can’t say too much right now! Currently we have iconic Aussie band Magic Dirt announced for August 6th, with tickets now on sale, but keep an eye on the socials as we will have some sweet announcements coming very soon! 😉”
Which show is she particularly looking forward to?
“The show I’m most excited for is still not announced; I’ll just say November is going to be a fun month, ha! ha!”
Manly Leagues Club
563 Pittwater Rd, Brookvale
Ph: 02 9939 6722