“Musically, I want Bendigo to become the Seattle of Australia.” Twelve months or so ago, that statement, from a hard-working local muso, may have seemed fanciful, or certainly very ambitious.

Now though, it sounds like a statement of intent; one that is getting some traction.

The Bendigo live music resurgence continues to gain momentum. A number of “traditional” venues have been hosting live music for many years. But now we’re seeing other pubs, clubs and venues joining the party. Places like the Manchester Arms and True Brew.

On Sunday afternoon, February 5, Andy Phillips and the Cadillac Walk return to Bendigo to play at the Manny Arms on Eaglehawk Road. The seemingly always-gigging Phillips & co (4-6 shows a week, he tells me) are back in 3550 for their first gig since the Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival.
“I’ve done 50-odd gigs since the Festival. No wonder I’m tired on Mondays!” joked Phillips.

“We played the Manchester Arms at the festival and enjoyed the atmosphere; some core locals love to party! We ramped it up just how they like it. We hit it off with the crowd and Jody was keen to get us back.” In addition to Sunday’s afternoon show, Andy Phillips and the Cadillac Walk have scheduled a Saturday night gig there again in early March.

They have a new line-up. “Our new bass player, Chris D’Rozario is world class. He brings things to a whole new level, and we have introduced around 25 new songs. Whammo Ian Biglan will drum at our Bendigo gigs and we are looking forward to playing with him for these shows.”

Despite an intense schedule, the colourful Phillips is having a ball. “There is never a dull moment. I have had everything from people trying to stroke my hair, guys try to play my guitar… we had one enthusiastic punter kiss and stroke the bass drum for quite a while until security led them to some fresh air. There are lots of stories!”

Andy Phillips and The Cadillac Walk play the Manchester Arms on Sunday, February 5. It starts at 2pm.