Review by Natasha Wyborn
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).
A Day On The Green – www.adayonthegreen.com.au
KC and the Sunshine Band – http://www.heykcsb.com/
Sister Sledge – http://www.sistersledge.com/
Marcia Hines – http://marciahines.com.au/
Rochford Wines | Yarra Valley, Victoria – www.rochfordwines.com.au/