The picturesque surrounds of Serafino Wines in the heart of McLaren Vale came to life with Grapevine Gathering 2022. Sold out well in advance South Australian again showed how it’s meant to be done. On paper this was a solid day for festival goers to really make a good go of it and have a cracking day out. The weather was perfect and there was plenty on early in the day kicking off with Groove Society, Becca Hatch, Nyxen, Alice Skye, Big Twisty & The Funknasty and Jack River.
Walking in to see Confidence Man go through their paces created plenty of intrigue for someone who hasn’t seen them play before. Playing songs from relatively newish album Tilt the electro pop duo really got Serafino Wines going.
The crowd went absolutely nuts for The Veronicas whose set might have been short but they made the most of it in the afternoon sun. It was quite the sight with the crowd in full voice on Take Me On The Floor, Hook Me Up, In My Blood, 4ever and then asking the crowd to rise for their national anthem Untouched. The crowd no doubt wanted more returning to sing Shallow with The Inspire Unemployed who entertained the masses and kept the party vibe going right through the day.
Festival specialists Ballpark Music brought plenty of good time vibes to Grapevine Gathering. Opening with Manny with their set was full of so many killer songs including Everything Is Shit Except My Friendship With You, Stars In My Eyes, Exactly How You Are and It’s Nice To Be Alive. It was a bit different without Jen there who gave birth to baby boy a few weeks ago (congratulations!) but was well served by Mel Tickle on vocals and Alex Bennison on bass. Killer party vibe tunes She Only Loves Me When I’m There and Sad Rude Future Dude finished a stellar set.
The Kooks were worth the hour and a half drive and asking price alone. Whilst others may not have shared the same level of excitement as I they definitely turned in a killer performance. The band look a little different with bass player Jonathan Harvey replacing Peter Denton. The set was focused on celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of their debut album Inside In/ Inside Out, Konk and new album 10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark. With the constraints of a festival set there were so many other great tracks they could have played including Let’s Go Sunshine but did not have enough time. Opening with the popular Seaside it was hit after hit including See The World, Sofa Song and Ooh La. She Moves In Her Own Way was fantastic and when someone yelled out for Naive front man Luke Pritchard promised they would play it at some point, like right at the end. New songs Connection, Cold Heart and Closer feature prominently in the set. It was great to hear Do You Wanna and Junk Of The Heart (Happy) before finishing on the song everyone wanted in Naive. Hopefully, The Kooks can play their own headline show in Adelaide next time.
Peking Duk lived up to the headline status kicking things up a notch with their full production with the front section transformed in to a massive dance floor. Adam Hyde was missing partner in crime Reuben Styles who had to rush home for the birth of his child. Their set had plenty of big hits including High, Stranger and Honest which came out earlier this year. If the fireworks weren’t a massive highlight the appearance of Safia’s Ben Woolner singing Take Me Over would be on the highlights reel.
It is great to see people are out in big numbers supporting festivals like Grapevine Gathering and making it a day to remember. I’m sure organisers will possibly make a few tweaks to continue enhancing the Grapevine Gathering festival experience for 2023.
Live Review By Rob Lyon