Rochford winery’s beautiful natural amphitheatre was packed for this weekends A Day On The Green, with an outstanding line-up of bands that would make any Australian rock music fan get to their feet. The grassy slope provides great viewing for all, and the slightly threatening clouds only added to the dramatic backdrop, with the last sun beams of the warm day streaming through.
First up was a new band featuring one face well known to Australian audiences – Jon Stevens, this time with the Dead Daisies – a rotating line up of some of the rock worlds most respected musicians. With a sound shaped by the heavier rock of the 70’s and early ’80’s it was an energetic and soulful beginning to the evening. If you like Guns ‘N Roses and The Rolling Stones…then this is for you!
A shower then dampened the ground and the crowd, but not their spirits as one of Australia’s most loved performers – Daryl Braithwaite – took to the stage and launched into a great set of classics, songs dear to hearts of Australians. Some of Daryl’s great solo work – like ‘One Summer’ – seemed written for the event and he still reached the high notes of the Sherbet classics – even without the alarmingly tight satin trousers of the day!
About this time we had dinner – soft shell tacos with shredded pork, chicken and black beans – which were delicious! Served in a paper tray with a fork, my shirt survived unstained and it was perfect company for some of James Boag’s finest.
The Baby Animals stormed the stage next with Suze DeMarchi at her very best. She proudly holds aloft the ‘rock chic’ mantle in true Chrissy Amphlett style. The band has lost none of its raw rock energy or its tight, clean sound, and it was impossible to believe it has been 25 years since they first began.
When Jimmy Barnes and his band arrived the crowd was primed for a night to remember. The man and his music are monumental to his legion of fans and they were not disappointed. It was a real thrill to see Jim’s son – Jackie Barnes – behind the drum kit in full ‘Animal’ mode, driving the big, bluesy sound of the outfit, with Mahalia Barnes joining her dad to perform a soul drenched version of “Proud Mary” that Tina Turner would be proud of.
With Jimmy’s voice warmed up to its full vineyard- shaking power, the “Resurrection Shuffle” had the middle aged members of the crowd dancing like they had a season ticket to the physio!
The crowd welcomed “Khe Sahn” with open arms – and lungs, like the anthem it has become. Grown men embraced each other.
If science can ever copy what Jim’s vocal chords are made of – we could build a bridge to the moon.
What a great night, combined with Rochford’s superb venue and the slick efficiency of the ADOTG team in everything, from buying a drink to emptying the car park, it’s no wonder this event has become a Yarra Valley ‘must-do’.
Article by staff writer – Ross Cureton
Photographer – Kerry Kissell