I got my Christmas present on the weekend. Thanks to the wonders of Ebay and my wonderful gal we went to A Day On The Green at All Saints Winery. If you’re wondering what it is and can’t be bothered clicking on the link think Big Day Out for grown ups with good taste in music.
To get there we drove for three and a bit hours, stopping along the way only to throw Phee from the car in the direction of her uncle Rob and for a Maccas along the way and all the way it rained. From the bottom of Victoria to the top it was raining which was great news for the farmers but not so great news for outdoor concert goers. We booked in to our motel in Corowa and headed back to the winery for the event.
First up was Deb Conway who, along with Willy, suffered through the rain, a PA that didn’t work and an audience who had no idea who she was. Regular readers will remember just how big a Deb Conway fan I am so you can imagine how close I was to leaping over the chair and throttling the ignoramus next to me who commented “oh, they’re good from now on” at the conclusion of her set. One thing, if I may humbly say, Deb did wrong was play too much from Summertown. I love the album, Rae loves the album but it was probably safe to say the the 3998 others there hadn’t heard one song from it. I think that these sort of festivals are more about playing the crowd favourites than plugging the new album. But then again I’ve never had a number one song so what the hell would I know?
Rae took this photo as the rain fell during Deb’s set. I’m doing my best, and rather alarming, Michael Moore impersonation. Hmmm, really mixing up my sports there too.
But I digress.
The rain continued (why didn’t Deb sing ‘Alive and Brilliant’ because way above the clouds were black) and Troy Cassar-Daley came on. He played some songs. They were country and western. I really don’t get country and western but it seemed all around us did. At one stage it seemed everyone but us was up dancing to ‘Thank God I’m A Country Boy’. We were very scared but this soon passed, as did the weather.
By the time Tim Freedman (and half the Whitlams, quickly dubbed ‘The Half Whits’ by the MC) hit the stage the sun was setting, the rain had gone and the night was really pumping. I really only know the older Whitlams stuff but this didn’t matter ’cause that’s what Tim played – Gough, No Aphrodisiac, Hamburger, Charlie, All My Friends. Reminds me I have to make sure I’ve got my one and only Whitlams CD on thePod.
Now if I could have ever named my dream gig it would consist of Deb and Paul Kelly double bill. My honey knew this and that’s why I got the tickets for Christmas – Paul Kelly was top lining this show and he did not disappoint.
The man is a legend, not a star. He played for two hours and no one wanted him to stop. He played some great songs of his latest album, reinvented some of his older classics and provided rocking out versions of his greatest hits. Throw in an Angus Young impersonation and a great ad lib when the audience came to his rescue (it was during ‘To Her Door‘ – he lost the lyrics at ‘he came in on a Sunday’ and the crowd chanted the ‘walking in slow motion, like he’d just been hit’ bit to which he said ‘yeah, just like that’) and I was in heaven.
Then I got the my dream double. The first was a wonderful version of Deeper Water, perhaps my favourite PK song of the moment followed by a stunning rendition of How To Make Gravy, one of my favourite all time songs. He introduced it by saying “This song doesn’t have a chorus, sorry. It does have a recipe for gravy though.” and the crowd went crazy. His band, The Boon Companions, didn’t let him down all night and he’s almost found a way to make Somewhere In The City the classic it should be. After two hours of heaven he closed the night with Dumb Things (featuring a rock god backwards jump off the drum rise) and a tripped out version of We’ve Started A Fire.
I could not have been happier. What a night, what performers, what a gal and what a Christmas present.