Reviewer Natasha Wyborn
Photos by David Jackson – shotz by jackson
One Electric Day
Kent Reserve Victor Harbour South Australia
Saturday, November 5, 2022
It’s been going on for over a decade and is one of the most popular one-day festivals on the Victoria and Queensland calendar. Often selling out in hours, One Electric Day never fails to deliver. The 2022 line was spectacular, headlined for the first time by an international artist, the Queen of rock and roll herself, Suzi Quatro. The day also featured the first live performance by the recently reformed Noiseworks, as well as The Angels, Baby Animals, The Screaming Jets and Chocolate Starfish
The venue was the picturesque coastal town of Victor Harbour in South Australia. The weather was perfect. Kicking off in the afternoon, the crowd was warmed up by the Queensland duo Bo Ness with a few covers before the main event started.
Hitting the stage like a ‘Bat Out of Hell,’ Adam Thomson and Chocolate Starfish put the gears into full throttle from the first note playing the Meatloaf classic for almost 7 minutes. The energy excreted by Thomson and his band of classy musicians was instantly contagious, and the audience reacted accordingly. Often you go to these shows, and it takes a while to get going, but not today.
The Newcastle-conceived Screaming Jets, complete with an on-point Dave Gleeson, gave the crown almost an hour of hits and memories. The band shows no signs of slowing down and simply keeps getting ‘Better’. Gleeson entertained the crowd with his antics and, above all, powerful voice that continues to amaze even after all these years.
Suze DeMarchi, and The Baby Animals drew on their 90’s Debut self-titled album as the focus of their set. At one point, I think everyone in Australia owned a copy of this album, ‘too young to know too old to listen’, sending the crowd into a frenzy. DeMarchi looked and sounded fantastic, and the chemistry between her and original guitarist Dave Leslie remains.
Dave Gleeson returned to the stage with The Angels. The synergy between Gleeson and founding members John and Rick Brewster is obvious. The back catalogue was delivered with respect and originality. There is no better person to front this outfit in the country today. It’s hard to believe this band has been going since 1974, with the Brewster brothers releasing the movie documentary ‘Kickin’ Down The Door’, which debuted at the Adelaide Film Festival in October. Long-term drummer Nick Norton and John Brewster’s son Sam Brewster complete the current outfit. Are we ‘Ever Gonna See Their Face Again’? You bet, and we are all grateful for it.
Noiseworks took the stage, much to the anticipation of the crowd. There has been the odd reunion over the years, but this was the real deal. In August 2022, the band released a new single, “Heart & Soul”, their first in thirty years, and it went over a treat in the set. The six-piece band, led by front man Jon Stevens sounded tight going through the classics. You could tell there was a hint of nerves in the air; it quickly settled thanks to an appreciative crowd. The addition of Jack Jones for the late Stuart Fraser added another element of class to the act. ‘Evolution’, the band’s first new album in 31 years, will be released on November 11. If the sample given on the weekend is any indication, it will be part of everyone’s playlist.
Suzi Quatro has returned to Australia. Can you believe it? for the 37th time to headline this tour. Just like the honorary Doctorate she recently received from Anglia Ruskin University; she deserves to become an honorary Australian citizen. Dressed in Jeans and looking fantastic, this proud Queen of music’s glam era took the audience on a tour of classics dating back to her first number-one hit in 1973, ‘Can The Can’. Dave Gleeson made his third appearance for the day filling in for Chris Norman, singing the 1978 classic ‘Stumblin’ In’.
Stopping for a brief break, Quatro gave the audience a brief synopsis of her career. Singer, author, actor, poet, radio announcer and above all, rock queen, this lady has modestly done it all. There was a brief mention of her ‘Happy Days’ role, complete with ‘Leather Tuscadero’ hip banging which was well received by the mature crowd. Overall, you walked away from this lady’s set wanting nothing more; she still gives everything.
I walked away at the end of the night thinking what an excellent venue, well run, reasonably priced alcohol, fantastic food, and a great vibe; what more could you want?
Overall, an excellent day; not that this event needs much promoting. It sells out every year. If it comes to your neighbourhood or state, put it on your list of must-dos. You won’t be disappointed.