This particular Day on the Green was to make up for a washed out version on a previous occasion. Bowral turned on a gorgeous day for a great Australian line up of bands which included, Choirboys, Dragon, 1927, Richard Clapton, Ian Moss and Noiseworks.
A good-sized crowd had gathered early to take advantage of the weather. As they settled on their patch of lawn with their picnic hampers and eskies, a carnival atmosphere added to the enjoyment of the day.
There was such a great, relaxed mood, with many a punter donning interesting and unusual head apparel. I’m sure they could have had a silly hat competition, with a dozen contenders in the Grand Final, such was the folly of what they wore.
The Choirboys were first up and they played all of their hits, including Struggletown and everyone’s party favourite, Run to Paradise, but the surprise from them was in their cover version of Rose Tattoo's, Bad Boy for Love, which went over particularly well. The crowd was getting into it and this really set the tone for the remainder of the afternoon.
Next up were Dragon who further warmed up the masses with their numerous hits, including Are You Old Enough, April Sun in Cuba and Rain.
In between acts, we were kept amused by the antics of DJ Grand Master Baitz who, due to the occasion, played Australian music only. This in itself was a revelation as he played songs that were long forgotten but a pleasure to hear again.
All this whilst hitting tennis balls into the crowd that could be redeemed as prizes at the merchandise stand, shredding guitar with a tennis racket & smoke machine, donning different outfits – think Angus Young and an 80’s rocker - and climbing onto the stage scaffolding encouraging the audience to have fun.
The punters were up, singing and swaying along as though these were current charting singles, the words and melodies that hit our airwaves all those years ago still fresh in their memories today.
Richard Clapton was next and, I admit, I am a big fan. However, this was the first time I was seeing him live and I definitely wasn't disappointed!
Hit after hit, like Girls on the Avenue, Goodbye Tiger and Capricorn Dancer brought back memories. I could’ve listened all night but his set finished all too soon. Lucky for me, I had tickets to see him again as I was left wanting for more.
I remarked to my wife what a great time I was having, sitting in the shade of a large gum tree in this park-like setting, grape vines in the distance, taking in the festive atmosphere whilst enjoying all these fabulous bands I’d grown up with. It was Heaven and I was re-living my youth! Singing along to hit after hit, my throat was becoming raspy, the sets were way too short and time was flying much too quickly!
Ian Moss was performing solo today and he must’ve been eager to get out there as he was 10 minutes early!
He performed some Cold Chisel hits, as well as some of his own selections including Tuckers Daughter, which apparently is about Narrabri in the NSW north west.
There were also some long guitar solos, which are not my thing, but Moss had the crowd eating off his guitar pick, with many a swaying (if not staggering) punter beside me yelling “brilliant”. Guitar solo or not, this man knew how to play and it was great to witness his solo performance!
In a fitting tribute, Moss’ last song, When the War is Over, was dedicated to the late Steve Prestwich, the drummer from Cold Chisel. The crowd roared and yelled for more.
Before we knew it, the headliners, Noiseworks, hit the stage. By this time, the punters were rather jovial, high on ambience and perhaps a little wine. They pushed forward to hear Jon Stevens and the boys give it their all.
With the sun going down, it became decidedly cooler but there was no way one could get cold with the heat being generated on stage. Noiseworks are brilliant, there’s nothing more to add.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and this line up of acts today would give any overseas artist playing a Day on the Green a run for their money, it was that good!
With the music industry the way it is today, it’s interesting to note that these artists, despite writing new material, get very little airplay yet still manage to pull capacity crowds, such is their impact on those who grew up with their music. I’m proud to be Australian and I’m proud to be a fan of their music.
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