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I spent the sunny day, at the Alt-Country music festival Out On The Weekend at Seaworks in Williamtown There was a twang in the air and some tasty slide guitar was displayed but even though I could see some boats, I really wanted to DOCK ON!
So after fighting through the traffic, I eventually arrived at Max Watts - the venue formerly known as the Hi-Fi Bar in the CBD and what a loud humungous racket was going on the stage. I had heard about this elusive Dada punk veterans called Cowsmuff. Apparently the story goes that after a twenty year hiatus, they have been playing around Melbourne town supporting the likes of Bodyjar and Cosmic Psychos.
The thing that I wanted to see was that the lead singer was none other than Paddy Donovan, the CEO of Music Victoria and former Chief Music Writer for The Age newspaper. I am use to seeing Paddy up on stage, smartly dressed handing out awards or hosting an important event. So it was quiet a shock and surprise to see him totally rocking out, whacking imaginary golf balls into the audience and dancing up a storm. What I witnessed was certainly entertaining. Where else but Melbourne, would you see a CEO of important music body, sweating it up and screaming mental lyrics to the bemused crowd? I know very little about the other band members of Cowsmuff, except that they have The Devastations' Hugo Cran on drums and there is some wacky dude dressed in a fetching dress, sunglasses, red turban and a chunky necklace. This was the sort of thing I would expect from Aunty Jack or Mother Goose who had that novelty 70's hit 'Baked Beans'. Keep an eye for the next gig by Cowsmuff and experience some massive riffage.
Next up Fablice Manirakiza (a.k.a) FLYBZ with something exciting and new. I know that The Painters and Dockers' Paulie Stewart manages FLYBZ and I have seen his hip-hop act with G-Storm performing together.
Popping in backstage something new was going on. Fablice was gearing up four other performers with some wild dancing to a furious beat using booming wooden drums. Performing as the Burundian Traditional Drummers, it was a wild and exciting to watch. Certainly not your average support act.
Here was the moment I was waiting for. The return of the Painters and Dockers on stage. Having a chat with trumpet player Dave Pace at the bar, he informed me they might be playing some songs tonight they have not performed for many years.
With Dean Martin singing 'Everybody Loves Somebody' and a dancing pig strutting her stuff on stage, the band slowly appear on stage. With Paulie Stewart grabbing the microphone and asking "Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and how the fuck are you?". Giving his best John Travolta Saturday Night Fever pose, Paulie says "We're an old band called the Painters and Dockers and I have two words to say to you...." and whole crowd joins in "DOCK ON!". With a deafening cacophony as Dave Pace and Mick Morris blast their trumpet and saxophone as they blast some Groovy Guru inspired madness with 'Kill Kill Kill'.
Paulie quips, "Here's a song that Father O'Malley use to sing me, after I was an alter boy. It's called 'Pull Me Off'. The band is on fire and the crowd is singing along loudly. Rather than giving a blow and blow description of each song, here are some videos of the Dockers in action, starting off with ' I Know Better Queens Than That', where Paulie talks about that memorable Moomba Parade where he shocked the then Victorian Premier, John Cain. Play the video to hear the whole story.
One of the songs that the Dockers have not performed in a long time was 'Basia', their 1986 tribute to the inimitable Basia Bonkowski, host of SBS's Rock Arena. It was great to see lead guitarist Colin Badger's son, Michael singing this song. A great addition the Painters and Dockers set list. "Basia....we love you!".
You can't do wrong with a bit of audience participation, as some lovely ladies from the crowd join the stage to dance with the Dockers during 'All Men Are Bastards Except Me'.
Do pigs fly? Probably not but here is some video proof that they can actually crowdsurf.
You have a dancing pig on stage with you're all going to sing along to 'You're Going Home In The Back Of A Divi Van'. The crowd loved it!
It's encore time. The band return back on stage responding to the loud cheers of the crowd with Paulie telling the funny story that it can now be revealed that it is Vlad Juric, who was the actual boy that lost his jocks on Flinders Street Station. They finished the night off with a stonkin' rendition of The Pogues 'Dirty Old Town'. Welcome back Dockers. Let's hope their next show is not too far away.
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