River Rocks 2018


Now. Ive never been to River Rocks. I aint been to Geelong in bout 15 years. The furthest ive been in the last two years has been from St Kilda to Montmorency, where I discovered the towns Officer and Denis exist. I hear theres a lot of nice places in the world, but St Kilda has the Blackmolls an  a Street bar. Does London ave that? My mates Johnny Kicks and Glenn O told me to come down to Getroit for this annual fest probably now the premier music festival in Victoria. With a week out from the gig I got a text from my website host and Book Club president Fred, asking me if I wanted to come down for the show as Mark had a spear tix, as there iconic band I Spit on your Gravy will be playing. How can I pass? Seeing one of my favourite bands hang out with my mates and take a road trip. And be back in St Kilda that night. Was a perfect combo. I lost count how many times people said whet the fuck are you doing here? I like how people know I hate traveling. Id rather go places where I can walk.

After a few beers with my favourite drinking buddy Lisa im on my way to Dis place where I will meet Mark and Fred. On arrival Mark and Di are out the back and im also greeted by the beautiful greyhound that also occupies the place as well as one of my favs Vic. Mark and Di are both beautiful people and very blessed Mark thought of me for the tix, really means a lot Mark, onya. Our fearless leader Fred joins us and after a few fags in the system we hit the road.

Fred tells me he has two cans in his bag one for me, such a lovely man always thinking of me and giving me fuel to continue on. However Di has told us that since its a new car there will be no drinking or smoking on the way. Mark puts his bass case on us in the back, this would ave been the perfect bar to rest our beers. Fred does take advantage of the case using it to use as a DJ bench. First song off the rank is William Shatners version of Common People, possibly the greatest cover ever. Most of the journey is covered by the great Robbie Fulks. He plays the Cigarette State song I love and his on the road song. We stop for a beer and smoke break at little rock which I later found out was 15 minutes from the place.

We arrive in time for Grindhouse, there new LP Can I Drive your Commodore is up there in the top three LPs of the year, a cracking set featuring both the Peter Russel Clark songs. The latest one off their new LP Wheres the Fucking Cheese screams stadium rock, by that I mean it has the vibe of a whole room screaming Peter Russel Clark followed by the song title. Out the back of the wonderfully named  Spencer P Jones stage I see my first friendly face in Judy, while where talking the soothing echoes of Good Old Collingwood Forever in my ear, turn round to find its Max all the way from the Croweaters state. The singing of my national anthem may ave been in jest but its always beautiful to hear those words and ace to see him.  Another cracking set from Grindhouse, these guys cant do anything wrong, and Simmo is one of the nicest fellas in rock. At the back I see the lovely Rosie with the great man Johnny Kicks on my arrival he screams no fucking way, im like way. Always got time for him. After the end of the set I walk to the stage to see St Kildas best barman and bloke you can trust Mad Rad and the also rad Didi. I tell Didi we need to get the Daggar there next time. Didi tells me how the Rolling Stones where charging 500 clams for a tix wheres this was under 70 bucks. I sure know what the better value is. I inform Johnny the sad news that the Balaclava has stopped the $5 schooners all day, he/s as pissed as well all are. Carbie is here with his camera on standby. Hes talking bout his car and all I know bout cars I know from Grindhouse LPs.

In the main area I bump into Tamara from HITs, such a sweetheart she is. Very glad to see her, we raise a glass and cheers to fuck everything. Speaking of sweethearts Polly Jean is here aint seen her in ages, great to see her BIT. Mick from Grindhouse pulls me to pump fists.

Dr Colossus is on next, first heard these guys at the Tote, and I found myself singing every word, thinking how the fuck do I know all these tracks, then I realised all the lines where Simpsons references. The golden years of the show that is. There Album titled the Dank had me laughing for minutes due to the reference in the Uncle Moes episode.

Aaron greets me as does Mark Ireland who/s been in outstanding form with his gig guide this year. Up next is Senor No. Must admit I don/t know a hell of a lot bout these guys. Johnny gets the attention of the singer then screams something in Spanish to which he gets a thumbs up for his efforts. As asked what the fuck, and he said was either thanks or our welcome, either is appropriate. Oh did I mention you can smoke in the outside stage. I LOVE YOU GEELONG. I see locals Simon Barbra and Jefffo if all the locals are like these people this would be a very friendly city. Senor No play a killer garage rock set, topped off by Joel Silbersher getting up for My Pal. All the oldies are wetting themselves while a group of younger people scratched their heads and say huh. At this point I see Glenn O who/s moved down here, I always got time for him and one of my favourite people. He told me hes got down to the movies earlier in the day as I slot in another fag before I get in for Front End Loader, round this point I see the other Glen, always a pleasure being in this presence. Front End Loader do an ace set, sadly no songs from How Can we Fail when where so Sincere, one of my all time favourite LPs .

  book club on the road.

The Chats are on next. That smoko song must be the virial hit of indie music this year, as for the band I aint heard much of there stuff. Glen mentions the singers haircut, which looks like a cross between a page haircut and a mullet. The first track the young fella says this songs about pingaz. I like em already. Another songs bus money is a highlight of the day. These kids sure ave talent, singing tracks im sure any bored 19 year old in the burbs can relate to. As the set starts im asked if they/ve done the Smoko song, I say no. This gentlemen than puts some fresh air in my face, minutes early I got a 5 buck can of Young Henrys. Fuck $5 can of beers and air watching a band in a beer garden im in heaven. This bloke asks if I come often, I raise one finger to raise my inexperience. He tells me that he went to the first nine before moving to Queensland. He came all the way down from Queensland to be informed that its sold out he said im coming in. Fucking good on him. I do something (break the seal probably) and get back in time for the smoko song. Im again next to Judy, some strange man is talking to her, then sets his sights on me, she tells me that he was looking at her shirt. He then proceeds to touch my badges, thankfully he moves on. Smokos over, the song and mine, I walk inside for the main event but before I can I see a guy partied out leaning on a bin. I ask if hes alright, he smiles at me and has a go at my moustache, even though his moustache is what kids on the playground would say is bum fluff. I put that beside me to see the band ive been hanging to see I Spit on your Gravy.   Freds up front with percussion for an instrumental to start. James gets up for some crowd surfing, and Glenn O stands next to me and I embrace him knowing this will be brilliant. Fred is up front and owns the crowd, has them eating out of his palms. He ends the gig feeding us with fruit loops. He even mentioned to Di on stage how he didn/t spill his beer. Was a killer set, Whats Happening being the highlight. Me and Glenn O discuss the set, Johnny walks past and says brilliant, I say outstanding, he says even better.

I desperately need a fag so I decided to go for one but then the Hard Ons belt out I Do I Do I Do as their opener and im up there to bang my head like an idiot and sing along. After a few songs I get the tap on the shoulder, my ride is waiting for me to get in. I hug Mark and say thanks so much for a wonderful day, Max pats me back and bid goodnight to Glen as we/re outta here.

I ask the bouncer if he/s seen a bloke with sideburns walk out, he says that could be almost anyone here. Fred walks out with a can of Melbourne, the bouncers can see this yet aint bothered. Ave I mentioned I love this place?

Jesse kindly provides me and Fred a ride back home. Fred is again on the DJ set, Robbie Fulks again get a fair play. As does the Dirty Hanks, Viv Gayes beautiful voice guilds us down the bay of Port Melbourne, as Nicky Del Ray and his wonderful country tracks takes us through the final Ks. Fred reaches his home and I get dropped off at Glen Ire Road and say thankyou to Jesse and his partner for the lift. Eight seconds later I throw up. I cross the road and pretty much throw up all the contents I guzzled in the last few days. I arrive and bid goodnight to my lovely housemate Cath, before Steve Connolly and the Usual Suspects drift me to zzzzz.

All in all a wonderful day, I want to go every year now. Brilliant people the best bands, fresh air from strangers, it felt like home Thanks again to Mark and Fred for the Tix and Mark Di and Jesse for the ride. And thanks to Glenn O for the beer, owe you one next time. Geelong is alright

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