My Place: Matt Bodiam

Matt Bodiam at The Reverence Hotel. Photo: Eddie Jim.

By Benjamin Millar

After almost seven years bringing live music to Footscray, Matt Bodiam and his wife Melanie are closing the doors of The Reverence Hotel and have called last drinks this weekend. He speaks with Benjamin Millar


What’s your connection with Footscray?


I was a Bacchus Marsh kid, but actually went to school at Footscray City secondary from year 10 onwards. My mum worked in mental health in Footscray plaza for years and years, so I spent a fair bit of time in Footscray from early on.

I rented a house in Footscray after school finished and really only moved out of Footscray to help my wife run a city band venue.


What are your favourite local places?


To’s Bakery, Happy River Cafe (RIP) and the man at Footscray post office – I’m going to miss him!


Why did you open The Reverence and what will you miss most?


We really just loved being involved in live music and the arts, and after our last venue finished up we couldn’t wait to sink our teeth into another one. We will definitely miss the community that has gathered around us since opening in Footscray in 2012.


What have been your most memorable musical moments there?


Too many to really mention! Some internationals were amazing to host – Jeff Rosenstock, Gorilla Biscuits, Samiam, the list goes on. Probably the most rewarding thing is watching Australian bands that start off playing to no one at the Rev go on to huge things all over the world. It makes you proud, kind of like a dad, hahaha.


How did you become the drummer for The Smith Street Band?


The rest of the band are all super close long-term friends of mine.

Many years ago I recorded their first record in my little recording studio above the Arthouse. They were needing a drummer for the 2017/18 Falls Festival tour and they asked me, to which I obliged.


What is something people may be surprised to learn about you?


I was two belts away from a black belt in karate when I was 10.


What’s next?

Mel and I are both planning on a bit of a rest as we haven’t really had any time off in the last seven years.

Our little one Ollie has just started school, so that’s been a bit of a challenge.

Trying to run a pub and be up in the morning for school is definitely tough.

We may do another venue again one day – never say never.


The Reverence Hotel will close its doors after hosting a final ‘Secret Show’ this Saturday, March 2. Details: