Venues Of Note:

Havana Bar

Havana was in a way my school away from school while I was studying at university, mostly in part to my residency for the most of ’08-’09 with pianist extraordinaire Jonathan Crayford, so this place holds a lot of sentimental value for me. It also is somewhat tucked away, but due to its great service, food and drink selection, music and atmosphere, it continues to keep busy most nights of the week and is one of the hubs for local musicians.

San Francisco Bath House

About a 500-600 capacity spot, San Francisco Bath House is probably the best mid-sized place in Wellington to put on an event. Off the top of my head, this year it hosted Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc and MF Doom just to name a few.


This is a place where anything could happen musically. For you New Yorkers who are reading, if you can imagine the jazz club Smalls in Greenwich Village but run by people from Williamsburg, with an off-kilter 1950s decor and located in New Zealand, then you have Happy. Definitely a home of the avant garde, but music of a straighter nature also shows.

The Matterhorn

The Matterhorn is kind of like the upmarket spot that doesn’t care how you dress. The food, drink selection and service are second to none. They take care of the musicians that play there with adequate money and bar tabs, and the gigs are always free to the public, so I’m definitely not complaining on either side of the fence. Both Drinks International magazine and Australian Bartender magazine named it in the top 20 bars in the world.

Next page: Post Show Hangs