A Day On The Green @ Leconfield Wines, McLaren Vale SA 17/3/2018

It’s all happening in Adelaide! Mad March! State Election! I think when March winds down we’ll all be ready for Panadol and a lay down. A Day On The Green really did nail this line up featuring an absolute monster line up featuring The Living End, Spiderbait, Veruca Salt, Tumbleweed and The Fauves… it was fantastic.

The Fauves opened proceedings and the early kick off meant most were walking in as they started. These guys are super cool with their witty lyrics and their unique blend of melodic pop-rock mixed in with a dash of satiricalness. Andrew “Coxy” Cox and Phil “The Doctor” Leonard had plenty of banter going through their set. It is always great to hear songs off one of my favourite albums Future Spa with Don’t Get Death Threats Anymore and Dogs Are The Best People. Coxy was adamant that the storm was coming and that punters need to bunker down with the “cool aid” suggesting the roads were blocked in pulling in plenty of biblical references. The weather at this point was mild but the blustery wind was making it tough for the band and the sound crew. Nevertheless, the day was off to a top start.

Tumbleweed rule! Wollongong’s favourite son’s played an absolute ripper. I wish we could see a lot more of these guys play as they recaptured that rock spirit of the Australian music scene in the 90s. Sundial rocked and not even a blown amp could stop proceedings. Singer Richard Lewis has all the rock moves as he powered through their set. It was quite a crowd down the front getting in to their set. With all the great songs in their back catalogue I think they need two hours to do it justice but still we got some awesome cuts including the likes of Hang Around, Silver Lizard and Daddy Long Legs. Their set ended with an epic version of Mountain. 

Right about now the weather had started to change with a few drops of rain, the blustery breeze was picking up and then occasional bolt of lightning in the distance. This didn’t put a dampener on the collective enthusiasm as Veruca Salt took to the stage. After a triumphant return to Australia a few years ago many were looking forward to their return. No doubt the conditions made it very tough on their sound mix but what was noticeable was the intensity and ferocity they played with. Opening with Straight from Eight Arms To Hold You got a set full the very best of Veruca Salt. All of the hits were there from the likes of Forsythia, Spider-Man 79 and Shutterbug. Louise Post returned from a wardrobe malfunction just in time for the start of Volcano Girls. There was one song that the masses were waiting to hear prompting the question from Louise “what do you want on your rock pizza?” No doubt is was a heavy serving of Seether to finish off their set.

If any band deserves to join the A Day On The Green Alumni there’s no doubt that honour would be bestowed on festival favourites Spiderbait. If there’s every a party you can guarantee Spiderbait will deliver the goods. Kram prompted the elite down the front to get up and out of their chairs saying “it’s time to stand up” before kicking off with Straight Through The Sun. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Spiderbait play here in Adelaide rock city but they’re always on song. Buy Me A Pony, Calypso and Black Betty are straight out Spiderbait classics that sent the crowd in to hyperdrive. Kram says they are kids from the 80s as he introduced the “Hahndorf Shuffle” and one of their favourite songs sung by Janet entirely in German, 99 Luftballoons was a winner. It only seemed appropriate for Spiderbait to finish on Black Betty saying to the crowd to take off your clothes, do whatever but respect each other.

The Living End made a barnstorming entrance opening with smash hit West End Riot. For a brief moment the rain stopped and even Chris Cheney commented “just like that it stopped!” That was brief as the rain started to set in for the even which started to reduce my enthusiasm somewhat. They kept cranking out the hits with Roll On, Uncle Harry and All Torn Down which according to Cheney may or may not have been written in Adelaide. There was a taster Drop The Needle from the forthcoming album which was welcomed by the fans. There was a humorous and slightly long winded story about how drummer Andy Strachan came to join the band mixed with an apparition of Daryl Braithwaite encouraging him to stop plucking chickens and grow a hipster beard, become a barista in Brunswick Street and join a rock band.

E-Boogie was cool which morphed in to The Proclaimers I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) which was a highlight of their set. Cheney said that Spiderbait aren’t the only band who can play covers and not to throw shoes, t-shirts or bras but cash or a cheque… something beneficial. What a way to finish off their set than with Wake Up, White Noise, Second Solution and the mega hit Prisoner Of Society.

Despite the weather A Day On The Green really turned it on again with another top line up which can only keep us guessing about the line ups for next summer! Now, it’s the mad dash to the car to beat the traffic…

Review by Rob Lyon

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