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Christmas is finally over but I need a well earned treat. I have had a mad rush of concerts to photograph as the year 2016 finally comes to an end. I photographed three Christmas concerts all on one night with Even, The Bennies and Damian Cowell's Disco Machine. I thought I would treat myself to one final fling in Geelong to see one of my favourite bands, The Meanies.
The event was called the "Touch Me I'm Sick It's The Boxing Day Slam", which is in it's ninth year. It originally started at The National Hotel (aka The Nash), which ceased operating as a live music venue in 2012. It found a welcoming new home at the Barwon Club Hotel, the home of the annual River Rocks event. 18 bands on the bill over two stages on the day after Christmas. Which according to the popular media, Boxing Day has the traditional sporting event at the MCG. "I don't like cricket, oh no....I HATE IT!" to misquote a popular song by 10cc. Give me some rock'n'roll.
Having attended a few River Rocks events, it is great to see some of the colourful locals in the audience. Local legend, Ben Eddy has a quick chat to singer Link 'Meanie' McLennan and politely asks if can sing "Gangrenous" with the band, which Link agrees to. I have seen him at gigs crowd surfing to the back of the room and hanging from the ceiling. The man loves his music.
This happens, mid set.
So what exactly is happening with with The Meanies? Singer, Link is off overseas a couple of days after this gig to go to Spain. Love is in the air and there is some serious talk of marriage with his lady. He is due back in May but the word is that it will be a permanent move to Spain in August. He did announce there will be some Meanies shows when he does return back in May.
Another friendly face in the crowd, who I affectingly call "The happy dancing dude" but the locals call "Dancing Tony". Tony and I did bond last time at River Rocks, with our joint love of The Sonics. He joined The Meanies on stage during "Lyin'", while shaking his tail feather.
Of course, we could not have a Meanies gig without them playing their signature song, "10% Weird". The young crowd really love it. Mid song the guy next to me decides to spray his bottle of brew all over the stage, Formula one race winning style.
The Meanies performed a bunch of crowd favourites at breakneck speed. It is always great to hear "Darkside Of My Mind" with it's familiar "Ohhhh ohhh ohhh" chorus.
With a bloodcurdling scream from Link, The Meanies launch into "Scum".
The new songs from their latest album, "It's Not Me, It's You" are sounding better every time I see them live and it has been a few times this year with gigs in front the State Library of Victoria, in a completely dark rehearsal room with flashing lasers at Bakehouse Studios and on a big stage at A Day On The Green.
While is was so much fun to see The Meanies stretched out on the big stage at a fancy WInery show, the silly three song restriction to shoot the band sucked all of joy for me. Especially considering that the average Meanies songs only goes for two and half minutes and bunch of their frantic songs are in that one minute zone. After five minutes in the pit photographing, I forlornly watched the rest of their set from the crowd unable to capture to photo. I hate rules, especially when I know that the band would not mine.
The band has been ending their set for the past year with "Ton Of Bricks" and the epic "Keep A Balance". The guy on lights goes mental with the on/off switch at the end. I feel dizzy. I feel giddy. Final gig of the year with The Meanies. What a blast. Thank you Link, Wally, Jaws and Ringo.
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