A Day on the Green - Rochford Wines

4 FEB 2017 - The Machinations, The Models, The B-52's and Simple Minds


By Staff Writer – Raph Hymus

This was the first ‘A Day on the Green’ I have covered for Do The Yarra Valley, so I had no specific expectations. Suffice to say the organisation of the event is reportedly slick, and it was. From the CFA parking attendants to the ticket office, this was clearly a well-oiled machine.  I was happily anticipating seeing Simple Minds play. The B-52s were a bonus. Here was a chance to see a couple of bands I loved way back in my youth, but for whatever reason had never seen live. It would seem that there are many old farts like me attempting to relive their youth. Nothing wrong with that I say. Getting old sucks.

The Models - A Day on the Green - Rochford Wines

It was a different story once the B-52s hit the stage. These guys rock! Even after 40 years together, they still sound tight. This took me straight back to my lounge room circa 1980. Today though, it was a large outdoor lounge room with thousands of people and no daggy furniture.  It was great to hear the old favourites from their first album.

“Even after 40 years together, they still sound tight.”

They even cranked out Lava from the B side. I twitched around somewhat rythmically to 52 Girls, grooved unstylishly along to Plant Claire and Dance This Mess Around! and rocked out somewhat reservedly to Rock Lobster as any self respecting 40 something should do. From my observations, there were quite a number of other 40 and 50 somethings with far less self respect than me. I wish I could have cut loose a little more. I blame my pommie dad!

Anyway, back to the show. I didn’t really pay much attention to the overall line up before the day so I was pleased to see the bill included Machinations and the Models. Again two bands I quite liked at the time. I’ve got to be blunt here. For the opening acts, I wondered why I was wasting my time. The sound quality was horrific. I understand the whole opener versus headliner stuff, but surely these two solid, well liked local bands deserved more respect. The audience deserved more respect. We paid to hear some music, not have it waft away on the pleasant breeze of the day.

Simple Minds kicked off with Waterfront as they should have and all was good with the world. Jim Kerr appears to have stiffened up slightly but he’s still got the voice. Again, most of the favourites were covered. By this time, the light was failing and my cavorting became much freer. I very much enjoyed lurching around to Someone, Somewhere in Summertime. Love Song got us all up and going so it wasn’t just me looking foolish, we all were. Nobody can deny that. Sadly, Book of Brilliant Things lacked the edge of the original but it is still a favourite. Conversely, Don’t You Forget About Me was a real highlight.

“‘Don’t you forget about me’ was a real highlight.”
It is a really hard song to sing. Especially when the esteemed Mr. Kerr asks the mildly enebriated crowd to sing in French. I detected a moments pause before the crowd realised the la la la bit is essentially the same in both Anglaise et Francaise.
Good times! Maybe getting old isn’t so bad after all. Wrong! It still sucks! Keep the volume up and dance til you break your hip.