Up Close & Unplugged (August 2014)


A few years ago, a bunch of community minded muso’s started up the Balnarring Muso Night to give up and coming, shy, newbies, or local and non local musicians a chance to showcase their talent in a safe, friendly and fun atmosphere.  Today, years later it is still running as strong as ever.

Bob McGaughey and Jenny Taylor are part of the committee that runs the BMN that is affiliated with The Balnarring Village Common, which in turn organizes events such as sewing, art, maintenance programs and so forth within the community that raises money for schools and local projects.

McGaughey claims people come from all over to perform whatever they want; Emerald, St. Kilda, Mt.Evelyn, Beaconsfield, Hastings and the Mornington Peninsula.  McGaughey usually welcomes newbies and endeavors to make them feel at home immediately.

Their regular MC, Paul Dillion, a talented muso himself usually keeps the music flowing. He has to, as it’s always a delightful surprise to see who turns up and what they will perform.   But you do get your regulars like Gary Jones performing his country originals and Stuart Millar playing his guitar. Its wonderful to see people given the chance to express themselves individually.

From poets, comedy, rock and roll, muso’s doing original material, acapella, ukulele, duets, kids performing, girls playing songs with jars, people announcing community events or expressing a concern regarding their community to the likes of Grammy award winner Gotye grace their venue. This open mike covers everything.   A nominal $5.00 entry fee is charged which pays for hall hire, insurance and a delicious tea or coffee for all.

Recently they donated $400.00 each to Dromana High School and Balnarring Primary music depts., and pledged another $400.00 to Hastings School music dept., as well as donating to Somers Art Fest.

BMN main objective is to put money back into the community.  Over the years they have donated to the local bush fire community, bought new bbqs for local beaches and put money into their local community projects as well.

Balnarring Muso Night happens on alternate Wednesdays (green recycling bin night) and is situated at Balnarring Hall, Frankston Flinders Road, Balnarring.   Music starts at 8 and goes until 11.

For more info please call Bob 0408591107. Muso’s do have to drive to this open mike but it’s definitely worth making the journey due to its special vibe and friendliness.

Until next time, live well.