For those of us lucky enough to have lived it the first time around it’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since the release of the ‘Matchbook’ album. On Saturday night at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne the near full house got a chance to relive the memories live again. We may all be a little older but Ian Moss has lost nothing in momentum or ability to engage and play an electric guitar like an extension of his own anatomy.
It’s hard to believe the act I was witnessing in 2019 originally formed way back in the early 60’s. The Seekers have been a part of Australian music culture for close to 60 years. Formed as a folk quartet in Melbourne in 1962 the band has travelled the work and left its mark alongside some of the biggest bands of the 60’s. To put The Seekers popularity into perspective at the height of their career the seekers shared the same bill with The Rolling Stones and the Beatles whilst drawing an estimated crowd of 200,000 to the Sydney Myer Music Bowl. The original lead singer Judith Durham has left the quartet however the remaining three original members Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley continue to delight fans both within Australia and abroad.
On Saturday night in front of a full house in Bendigo Victoria a packed house got to witness one of the last remaining treasures in country music. Hitting the stage with the enthusiasm of a man considerably younger than his true age, Kris Kristofferson started what can only be considered by any standards a marathon set. Playing almost 2 hours with a traditional intermission in between. It’s hard to believe it has been over 50 years since his debut album. A lot has happened during this time with Kristofferson maintaining a consistent reputation as one of country’s music’s great troubadour’s and performers.
Caulfield, known worldwide for its racetrack, was overrun with guitar players, enthusiasts and fans alike over the weekend. The venue gave way for what has to be one of the best guitar playing line-ups in the festivals history. The event held under complete cover in the members grandstand drew fans and players alike to two days of guitar mania. From the moment you entered the building you were greeted by 50,000 watts of pure guitar shredding. This area of course was the trade component of the show where budding guitarists got to play and talk everything from the classics of Gibson and Fender and numerous independent and personal guitar makers who were on show. But it didn’t end there. Amplifiers with some wicked pedals and everything accessory wise to make even the most professional player salivate. All stall holders were more than generous with their time and experience. Over $75,000 was paid out for the most expensive guitar of the weekend confirming build the right instrument and they will buy.
Some may have started as far back as the 60’s but the fab 5 that hit the stage at Bendigo on Saturday night could show todays youth a thing or two. On parade were ARIA Hall of Famers, international hit makers, a former TV Week Queen of Pop and countless number one hits. APIA truly brings songs of a lifetime to the modern era. Each artist Brian Cadd, Marcia Hines, Russell Morris, Leo Sayer and John Paul Young a star in their own right. Another interesting point all artists came up on Australian stages learning their craft in front of an increasing live audience. Countdown was paramount to all artists career, throughout the concert Molly Meldrum was referred to fondly. Continue reading Live Review : Apia Good Times at Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – 26 May 2018→
Another resounding success for the Groovin The Moo machine as it landed in Bendigo on Saturday. The day started well with unusual warm weather and a bumper crowd all 22,000 of them confirming another sell out to this ever increasingly popular festival. Although predominantly catering for the teens to twenties there was also a fair bit of grey in the crowd validating the popularity of diversity in the lineup, essentially there was something on the bill for everyone. Continue reading Live Review : Groovin the Moo – Bendigo, VIC – Saturday 5 May 2018→
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).
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→