Report and photos by Jason Rosewarne
On an overcast, windy morning, gates opened to the concert area at 11am for the first official day of the Mundi Mundi Bash. The Mayor of Broken Hill, Tom Kennedy welcomed the throng followed by a wonderful welcome to country by two indigenous girls from the area.
Fans are now full festival mode as the weather cleared to a beautiful sunny day. The food van access was easy and more importantly, the grub was tasty! Overall, a well organised festival with a desert full of happy campers.
Leroy Johnson & The Waterbag Band opened the day with some rock’n tunes. Kyle Lionheart performed his cruisy, feel-good fare. Ash Grunwald gave us his usual heartfelt, gritty raw blues rock, playing tracks from his latest album Shout Into The Noise. The Wolfe Brothers never fail to have a good time themselves and in the process give the audience plenty of excuses to rock out with them. Busby Marou is another act that proves that Australia constantly churns out quality artists who can not only knock out great recordings but know how to work a crowd. Richard Clapton just reeks of Australian rock ‘n’ roll history, delivering one classic song after another. Missy Higgins has forged an amazing career since winning our hearts with The Sound of White way back in 2004. She won the crowd over with ease tonight too. Bringing on stage a local choir from Wilcannia near Broken Hill was a lovely touch too.
However, it was The Oils that everyone had come to see and what better location to play for a band who has celebrated the red dirt imagery of Australia throughout their entire career. Taking some time off from their recent Resist album tour set list, the Mundi Mundi crowd were treated to a barrage of hits. From the opening strains of Redneck Wonderland and Don’t Wanna Be The One, the crowd were out of their camper chairs and on their feet. Borderline, Sometimes, Dreamworld, US Forces, Short Memory, Blue Sky Mining, the Midnight Oil best-of catalogue kept coming and reminded us that they are one of the most potent musical forces in the world. Missy Higgins joined the band to a roar of approval for a sing on several Oils classics, as did Elana Stone, Sarah Belkner, Zoe Hauptmann and Leroy Johnson at various points during the show. The clock is ticking down on the band’s final performance and the Mundi audience savoured every minute of this very special gig. More from Mundi Mundi tomorrow!