Gig Review: Spiderbait party time at A Day On The Green

McLaren Vale, South Australia. 17th March 2018

Beginning in Victoria, Australia in 2001, A day On The Green (ADOTG) has grown to become one of Australia’s most respected events. The events cover every state in Australia, with tours running throughout the warmer months of October – March. Around 30 concerts are staged per season, in all major wine-growing regions around Australia. During the 2016/17 season, ADOTG celebrated its 400th show.

Spiderbait : Kram – Vocals and Drums, Janet English – Vocals and Bass and Damian Whitty Guitar and Vocals. Were one of the headline bands at this year’s South Australian event. Held at the beautiful vineyard of Leconfield and Richard Hamilton Wines, McLaren Vale, South Australia.

The weather forecast was for a top of 30 degrees C with overcast skies. They got the temperature right as it was a pleasant summer’s day, but a slight drizzle started to fall from late afternoon, and as the day progressed it turned to rain and became more persistent. Good for the grape vines, not so good for the crowd.

Spiderbait, occupy an almost god like existence with Australian Alt/Rock fans. Having clocked up 27 years together, the original line up has had five top 20 albums and can boast two ARIA music awards.

It’s party time as soon as this band arrive on stage, and they spread that party feeling throughout the crowd with their fantastic and unique interaction.Sat behind his iconic two bass drum kit.

Kram lays down a solid beat that gets everyone moving even before they know what song he is going to break into.Treating the fans to numbers from their third album ‘Ivy and the Big Apples’ such as ‘Hot Water and Milk’ and ‘Chest Hair’. They get the whole crowd singing along to these established favourites almost from the first thump of those twin bass drums.

Reminiscing past concerts, Kram paid tribute to some of the previous bands that had starred in earlier concerts around SA, before launching into their much loved 2004 hit, ‘Tonite’.

Asking the question of the crowd “You know what you are”? To which the crowd loudly reply “what”? The band break into ‘Fucken Awesome’, Dedicated by Kram to his “Auntie Denise” and sung by bassist Janet English.

Bringing a young fan on stage to share a few moments of limelight with one of Aussie music’s icons. Kram tried unsuccessfully to get young Max to sing along with them, as they launched into the good time song, ‘Old Man Sam’. which started with the familiar audience participation of trading and copying “yeah- yeahs’ along with the band. Nobody gets a crowd involved like Kram, and no band keeps them involved like Spiderbait does. This was a summer crowd looking for a good time, and here was just the band to provide it. An extended version of ‘Old Man Sam’ featured some incredible guitar harmonics from Damian “Whit” Whitty.

Even though the rain was coming down slowly but surely by this time. The crowd didn’t care a bit, as Janet English launched into “Goin off’, with Kram on acoustic Guitar. And then immediately into the cover song ‘99 luftballon’ sung – impressively- entirely in German.

This event was the last of A Day on The Green events for South Australia, this season. And Spiderbait were determined it was going to be one to remember. To deafening cheers from the crowd the band broke into ‘Buy me a Pony’ the first Australian song to top the Triple J’s ‘hot 100’ chart, back in 1996. The crowd dutifully held their phones aloft with lights glowing in the night air for the next number, ‘Calypso’ with lead vocals by English. This song goes from soft and sweet, to full-on hard rock within seconds. and it was just what the crowd wanted.

And then the show was sadly coming to an end, with Kram asking the crowd, “When are we gonna see you again”? Before breaking into the 2x platinum, – and one of their most iconic numbers – ‘Black Betty’ at this point the crowd erupted into one of the loudest receptions I’ve heard for a song. As wet as the night was, the crowd didn’t care, because one of Australia’s best bands had played for them … and that made the night perfect.


Categories: Gig Reviews

Tags: , ,

%d bloggers like this: