This weekend past marked the 10th birthday of the legendary Cherry Rock Festival held in AC/DC Lane, Melbourne and it boasted a more than impressive line-up to celebrate it’s decade of decadence! On this occasion it was hard to refuse a rock n roll weekender from our home town of Brisbane, so we packed our bags and off we went!
From here I’m going to attempt a day-by-day review of the weekend’s activities, but to be totally honest my recall is pretty sketchy – that Melbourne Bitter goes down easy & Cherry Bar sure knows how to sell a refreshing beverage!!
We arrived in Ye Olde Melbourne Towne in the late afternoon & proceeded to meet a friend in the city. Our first stop was the Young And Jackson Hotel to see “the naked lady“. As a woman I really wouldn’t recommend visiting this pub – before I even managed to grab the hand rail of the stairs a big security guard with an even bigger chip on his shoulder ushered me through the door & aggressively questioned me; “What did you say?!” I had literally just walked in the door, turned around to ask my friend if we were walking upstairs and before I got a word out he was in my face. I politely asked him what he meant because I literally hadn’t said a word & was referred to as a “fuckhead” before being waved up the stairs by my partner & my friend who wanted to avoid an altercation.
Welcome to Melbourne!
After 1 beer and a “lets get the fuck outta here” we proceeded on to a friend’s local haunt. We chatted all things 70s/80s Oz Rock with some locals & even got the chance to hang with Ron Peno of Died Pretty. After more than 1 or 2 beers we decided it was time to see some rock so we all headed for Cherry Bar. Dallas Crane were priming punters for the weekend ahead & the beers were being poured thick & fast. I hadn’t been to Cherry before & I must say it was pretty excellent to feel comfortable straight away. James Young, A tall figure with a huge smile dressed in brightly coloured western wear greeted all of us from across the bar & wandered throughout the crowd chatting most of the night. The polar opposite of what I’d experienced earlier in the night, my “big city’ anxiety was eased!
We slept the previous night off and met some friends for lunch at Trunk. Anyone looking for a relaxing vibe with inside & outside options should check this place out. It serves up American Diner Style food with a big smile! We didn’t spend too long eating as my new favourite bar was calling us back – it was time for “The Greatest Rock & Roll Band In The World” – Supersuckers! These guys are always great live & seem to love us here in Australia just as much as we love them! They played 2 shows on Saturday, we caught their afternoon (Arvo) show. The room was jam packed full of sweaty “mature aged” men who wanted to rock. There was more back-hair than head-hair & even for a curvy gal my waistline seemed to be the smallest in the room – It was hillbilly heaven! Gay Paris lubed up the crowd with their special brand of “Hipster Cunts Trying To Be Metal” before Supersuckers were introduced to the stage & played a mostly country influenced set. They had everyone in the place grinning ear to ear! Our master of ceremonies for the weekend, James Young, donned another shade of western wear and made everyone feel welcomed as he made the rounds! Talk about hospitality, I feel like I could rock up to this guy’s house and he would offer me the comfiest cushion on the couch! (Don’t worry James, I won’t).
Today was the day – Cherry Rock’s 10th birthday! The wind was blowing & the rain was sprinkling; perfect beer weather! As we walked out of our hotel we could already hear the riffs coming from AC/DC lane! I had wondered how they could possibly get so many people into such a small space, but was surprised on the day by how excellent it really is – because the lane is on a slope you can see everything. As we walked through the doors the lane held an impressive array of denim demons, the canadian tuxedo seems to be as favourable to Melbourne rockers as it is to me! 🙂 Too bad our Brisbane weather only permits about 2 weeks of double denim each ‘winter’!
We wandered through Cherry Bar’s doors , grabbed a cold one & planted ourselves up front to witness the raw energy of Power! These guys have some serious balls – the only way i can describe them is “If Bon Scott & Stevie Wright had a baby, fed it on a diet of NWOBHM & Thrash you’d get POWER!”. I’ll be stoked to see these guys again!
After shooting the shit with various people we managed to score a prime position side of stage, with it’s own bar (how’s that for service!!) & proceeded to be impressed all over again by Supersuckers – Cha Cha Cha!
We attempted to get inside for Dead City Ruins but that just really wasn’t going to happen as punter’s clambered through every door to watch, so we listened from outside & got ready for Richie Ramone. I must say I wasn’t sure what to expect but Richie & his band kept The Ramones spirit alive with Richie rockin’ out both in front & behind the kit. He brought with him a motley crew which included Clare Misstake on Bass, Ben Reagan on rhythm guitar & Australian export Ronnie Simmons on lead guitar & vocals! I had seen Ronnie play years ago in L.U.S.T. and was impressed again with his flashy playing & presence.
Kadavar were the last band of the night & without a doubt the highlight for us! These guys absolutely killed it with their tight jeans, long hair & 70s inspired HEAVY riffin’! We’d seen them before in Brisbane but they were absolutely on fire at Cherry & the atmosphere was electric! We didn’t want them to end, but alas, the festival had to go off with a bang & they provided!
I’d like to say this is where our night ended but it got pretty loose from here on in, those memories are a blur so we’ll stick to the ones that make any sense!
Cherry Rock is over but the rock memories will last! Thanks again to James Young for being such a killer host, Happy Birthday Cherry Bar, & until next time…(There better be a next time!)
Over & Out!