Bimbadgen Estate, Hunter Valley
Saturday November 5, 2016 :
Before we get into the music, the venue and the weather, I wanted to state first up what the biggest success to come out of this Day On The Green show was. Think about this for a moment, if any of these five bands played their own show in Newcastle – You Am I, Something For Kate, Spiderbait, Jebediah or The Meanies – how many punters would they pull? Whatever that number happened to be, it would be nowhere near the 7000 that came to the Hunter today. Just this fact was a joy to see.
The Hunter turned it on for A Day On The Green this Saturday. The weather was stunning, and gave us all a taste of what the biting Summer sun can be like. Sun screen, hats and lots of liquid was in order to take the edge off.
Navigating the bag check security, we find our patch of greenery as The Meanies flail across the stage delivering their brand of ‘90s suburban punk. The already sizeable crowd were embracing the Valley rock and sun, and the unapologetic dirty rock was a great way to open the day.
Jebediah have always been a favourite, be it in a small club or a festival stage, and it is understandable when they deliver a set that is raucous and full of moments where the crowd are in full voice. “Leaving Home” is the perfect song to let loose to. The more recent “She’s Like A Comet” sits comfortably with the Jeb classics, and closing with “Harpoon” and “Teflon” had the thousands of punters jumping.
Be it the priming by The Meanies and Jebediah, or the booze just happened to be kicking in, whatever it was, it had the entire Bimbadgen Estate on their feet as Spiderbait began their solid set. When the band can pull out “Buy Me A Pony”, “Fucken Awesome”, and close with their intense version of “Black Betty”, you’re always on a winner. Throw in a surprising take of Nena’s “99 Luftballons” and Spiderbait had won us over. The word on the ground after the event was that it was Spiderbait’s day.
As the sun set and the stage lights came into full effect, Something For Kate increased the rock intensity as they pulled cuts from across their catalog. The mood in the Valley changed. The crowd remained on their feet but with the drop in tempo, you moved rather than jumped. The music was no less forceful, it just enveloped you rather than throwing you around. “Electricity”, “Monsters” and “Pinstripe” made welcomed appearances, and overall, they were this reviewer’s ‘pick of the day’.
You Am I have certainly gained some weight for this show – brass section and backing singers. The band looked kinda classy decked out in light blue suits, with Tim Rogers capping it off with a matching blue headscarf. Their hour plus set covered everything that is YAI, with many of the punters reliving their youth with “Minor Byrd”, “Cathy’s Clown” and “Good Mornin’” sitting alongside the tender “Heavy Heart”. The night concluded with “Berlin Chair”, a song that has taken on iconic proportions.
All up, a major success for Bimbadgen Estate, A Day On The Green, and Australian rock. All the original fans of ‘90s rock are that little bit older now and are embracing their youth. 7000 punters in the Valley is a sign of the times.
Reviewer : Catherine Shelvey
Photographer : Kevin Bull