Report: Greg Phillips Photos: Jason Rosewarne
Good Friday never seems like the appropriate title for day 2 at Bluesfest when so many amazing acts are on offer. Surely it’s Great Friday!
All Our Exes Live in Texas lit up the Crossroads stage early in the afternoon. When last we saw this talented band, they were warming the crowd up at Mt Duneed for Midnight Oil. Seems their job wasn’t done as they once again provided a quality set of alt country folk rock hours before the Oils were to hit the stage later in the night. Vika and Linda blew everyone away with their unique, powerful voices. Fiona Boyes & The Fortune Tellers offered a good time vibe and over at the Delta tent, Henry Wagons continued the country rock theme.
The current line up of The Church is possibly the finest live version of the band ever. Add a truckload of hits to the equation and you’ve got a superb way to spend an hour at a music festival.
Kim Churchill holds a special place in the heart of Bluesfest as it was here that he was first discovered and thrust into the spotlight by festival organiser Peter Noble. Over the years Kim has developed a large and loyal audience, which is befitting of his mesmerising rhythms.
As always, Ash Grunwald delivered a passionate set based around his gritty guitar tones and rootsy tunes. The Living End know how to entertain large crowd and Bluesfest lapped up their energetic brand of rockabilly, digging deep into the back catalogue to find gems like Pictures in the Mirror and All Torn Down.
It’s hard to believe but Hoodoo Gurus made their Bluesfest debut tonight, opening with World of Pain, a track off their new album Chariot of The Gods, perhaps a commentary on the last few weeks coming off covid infections. Among the hits (and there were many), a couple more newbies were slotted into the set including, “My Imaginary Friend’ being played live for the first time.
The Jambalaya tent was added to the mix today and NSW-based folk, rock, bluegrass band 19-Twenty had a bunch of fun with the audience, many who seemed to be tried to true fans before the event. No doubt they added a few more tonight.
Good Friday delivered one of the largest Bluesfest crowds we’ve seen and a large part of the blame for that lays with the fact that Aussie rock legends Midnight Oil edge closer and closer to the last gig of their final tour. As with the other shows on the Resist tour, the setlist was focussed heavily around the the new album and the important social messages it comments upon… climate, greed, war … our very existence. A fierce, extended version of Stand in Line from the Head Injuries album was played as if it was being performed for the last time. In fact, a lot of the Oils material tonight had that same vibe. There was a sense of melancholy seeping through the barrage of distorted guitar riffs. Putting the guitar aside occasionally, Jim Moginie went mad professor on us with his synth forays. When the hits landed, they came with a flurry. Dreamworld, US Forces, Don’t Wanna Be The One, Power and The Passion, they were all there. It was a fitting farewell to a band who has given so much to so many over such a long time. They were the soundtrack to the lives of a lot in attendance at Bluesfest, and tonight yet another fantastic memory was etched into our minds.