Hats off and congratulations to the Day On A Green crew putting on a stellar, well organised top quality offering which saw the masses converging on Peter Lehmann Wines in the heart of Tanunda to celebrate some awesome Aussie music and coincidentally marking the four hundredth Day On The Green Show. Hip-Hip-Hooray!
There was something special about this event, the bands could feel it and the fans knew it. The weather was spectacular and so to were the surrounds. Whether it seats with the elite down front or the more cosier surrounds on the hill with picnic rugs and deck chairs it definitely seemed like a good time was had by all.
The Meanies! Fark! Age has not wearied them! What a set by a band that had influenced the careers of every band on this bill. Watching front man Link throw himself around the stage with an abundance of raw energy was just superb. What isn’t there to like about The Meanies? Some of the set favourites for me included the likes of Ton Of Bricks, Gangrenous, Scum and 10% Weird. Long live the punk spirit and fingers crossed for more shows some time next year. Link made a humorous comment saying that he didn’t resent the other bands on the bill having a more successful career than The Meanies. This tour wasn’t about egos but a sense of camaraderie and pride in the achievement s of all the bands of the bill.
Jebediah were really well received and played a tight set featuring all their classics. It was great to watch the Jebs go through their paces and they genuinely looked like they were having the time of their lives on this tour. Kev Mitchell was quick to point out that they were the youngest on this tour even suggesting that this was a ten point gag. Their set had everything from Jerks Of Attention, Leaving Home, Feet Touch The Ground, the big ballad Harpoon to more recent hits such as She’s Like A Comet. Mitchell again would comment that it was a privilege to be on the bill with “four amazing bands and us”… a bit harsh Kev, no doubt that Jebediah had earnt their stripes and well and truly deserved to be on the bill for this tour.
Spiderbait judging by the crowd reaction probably won the afternoon getting a lot of people up and dancing about like crazy people. Kram came out and said “Get off your arse and shake it on down. Tim Rogers said something wise, it’s 1996, who remembers? Who remembers getting drunk on twenty dollars? Come and get fucked up with us!” Opening with Straight Through The Sun then Shazam was enough to whip the crowd in to a frenzy. Kram’s drum get up featured a double kicker which made their sound all the more intense and described as having a motorbike on stage. Promising a celebration of life he was also quoted as saying “hug a tree and never let go”.
So many great singles in the set list with Chest Hair, Hot Water & Milk, Monty and Fucken Awesome which was the last time it could be played as the word fuck can’t be said publically in Kings Park for the final leg of the tour so there was the emphasis on saying it twice as much in SA. Kram also reflects on Wally from The Meanies giving them their first gig at The Tote. Ol’ Man Sam was a set highlight which broke out in to a brief moment of anarchy with Kram encouraging the elite to lift their chairs up in to the air.
Kram reaffirmed several times that Spiderbait shows are a celebration of life and that you have years to lay down in a hole and that you get to live once. The Nena cover 99 Luftballoons was great showcasing the beauty of Janet English’s vocals and it wouldn’t be a show without But Me A Pony, Calypso and the Leadbilly cover that relaunched their career Black Betty. It was an epic finished to their set more than warming the stage for You Am I.
For me, the highlight and the moment I had been waiting for all day was You Am I. Wowsers! Looking very dapper in matching blue suits, the addition the backing singers The Wolfgramm Sisters and a mini horn section had all the trimmings of a rocking soul review. Legendary Tim Rogers did state “Yes! We are a rock band”. Old classics Baby Clothes and Minor Byrd got things started moving towards new material from Porridge & Hotsauce including Bee Hive and Two Hands. Rogers encouraged people to get up and dance and to fill the holes with music, not information, and thanks for watching up to now. It was bliss hearing Deliverance, Soldiers and Junk but the cherry on the cake was the XTC cover Senses Working Overtime.
Speaking about the Barossa wines Rogers did say that Adelaide water makes him feel funny, confident then sad before continuing to scull another mouthful. Mr Milk and Trike followed… OMG! Brilliant! The Wolfgramm Sisters took the lead on the Ike and Tina Turner cover Nutbush City Limits. There was a heartfelt tribute to Sharon Jones who passed away earlier that morning with Rogers saying she knew how to Rumble. The You Am I hit machine was unleashed with Cathy’s Clown, How Much Is Enough, Good Morning and Berlin Chair to finish off their set.
It was hard to believe that the day was coming to end and with drink restrictions kicking in before the journey home it was with Something For Kate to bring it on home. Something For Kate are fantastic, I don’t reckon I have missed a tour in ten years and they continue to get better and better. There was plenty of energy and intensity in their set with Captain (Million Miles An Hour) and Cigarettes & Suitcases getting the crowd going. Something For Kate contemplated the surrounds so well even Paul Dempsey commenting on how perfect this setting was. Paul, Stephanie, Clint and Quinn didn’t put a foot wrong and it was a feast for the ears listening to Three Dimensions, Survival Expert and Hallways.
Dempsey commented on this being the perfect tour and being able to drink all day with friends making for the perfect landing strip. There was plenty more greatness to come with Monsters, Say Something, Pinstripe and the awesome REM cover The One I Love leaving fans to go home with Deja Vu.
What a day! What a night! Thoroughly loved every minute of this show and if this is the best of Australian nineties acts what does next year hold for the best of the early two thousands? Wolfmother, Jet, Dallas Crane and The Vines? Can’t wait for that announcement…