Bars and Nightclubs
Melbourne CBD, Melbourne

Royal Melbourne Hotel

629 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC
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The Royal Melbourne Hotel (RMH) is one of Melbourne's most unique entertainment and function establishments. Housed in a heritage listed building incorporating a Bluestone Cell block, it has since been refurbished and transformed to provide the perfect place to have a snack, lunch, dinner or simply enjoy a cold drink after a day at work - all in indoor/outdoor splendor. RMH offers five distinct areas to enjoy - including the glass enclosed Atrium; where you can dine in elegant or casual fashion. Savor meals, snacks and drinks in full daylight or celebrate under the stars. The adjoining Courtyard makes RMH one of city's most unique indoor/outdoor venues - located a few minutes walk from Southern Cross Station and Etihad Stadium.

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Royal Melbourne Hotel (Bang! Nightclub) Review

By Jessica Barlow

Bang! Nightclub is held exclusively on Saturday nights at the Royal Melbourne Hotel on Bourke Street. It is a lung shaking experience of voluminous hard metal that will be pulsing through you for hours after you leave. As a popular meeting ground for Melbourne’s punk, emo and metal heads, naturally, coloured clothing is a rarity.

Entry prices vary depending on what bands are playing – expect a maximum of $25. Guest lists are available for cheaper entry. Cash is the only form of currency accepted; however there is an ATM inside. Drink prices can vary but generally pots and basics are cheap up until 11pm. After that they go up a little bit, but it’s still cheap for the city.

You reach the main room by squeezing through the human sieve that is the outdoor smoking area. The main room has a large curving bar that is always surrounded by queues. Expect to be waiting upwards of five to ten minutes for service.

Live bands play in this room and there is commonly a merchandise table set up in the corner. At the back, there is a small corridor shaped room that plays a mix of genres. Like everywhere else in this venue, it is extremely crowded and it is a real fight to wiggle your way in. Between these two rooms are a second bar and the cloakroom, which is around $4 to check in an item.

Just before you head up the stairs to the second floor, check out the little room hidden away on the left. It plays nineties tunes and has a karaoke machine set up. There are also some welcoming armchairs that snuggle around you as you sit down. After the crush of people in other rooms, this is a good space to take a breather and rest your ears.

Upstairs is the home to yet another live band that rotates with a DJ. It is also home to vigorous head banging and strobe lights. Definitely not recommended for anyone who has epilepsy, this floor is a plethora of bright flashes intermixed with brief moments of darkness. It is full on to say the least. A result of the lights or the general drunken state of the patrons I can’t say, but the floor up here is covered in spilled drinks and beer bottles rolling around. At one point I walked off without my shoes because they got stuck to the floor. Aside from this, the atmosphere here is insane. The crowd is united in their passion for the bands and when a crowd favourite is played you can bet your how-have-they-not-burst-yet eardrums that you will know about it. As for having a conversation – forget about it, it’s impossible.

For a night that will ring in your ears, thump through your knee joints and echo through your teeth, there really is no better place than Bang. There are so many rooms and different areas to enjoy and with different bands every week there is always something new.

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A 2nd Royal Melbourne Hotel Review

Review By Sophie Lane

If the RMH were a feature film, the protagonist would be an angst ridden teen, Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing in The Name Of' would be at the top of the soundtrack, every second sentence would be censored, and the only time slot Channel 10 would give to the rerun would be in between frisky phone advertisements at 3am on an average weeknight. The reality of one of Melbourne's most favoured underground 'emo' clubs is almost identical.

Although the club promotes itself primarily on 'underground' grunge-love tendancies, don't expect the venue to be difficult to locate. A skank studded tetris taxi smorgasbord stretches metres long, but the sounds of head banging hotties carry far and wide.

Entry will cost $15 if you've never been before, which will then change to $10 after rubbing shoulders with the in-crowd, telling them that you loved their set list (even though the screams of self sufferance left your ears bleeding dry). This small trick of the trade will leave you forever climbing the tower of guest list glory. The entry price is steep, which is just one of the reasons why a trip to Bang implies a monogamous venue night, bar hopping after entry to Bang is very uncommon. While the entry fee sets high expectations for those of us who are used to the free entry extravaganzas of Melbourne bars, Bang will rarely disappoint.

Don't be intimidated by the tattoo-heavy demographics of your surrounds. Upon entrance societal tables are turned, and not having a tattoo seems just plain wrong.

The venue is large, with space only ever being an issue due to an abundance of attendees (which occurs weekly). A large bar stretches halfway across the main room floor, with service offered from a myriad of angles. A large blackboard displays drink specials for the evening, which more often than not offers a deal on Jager bombs- the favoured drink of drain pipe Jean emo kids.

A large stage is set far back, displaying the night's live entertainment. Screamo, emo, punk or pop- the only prerequisite of performace at Bang is anger towards society.

Through what seems like an underground bypass, a long lengthy alley, otherwise known as the 'retro room' stretches down the entire length of the venue. This secluded area provides the opportunity for newbies to feel a little more at home with the sweet sounds of Cindy Lauper and Joy Division (the dj, of course only spinning their most angst ridden tracks). "I hate myself" - that's the spirit!

Toilets conveniently lead off the retro room, it seems that the architect had cake-faced Christina's in mind whilst designing the venue. A trip to the toot results in an hour long line up behind black headed bombshells applying their tenth layer of eyeliner for the evening. Portion control? Something tells me these ladies consume more cosmetics than calories.

The outdoor courtyard provides a breath of fresh air, whilst enabling ear drums to momentarily recover from a stint in hell. Tens of tattood twenty somethings puff into the star lit sky, while a corset clad teen sucks face with the boy to her left. Ah, the romance.

If downstairs doesn't provide enough intensity, take the winding stairs one level up and find a room full of heavy metal heart throbs singing (or screaming, depending on where your loyalties lie) to their favourite screamo idols. If The Beatles are as heavy as you go in terms of rock gods, then five minutes in you'll find the stairs looking more attractive than the Mohawk man making eyes at your bust line.

A Saturday night at Bourke Street's Bang will leave you heavy headed, slightly deaf, and more angry at the world than you were before stepping foot inside the venue, a quality... I mean "gnarly" night out.

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