REVIEW: Yellowood Festival | Alberton, 16 November

It was a dark and stormy sky as I set off for Yellowood. Wasn’t exactly sure where Alberton was but I know Jacobs Well. Not well … but it was on that road, past the Yatala Pie Shop. Bit off the glitter-strip.

Managed to take a few wrong turns but still ended up there. Behind The Gem Hotel, in the old Rodeo Grounds: “The Corral”.

Quite a few early punters scattered around amongst the gum-trees. Perched on hay-bales, weathered fence rails, hanging over the pub balcony. A lot of cowboy hats and gum boots … and The Piece-de-Resistance – an inflatable, pseudo-mechanical, bucking bull. Classy. Hilarious.

Just as rockabilly band “Bob Cats” took to the stage, the heavens opened. Take that, you heathens. We did! And the band didn’t miss a beat. Kept right on Stray Cat Strutting. So, throw in a hail storm to boot. Fine. All the better for boot-scooting.

Kip Casper put in a rocking set, “sounding better each time I hear them” I hear someone say. Ditto. Mario, Ryan and the boys sure look like they’re having a good time. And Jackson Dunn, an accomplished solo performer had the crowd tapping.

The sun decides to come out with a vengeance. It’s a sauna at The OK Corral. Getting hot and sweaty with the one-and-only Jimmy The Saint and The Sinners. Love these dudes. Jimmy is soul-man-blues-man-preacher-man. Thumping his skull-headed lagerphone, down on his knees, screeching his sermon to the corraled congregation. Hallelujah. Hell yeah. James Brown must be rocking, grinning, yee-ha-ing in his grave.

Electrik Lemonade bring the funk as always. Been a big few weeks for them, doing festivals up and down Far North Queensland. Doesn’t seem to have tired them, grooving away. Minnie The Moocher always a crowd mover. Barney bringing the hip-hop to the hipperty-hop.

I get to have a chat with Elliot from The Delta Riggs before they bring the festival home. Was meant to be talking with Monte as well . “Monte loves a chat” everyone tells me. Saw him earlier in the day looking very Un-Rock-n-Roll in thongs, baggy pink-orange

board shorts and chesty bond singlet emblazoned with ‘Two in the Pink. One in the Stink’. It was a dare he tells me. It was his birthday the day before and he’s done quite a bit of revelling. Looking very much the bogan with a XXXX in his hand, I think he still was.

We waited backstage for a while for him, till someone said, “he’s gone to the pub. Hair of the dog.” The other Riggs were probably with him, or on the blow-up Beast -El Bull. Ha. Ride em cowboy.

I last saw The Delta Riggs up at BIGSOUND a few weeks before, looking debonaire as usual and sounding kick-arse. As usual. They are so damn good.

In the interim they have been in the States for the CMJ showcase/music conference, along with an Aussie contingent including The Preatures and our own GC Dune Rats. New York. Los Angeles. Yellowood.

I asked Elliot what U.S. bands  they got to play with.

He responds : ” Some shit bunch of American bands. So many bands. Not a high calibre of bands in America.  In Australia you have to be good to be known about otherwise no-one fuck gives a fuck. Over there you can be shit”.

They take the stage and prove their heritage. Monte looking much suaver, cooler – though must have been damn hot – in those tight black jeans.

Regardless if playing NYC or the backyard of The Gem Hotel half way to nowhere … 100 percent Rock and Roll.

On cue and as the last song belted out, the rain pelted down. No-one cared. It was a relief really after the scorching heat and raucous revelry. We’d literally danced up a storm. Hay-bales were being ripped apart and thrown in the air billowing over the stage along with the rain like some wild-tumbleweed-special-effects.

Oh Yellowood. What a Hoot.

As I say goodbye, Elliot graciously says, ” thanks for the kind words”. I say, “thanks for keeping it real, not getting big heads, not dissing the Gold Coast”. Eloquently, hand to his heart, he says, ” We love the Gold Coast. We’ll always be back”.

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