Bombay Rock

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Bombay Rock
The current logo for Bombay Rock - Live Music Venue.png
Bombay Rock Logo
Address303 Sydney rd (entrance via Phoenix st)
Coordinates37°46′14″S 144°57′40″E / 37.770465°S 144.96117°E / -37.770465; 144.96117
OwnerPeter Iwaniuk
Current useLive Music Venue & Bar
OpenedJuly 2018

The Bombay Rock is a rock music venue located in Sydney Road, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia,[1] which originally ran from 1977 to 1991 when was destroyed by a fire. The venue had previously been located in Bourke Street in the city under the name of the Bombay Bicycle Club. Operated by Joe Gualtieri, it was described in the 1980s as " old style rock barn ... with all the style and grace of a converted factory" and was to the working class, what Billboard was to the Middle Class.[2]

The Bombay rock was then renowned for both the range of important Australian bands that performed and the regular violent fights among its patrons, with hardly a night going by without a fight. Australian Photographer Rennie Ellis captured a number of performers at the venue in the 1980s, including Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons,[3] Other bands to play there included INXS, Australian Crawl, The Angels, Cold Chisel, XTC,[4] The Sunnyboys,[5] Flowers, JAB, The Church, Kevin Borich,[6] The Sports, Lonely Hearts,[7] Sherbet, The Zorros, Dave Warner's From the Suburbs and Skyhooks.[8] Once established, Bombay rock also hosted a number of international acts including Eric Burdon, Steppenwolf, The Knack, Bo Diddley, Boomtown Rats, and New Zealand band, Mi Sex.[2]

The album: Stars: Live At Bombay Rock, was recorded at Bombay Rock on 18 October 1979. Nick Cave performed several times in the late 1970s with his band The Boys Next Door.[9]

Dave Warner's band From the Suburbs recorded the album Free Kicks at Bombay Rock in November 1978.

The Bombay Rock features in the film Death in Brunswick representing itself as a dangerous and sleazy music venue.[10] Ray Argal's film The Models[11] includes footage of the Bombay Rock.

The track "Beautiful People" (1979) by James Reyne of Australian Crawl includes a reference to the Bombay Rock night club in Brunswick.[12]

It was frequented by some famous gangland identities including Judy Moran and Alphonse Gangitano.[13]

Following reconstruction after the fire, the building retained its 19th-century facade, and became the site of the Beach Nightclub, eventually closing.

In May 2018 EMS have decided to breathe some new life into the venue under the management of Asher Trainor and Kacey Knoodle. Trading back under the Bombay Rock name[14] They aim to stick to the roots as much as possible with live music every Friday and Saturday, cheap drinks and parties till late. Entrance is down Phoenix where you walk through a dimly lit garage teeming with people wearing anything from suits to high viz to full studded battle jackets and mohawks. The back island bar has private booth seating, pool tables and 3 big screens playing cult films. When you venture down the hall it leads you into the front bar done in tikki, dive vibes, this is where the bands perform on a ground level stage. If you can manage to squeeze your way through the crowd you will find yourself in another area with more pool tables, arcade machines and large booth seating.

So far the venue has already seen the likes of Australian Kingswood Factory, Muscle Car, Sforzando, Strawberry Fist Cake, Ferocious Chode, Murder Rats and Wolfpack.


  1. ^ The official address was 1 Phoenix Street as the entrance was at the rear
  2. ^ a b The Age 29 Feb 1980, p.42
  3. ^ Rennie Ellis Archive, State Library Victoria
  4. ^ XTC gig list 1980-81 Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Crosscut Myspace Website
  7. ^ The Lonelyhearts Gig Lising suite Spot Studieos 2008]
  8. ^ Skyhooks Tour Archive
  9. ^ Nick Cave OnLine, Encyclopedia, Concerts-the Boys Next Door
  10. ^ The Milk Bar Mag Melbourne Classics: Death In Brunswick
  11. ^ Melbourne independent filmmakers Ray Argall, (The Models, 1981; 24 mins (DIR, DOP, ED, PROD)
  12. ^ Carney, Shaun; Jenkins, Jeff; Dwyer, Michael; Beck, Chris; Flanagan, Martin; Attwood, Alan (28 August 2004). "Songs of Melbourne". Age. Fairfax. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
  13. ^ Heinrichs, Paul (6 February 2005). "Insider's account of deadly days". Age. Fairfax. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  14. ^ "BombayRock – Bombay rock brunswick". Retrieved 2018-10-10.

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