A Day on the Green | Rochford Wines | Yarra Valley, Victoria | 10 December 2017
“You can’t stop the music”. Well actually you can, in the Yarra Valley on Sunday evening promoter Michael Newton was faced with the unenviable task of informing the packed venue that due to an illness of founding member Victor Willis, Village People would not be performing. The event scaled back to three acts would go ahead following an apology from the promoter. At this stage there were a number of patrons that took the option of a refund and left the venue. For the majority of the crowd they stayed and partied like it was 1976.
Australia’s Marcia Hines hit the stage looking glamorous in a shinny pant suit. Hines graced and moved around the stage much like her countdown years in the 70’s. Backed by a talented three piece ensumble the disco era was the obvious theme of her set. Hines also snuck in the odd classic “You” went over well with the crowd. Sadly as quick as it began it was over with Hines blasting out “It’s Raining Men” to the dancing crowd.
A Village People tribute by DJ Grand Master Baitz complete with an audience “Village People” fashion parade received the endorsement of the crowd with one Indian dancer so committed to the YMCA he could easily have taken the place in the current line up of the band. A brief appearance by Village People including Victor Willis also recieved the crowds admiration.
Philadelphia born 70’s disco icons Sister Sledge took the stage featuring founding members and sisters Debbie and Kim Sledge. From the onset it was a trip back to Studio 54 and the days where the disco ball ruled every dance floor in the world. Playing hits like “Frankie”, “He’s the Greatest Dancer”, “Thinking of You” and “Mama Never Told Me”. The band got an immediate reaction from the crowd. From dancing pantsuits and cork high heels to a construction worker who had jumped fence from the village to join the disco people. Finishing their set with the world wide smash “We Are Family” there was an obvious love and unity in the crowd.
Backed by nine musicians and four gorgeous dancers, Harry Casey AKA KC lead his Sunshine Band (KC and the Sunshine Band) through a collection of hits which resulted in on your feet based on the ground and moving basically from the first beat. All the hits were showcased including “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty”, “Keep It Comin’ Love” and “Boogie Shoes”. The 79 smash “Please Don’t Go” saw the crowd change from disco dance floor to close and romantic. Casey’s engagement throughout the set was entertaining. Commenting on his age and waist expansion “I’m 66 and over the years i have gained a few pounds, there was a time when I was going to rename the band to KFC” referring to the colonel Sanders… everyone laughed . A highlight for the evening was the inclusion of the 1974 Casey penned “Rock Your Baby” made famous by George McCrae. The hits kept coming with “Boogie Shoes” and “Get Down Tonight” before wrapping up with “That’s the Way (I Like It).
There seem to be more and more bands out there defying genres and refusing to be pigeon-holed as any one class of rock…..classic, indie, progressive or hardcore….there is a bit of something for all in the latest release from Finnish trio Von Hertzen Brothers, with their 6th album War Is Over released on the Mascot Label Group at the start of November. Continue reading Album Review : Von Hertzen Brothers – War Is Over→
Neither an electric storm or pouring rain could stop the final show of the 24 Karat Gold tour held at Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. The latest instalment of A Day on the Green pitted two Rock & Roll Hall of Famers on the one bill. Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde from Akron, Ohio was brought up on the punk side of town mentored by Malcolm McLaren. On the other side is Stevie Nicks from Phoenix, Arizona a member of one of the most influential bands in music history. Given these ladies musical roots, both should have been on a collision course to destroy each other, that said, they are the best of friends. It’s a “storytellers” tour Nicks told the audience early in her set. Continue reading Live Review : Stevie Nicks ’24 Karat Gold Tour’ with Pretenders (Chrissie Hynde) at Rochford Wines Yarra Valley Victoria – 18 November 2017→
If someone thought the 80’s were dead and buried no-one told the sell out crowd at Wagga Wagga on the weekend. The Murrumbidgee Turf Club opened its gates to over 3,000 people on Saturday to celebrate some of the best 70’s, 80’s and 90’s Australian music had to offer. Taking the crowd back to a time when a beer was a dollar and the most songs you could fit on a cassette was 12, social media and the internet were years away but somehow we survived. Continue reading Live Review : Rock at the Races – Wagga Wagga – 11 November 2017→
As Midnight Oil lead singer Peter Garrett belted out the lyrics to the Oils classic Blue Sky Mine “Hope the crumbs in my pocket can keep me for another night” to another sellout crowd on Friday night you couldn’t help but wonder that if the band was being rewarded exclusively in food this show would be worthy of a 10 course executive meal. Gateway Lakes Wodonga and a sell out crowd of over 12,000 was the current stopover on the bands Great Circle World Tour. The packed venue comprising of an audience of all ages was primed and ready for arguable Australia’s greatest band. Continue reading Live Review : Midnight Oil at Gateway Lakes, Wodonga- 3 November 2017→
This is the second album release for the blues rock collective that is Supersonic Blues Machine – three great and well-respected musicians at the core of the band in Fabrizio Grossi (Bass), Kenny Aronoff (Drums) and Lance Lopez (Vocals / Guitar), and a bunch of “friends” guesting on the album and at the live shows the band gets to play. Continue reading Album Review : Supersonic Blues Machine – Californisoul→
Quiet please there’s a lady on stage and boy what a lady she is. In todays music industry marked with tantrums and constant drama Tina Arena is a stand out, a survivor. In fact Tina has been a star since she first hit Australian television as part of the Young Talent Team all those years ago. Unlike a lot of artists Arena’s history is promoted proudly throughout the show. There is reference to it and photographs on the multiple screens provide the audience to transform back to a time when life was so much simpler. Continue reading Live Review : Tina Arena at Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – 13 September 2017→
Fresh on the heels of Black Stone Cherry’s recent trips to Australia, first as support to Steel Panther, and then on their first headlining tour of some smaller club venues, the band took some time out to spend two days recording a set of their favourite blues tracks, from the artists who influenced them as they grew up, and whose tracks they jammed to in the various garages they used to rehearse in. Now these are the songs they listen to on the tour bus sharing a bourbon or two! Continue reading EP Review : BLACK STONE CHERRY – Black to Blues→
One of the old guard of the US Blues battalion, equally respected by the likes of John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat and John Mayall with whom he earned his stripes in the 1970s and 1980s, and the young upstarts of the industry, such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa and Eric Gales, Walter Trout has basically gathered together a who’s who of the modern blues family to perform with him and his band in a joyous project that really delivers a fantastic collection of original tracks written by Trout specifically for the guitarist joining him for the track (with a little help from his wife in channelling the different blues styles to the right guest!). Continue reading Album Review : Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together→
Another Nashville trio who spends more time on the road than in the studio, performing live, writing on the bus and in dressing rooms, with 215 shows in 2016 supporting their debut album, Let Love Show The Way, SIMO are way more than just a vehicle for the ridiculously talented singer / guitarist JD Simo, whose serious blues chops were showcased in the loud and raucous songs on the first album. Continue reading Album Review : Simo – ‘Rise & Shine’→