Gallery By Tracie Tee
Gallery By Tracie Tee
After a tyre blow out on the freeway and a quick change of tyres and cars, I set off on my drive from Sydney to Wollongong, in great anticipation of the Jimmy Barnes Festival, hosted by Yours & Owls.
I managed to secure a parking spot, a short 10 minute walk from McCabe Park, where the days festivities, were being held.
Unfortunately, due to my earlier incident, I missed the 2:30pm opening act, “Mental As Anything“.
As I walked through the gates, I was overwhelmed by the crowd of people, that had gathered to enjoy the days line-up. An estimated 5000 people were moving all about the park, looking for an unobstructed, comfortable spot, to watch the show.
I joined a queue, to grab a bite to eat and grab some cold water, for the duration of Diesel’s set. I enjoyed the change that Diesel had given his songs, slowed right down, with an almost blues feel to them.
Food and water finally in hand, I found a place to sit, and was able to enjoy a set from Ian Moss. Mossy played some songs from his new self titled CD, that’s due for release in March of this year. He dedicated a song to his nephew in-law and wished him well.
The crowd sang along to some favourites, including “Choir Girl“, “Telephone Booth” “My Baby“, and closed with “Bow River“. Mossy informed the crowd that the ‘Gong and Newcastle were the first places that put on Aussie Rock shows.
He gave a heartfelt thanks and assured his fans that he would never forget them.
During the half an hour change over, I decided to relocate closer to the stage. Queens “Bohemian Rhapsody” played over the speakers, which sent the crowd in to a singing frenzy.
The atmosphere down the front, was a lot more energetic, than the laid back crowd further back. The sky was turning grey by this time, with the impending threat of rain.
Daryl Braithwaite was up next and I have to say, the biggest surprise of the day for me.
Braithwaite looked fit and in great form. He announced he would be singing some newer songs, and songs that go back to the “Sherbet” period. Braithwaite’s voice was just as I remember it. He definitely still has it, even after all these years.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear “Howzat” and “You’ve Got The Gun“, dating back to the Sherbet days.
It was great to see younger fans sporting a Daryl Braithwaite T-shirt and getting amongst the older fans. The crowd sang along and danced to popular hits, such as “As the Days Go By” and “One Summer“. Braithwaite even covered a Kinks song “All Day And All Of The Night“, which was well received. Braithwaite chose to close his set with “Horses“. It was at this moment, people from the back of the park, raced forward toward the stage, to take part in singing the famous song.
For the duration of the song, everyone sang in unison. Strangers, arm in arm, swaying along, with a massive smile on their faces. I think it’s safe to say that any glitches from earlier in the day, had now been forgotten and everyone was enjoying themselves.
Another half an hour break, day turning in to night, and Jimmy Barnes was due to hit the stage. I turned around to look at the crowd, as far as the eye could see, everyone was now out of their seats, up off their rugs and standing, waiting for Barnesy to grace us with his presence. We didn’t have to wait too long, Barnesy took to the stage with his band, including his son Jackie on drums, his daughters Elly-May, Eliza-Jane and Mahalia, as well as his stunning wife Jane, on backing vocals.
For the next hour and a half, I was taken back to my youth, as Barnsey belted out all the favourites, such as “Die To Be With You“, “Ride The Night Away“, “Working Class Man“, “Merry Go Round“,”Khe Sanh“, “No Second Prize“, “Flame Trees” and “Driving Wheels“.
Not even the short burst of rain, could wipe the smile off my face – Barnsey proclaiming that he had scared the rain off. Barnesy threw in a cover of AC/DC’s “High Voltage“, during his encore, and ended the festival with “Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)“.
The festival concluded at 9:30pm, with the thousands of patrons all rushing to the one exit point of the park. Security did extremely well to manage the crowd, which I noticed all throughout the event. Any grievances were dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
I walked out of the gates of McCabe park smiling, feeling content that I had an enjoyable experience.
Review Contributed by Trudy Johnson
With the super cell of weather expected it was with trepidation that I made my way to the Palais Theatre in St Kilda, hoping we would make it through the night without the need of a lifeboat to bail us out. It is one of my favourite live music venues and I knew I was in for a real treat tonight, with a double bill of Australian music at its finest with Diesel and Icehouse ready to take on the town.
Diesel himself recently celebrating 30 years in the industry made for the perfect opener, his songs well known to all. I sat back and enjoyed his hits such as Man Alive, 15 Feet of Snow, and a slowed version of Soul Revival, which was very warmly received. His mad shredding skills on display and a huge array of guitars to choose from, it really showcased just how brilliant a musician he is. Tip Of My Tongue was a definite favourite and it finished out with a sensational sing-a-long for all. Diesel did some tricky knocking work on his guitar creating some incredible sounds that echoed through the iconic establishment. If I had a hat I would take it off to you Diesel, a first class performance and a great warm up for the main event.
I don’t know where to begin, pardon the pun, but in all honesty I was literally blown away by how good tonight’s show was. The ultimate professionals in every sense of the word, the most amazing light show I have ever seen at the Palais, together with the crème de le crème of stage set ups made for a superb night of Australian rock. Opening with Icehouse, it was hit after hit, Mr Big, Hey Little Girl and Crazy to name a few. The band is in impeccable shape sounding technically perfect on every level. Iva Davies like a fine wine that just keeps getting better with time. Michael Paynter lent some tremendous vocals to the tight knit unit over the evening and was a standout on Man of Colours, with Iva joining him for a cameo on the oboe. The huge screen a delight to the senses, this show was the complete package not one thing overlooked. Iva did mention that they plan at least 12 months in advance to make sure they bring the best possible show with the best possible team, and it really shows.
The tour has sold out show after show and with only a few left in the run this year it has seen them play to no less than 300,000 people.
What a massive achievement not only for Icehouse but to the Australian fans who have turned up time and time again to support their love of live music. The banter with the crowd was terrific, jokes a plenty and a fantastic feel in the theatre across the evening. Consequently we learnt that Electric Blue was co written with John Oates of Hall & Oates fame, and went on to be a number 1 hit in Australia.
I Don’t Believe Anymore was a favourite of the night, Great Southern Land a visual delight, the screens in overdrive showcasing the beautiful country that we are lucky enough to call home. A little bit of band improvising saw a ripping version of Bowie’s Jean Jeanie followed by the T Rex classic Get it On. Everyone on their feet, singing and dancing as We Can Get Together rang out, we knew time was going to be tight due to noise restrictions and there was one very anxious man side of stage watching the clock, but alas they came back for one more, the sensational I Cant Help Myself, finishing with mere seconds to spare.
With so many hits packed into two hours I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that we really need look no further than our own backyard to find the finest musicians in the world.
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED MATT ALLAN