The Christmas & New Year holidays are over, and while some of you may (or may not) be trying to erase 2016 from memory, there was one highlight that is impossible for those in attendance to forget.
It was billed as the ‘Scott & Charlene’s Wedding Album Launch’, but Sunday the 18th of December at the Thornbury Bowls Club felt more like a gathering of mates than an album launch. The day sure had a few issues, the lines for beer were huge, the BBQ ran out of food, minor sound issues, but none of that mattered. The day was a triumph, and you would be hard to find any of the attendees with a bad word to say about the day.
The venue might seem a bit strange, a bowls club? But it worked far better than one could imagine. Stepping into the Thornbury Bowls Club was like a step back into my childhood. The smell of stale smoke, cheap pints, test cricket on TV, I half expected to see my Dad circa 1998 at the bar with his mates after playing cricket. It has that classic amateur sports club feel about it, and it seemed that everyone was immediately familiar with their surroundings and was ready to launch into a Sunday session, except the sound track to the day featured some of the finest bands in Melbourne right now.
The line-up couldn’t have been better. Seeing any of Sleepless Nights, Twerps, Bitch Prefect or Scott & Charlene’s Wedding alone is a treat in itself, but to see all of these bands in one afternoon beggars belief.
The transition between bands was spent endlessly waiting for another pint. But that hardly mattered. Everyone was in it together and friends were instantly made in the line chatting about the band just played, the band coming up, New Years Eve plans or even the test cricket on TV. It was that kind of day. The setting allowed for jovial conversations while kids ran around outside, the bowling club members sat and drank and the bands set up on stage.
…a day that reminded us how lucky we are to live in Melbourne.
By the time Scott & Charlene’s Wedding took the stage, the crowd had been treated to a great afternoon of music. I unfortunately missed Sleepless Nights, but between the laid back jangle of Twerps, the violin infused folk of Two Steps on the Water and the brilliance of Bitch Prefect, my afternoon was already complete, but Scott & Charlene’s Wedding ensured that things only got better.
As soon as the band took to the stage it felt as though the crowd all took 3 steps forward in anticipation, the band grasped the energy and launched into one of the best live sets we had seen in 2016. There is no denying that latest album ‘Mid Thirties Single Scene’ is brilliant, but to hear the songs live reinforced how great this band is. Maureen, Distraction, Don’t Bother Me, and Scrambled Eggs are some of the best songs of 2016, and performed live are even better. By the time the band started diving into their back catalogue the crowd were eating it all up. Early single Footscray Station turned into a mini mosh pit before the highlight of the day – a huge sing along to the Mental as Anything classic Live It Up. Lead singer Craig Dermody was crowd surfing, while the crowd was singing along at the top of their lungs. Looking around at all the smiling faces it was obvious that something special was happening. Prior to the penultimate song Craig Dermody asked if we could all fit into Monty’s bar for the after party. It seemed as though no one wanted the day to end. It wasn’t only an album launch, it was a homecoming of sorts for Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, and more importantly, it was a day that reminded us how lucky we are to live in Melbourne.
Event organisers take note: Thornbury Bowls Club turned out to be a fantastic venue, so here’s hoping that more gigs are booked and played at bowling clubs and other unfamiliar venues in and around the inner north in 2017. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping a sharp eye on these bands as we continue to support local music.
Feature Image Credit Pat O’Neil