Club Gigs & Festivals

MooRok – June 2016

by Peter Vawser – 13 June 2016

Saturday, June 11

It always works, it just does. But only because of the enthusiastic effort put in by the team at Moorook, and the Weekend Warriors Music Club Events Management Unit.

Once again the Moorook and Community District Club has opened it welcoming doors to host the MooRok Music Festival. And it has started with a cracker!

Warm up Friday night was an acoustic open mic, along the lines of the recently established MASS (Moorook Acoustic Sunday Sessions), held monthly at the club.

With 2 stages fitted out by Stageright Solutions, and sound check done by 3.00pm, all was ready in time to kick off early at 3.30, with rescheduled young local band “Embrace”. Originally down to play at 2.30 Sunday, Chloe had been invited to support the legendary “Masters Apprentices” at that time. Being an opportunity too good to let go, it was great that the MooRok time table could be wiggled to let them play Saturday instead. The trio played a mix of their originals and contemporary covers as a fine start to the Festival.

The 2 stages once again allow for virtual non-stop live music with attention moving from the larger stage set up for full bands, to the acoustic stage at the other end of the Club.

“Moss Duo” followed Embrace with a collection of originals from their new CD mixed with some classic covers.

Next band was “Strange Brew”, with a full on band set of originals from their 2 CD’s, the latest of which is to be launched at The Gov’ in August.

Back to acoustic, first timers at MooRok, “Sonic Fusion”; a trio with keys, percussion and twin harmonies, they were a delight.

Another new band for MooRok, “All Mixed Up” came together as a collaboration between WW bands “Crossfire”, “Stonehenge”, “Tusk!FM” and “The Common Good”. Circumstances didn’t allow any of those bands to come, so members of each got together for fun. And fun it was with dancers on the floor at 6.30!

“Off the Rails” have become MooRok stalwarts with their authentic Chicago Blues sound, produced by the members collective 300 years of experience on stage.

By this time the crowd had swelled to around 75 as we went back to acoustic, and the twin guitars and voices of the boys in “Rumage Room” did it with pleasing style.

Main stage, “Racket Science”… Party Rock, Aussie Classics. What can we say, the crowd danced.

Coming out from behind his new digital desk disguised inside his laptop, Lance picked up his guitar and accompanied Terril on some funky acoustics, and thanked Weekend Warriors and everyone else involved in making the weekend happen.

Formed just last year, after doing their Weekend Warrior program round, “Shades of Black” were introduced to Moorook at Riverstock 2015 and now make their first appearance at MooRok. And they nailed it! Great energy, awesome vocals and instrumentation and a full dance floor.

Now in acoustic mode, “Strange Brew” filled the small stage with versatile arrangements of more of their collection.

Then to finish the night, MOSS in full band guise, rocked the floor with a ripping set comprising selections from their recent CD (also to be launched at The Gov’ in August) and crowd (of still around 50) pleasing classic covers.

And because every new beginning needs another beginning’s end, we had to say good night. Stay tuned, more to come about Sunday!

Sunday, June 11

Sunday started with a bang! Well, two bangs actually as the annual Riverland Paddling Marathon came to town. Each June Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend, enthusiastic paddlers brave the elements to complete an endurance challenge over 3 days from Martin’s Bend via Berri to Morgan – a distance of 208km’s! Day 1 stop over is Moorook Saturday night, and Day 2 (Sunday) starts with a briefing on the riverbank at 6.30am before the paddle recommences with the sound of a shotgun blast (actually 2 shotgun blasts…). Just the thing to rouse the happy campers at Riverfront Park!

But then, after resuming a leisurely lie in for some, things were sorted at the Club ready for more music to commence at a dignified 2.00pm.

Making his first solo appearance, Mark Langford (rhythm guitar and harp in Strange Brew) opened with some of his originals that tell stories with a focus on some hard social issues.

Next on the program was to be young locals, “Embrace”, but as explained yesterday, they were not able to play today. So, in true Weekend Warrior Music Club fashion, Stage Manager Big Kev Neeson coerced a group of willing musos into performing an impromptu set of blues classics fronted by vocals from Mr Dave Yelland, with Trevor Graham and Mark Simpkin on guitars, Clive Pollard on keys, Big Kev himself on bass and Peter Vawser on drums. Great fun!

Then “Racket Science” returned for another set before the room was stunned by a soulful and passionate acapella rendition of Eric Bogle’s “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”, from Terrill Marais. There was literally not a dry eye in the house with the performance made even more poignant as those present joined spontaneously with Terrill to sing the final chorus. Then Lance joined Terrill on acoustic guitar for another great ½ hour.

The crowd continued to build nicely with upwards of 50 by about 5’ish as “Moss” (the band) returned for their 2nd set. Then followed returns by “Rummage Room”, “All Mixed Up”, “Sonic Fusion”, “Strange Brew” (the band) and finally “Off the Rails”. Greg Palmer took this opportunity to acknowledge that Blues Man Yelland was a founding member of Adelaide blues icons “The Others”, and last year (with other members of that band) was inducted into the AMC SA Music Hall of Fame!

And then we came to the end, or so we thought, but the enthusiastic crowd of still around 50 cheered for just one more from “Off The Rails”, and of course, the old boys obliged!

But end the night had to and so with thanks all round, but especially to Colleen Norton and the staff and volunteers at the Club, and to Lance Gum and his team at Stageright Solutions, and to WW Events Management unit, in particular Dave Lock and Greg Palmer as acting stage hands and, in absentia, to Rob Green and the lovely Ms Tonia Brooks (missing us, but currently enjoying a sensational holiday in the UK), we said goodnight, keep safe and see you in November for Riverstock 2016!  Rock on!


by Peter Vawser, 16 November 2015

Day 1,Friday 13th…

An ominous date but no black cats or broken mirrors at Moorook for this the 7th annual Riverstock Music Festival, and the 9th year that we’ve been coming to Moorook for music and mayhem

Planning for R2015 began almost as soon as we wound up last year, with thinking caps on and brainstorming sessions a’plenty to ensure that this year would be bigger and better than anything before. A great coup for the Committee was obtaining a mentoring day session with Christine Schloithe from Country Arts SA to workshop through ways to make Riverstock even more successful and enjoyable for both audience and artists alike. Christine has an impressive history in organising and running large music festivals including serving as Stage Manager of the main stage at Womad and in the position of artistic director for the Adelaide International Guitar Festival for many years.

And how fantastic it is to see ideas from that mentoring session come to fruition with a new look site plan and impressive array of Weekend Warrior Music Club bands and guest artists engaged for the whole weekend.

As usual, Lance Gum from Stageright Solutions has built 2 magnificent stages. Stage One for the larger bands and guests and the second at the other end of the site for smaller semi acoustic ensembles. But in addition, and as a new feature, a third space has been created in the “CC Lounge” – a chill out area for impromptu acoustic performances and a place folks who may want to take a moment or two to absorb the excitement of the day in relative calm.

And with the site entrance at the rose garden end of Riverfront Park, patrons begin their experience of R2015 with a wander though an arcade of food and beverage facilities punctuated with stylish table and chair settings embellished with potted plants adding living colour to the scene.

Preparations had begun days before with Lance and his team working tirelessly to construct the stages, set up the PA and lighting systems and erect the security fencing. And it was all done with time to spare before first band of the weekend “Racket Science” had the honour of sound checking and then launching into a great opening set of classic boppy rock and pop right on schedule at 6.00pm. We were away!

And the program ran like clockwork, with main stage bands enjoying slightly extended 1 hour sets interspersed with stage 2 acoustics playing 30 minute slots. Craig Smart, “Off the Rails”, “The Mellows”, “The Common Good” all gave exceptional performances leading up to first guest act for the weekend, “Lazy Eye”. A blues trio, who recently won the honour of representing Australia in the Memphis Blues competition in January next year, “Lazy Eye” play all over Australia with Evan’s classic 1965 Hammond organ and twin Lesley speaker units. An awesome sight and sensational sound. They’ll be back again Saturday afternoon. But the night was no-where near done with “Matuezi” and “Brompton Blues Band” making it a truly great first night!

It’s 1.00am, and while we’ve said goodnight to the outdoor venue, the Club is still open for business and the weekend promises to be one of the best ever so far…
Time for bed for some…

Riverstock 2015
Day 2 – Saturday 14th

How sweet it is… What a perfect day. Blue skies, a zephyr breeze, the sun shining, the river rolling and Riverfront park looking resplendent!

By 11.00am, the stage crew had the back line reinstated on the main stage ready for the day’s events. First up, with their debut performance at Riverstock was “Shades of Black”. A relatively new band, these guys and gals got together just earlier this year following their participation in the Weekend Warrior program and have gone from strength to strength. With powerful twin lead vocals from Ineka and Mary-Ellen backed up with grooving guitars and a rocking rhythm section, their blend of blues, rock and contemporary soul was a fine way to launch R15 day 2.

Terrill (the squirrel) came next followed by “Strange Brew” in full band mode with their original retro-rock’n’roll repertoire, then a return from “The Mellows” before second debut for the festival with “Trax”. Seuzi and Matt exude enthusiasm for their music and with support from Bob and Rob on bass and drums have taken their polished duo to a new level allowing their honey rich harmonies to flourish!

“Trilogy” and “Crossfire” up next followed by well known local Eric Cooke lead us to a return performance from guests “Lazy Eye”. Great and authentic blues musos and lovely people as well! And as the afternoon advanced, “Strange Brew” took the acoustic stage as a trio, then “Moss” on the main stage before “Squirrel and Bucky” on Stage 2 proving that sound technicians can play as well!

The evening session opened with “Tusk!FM” and their tribute to the music of Fleetwood Mac and a chance to reminisce over the real FM’s recent visit to SA. Matt and Seuzi, this time in duo mode as “Mateuzi”, took their spot on Stage 2 whilst second special guests for the weekend “The Timbers” prepared for the onslaught on Stage 1. With energy a’plenty, these guys unleashed their offering of Celtic Folk Rock to the accompaniment of amplified banjo, acoustic guitar, keyboard, trumpet, separated kick drum, tom-tom, cymbal and snare and, of course, wonderfully raucous vocals! Dance, dance, dance!

Allowing everyone to take a slight breather, “The Casuals” shuffled onto Stage 2 with some smooth acoustic blues. But the respite was short-lived as “SideFX”, back from last year’s retirement announcement, seared Stage 1 with a blistering tribute to the sounds of “Seattle Grunge”. Then Craig Smart kept the energy high on Stage 2 while “The Common Good” set up to close the outdoor night with some smoking hot Zeppelin, Hendrix, psychedelic Beatles and more…

And right on time at 12.15am, we said good night outside but the revelry continued in the Club into the wee small hours with rocking second sets from “Moss” and “SideFX”.

And then there were the after parties… but what goes on at the after parties stays at the after parties. You had to be there…

Bring on day 3!

Riverstock 2015
Day 3 – Sunday 15th

Who could have wished for more? If Saturday’s weather was perfect, then Sunday’s was unadulteratedly sublime! Even the zephyr breeze took its thongs off and kicked back in the shade!

Volunteers began arriving just after the crack of dawn to do a final tidy up and make shore the arena was looking its absolute best again after the revelry of the night before… evidence that much fun was had by all! Stages were re-set, pizza oven fire lit, coffee machine fired up, drinks put on ice, chips, wedges, snacks and souvlaki prepared and all was ready!

10.00am – musos start gathering for the now infamous Sunday morning open jam. A chance for new friends and old to get together on the big stage and get down to what we love the most – just playing music live for fun! With classics and standards, country and blues, and some originals for good measure, this session is always popular and very much appreciated!

And then at High Noon, we welcomed the BBB boys (Brompton Blues Band that is) back to set the pace for the day. Young people David ‘n Chloe followed on stage 2 with their acoustic guitars and sweet harmonies, including a tender tribute to their friend and well loved fellow musician Nathaniel O’Brien who was tragically killed in a car accident just over a week ago. RIP Nathaniel.

Stage 1 was reset for the final guests of the weekend, “The Rustlers” who cooked up a feast of classic country-pop’n’rock for the next hour or so. Riverland stalwarts “Krome Plated Yabbies” did a half hour spot on stage 2 to the delight of their adoring fans and then under the directorship of Mr Gum, students from Loxton Primary School had a ball on Stage 1 as “The Rockers of the River”, belting out a succession of uplifting rock anthems including the one adopted by the school, Tina Turner’s, “Simply the Best”. Way to go LPS!

Acoustic trio “Trilogy” were a great choice to follow on before the check shirts, cowboy hats and girls in boots aka “Crossfire” hit stage one with some cruisey country hoots! The raffle was drawn, and 3 lucky winners took away a wine pack, an acoustic guitar donated by Holden Hill Music, and a sensational Sitar Guitar – an amazing hybrid with a regular 6 string guitar neck plus a whole bunch of resonant strings that give it a sound George Harrison would have been proud of! Congratulations to the winners.

Another bonus at R15 was the random wrist band draws… At entry, everyone received a numbered wrist band and at random times over the weekend numbers were drawn from a hat. The lucky winners received a surprise pack from the Moorook Club drinks tent!

But the music played on with Moss in duo guise on stage 2 paving the way for “Off the Rails”, led by SA Music Hall of Fame Recognition Recipient, blues music aficionado and heck of a nice guy, Dave Yelland! A quick mental tally arrived at a total of over 200 years playing experience on stage for their set! Keep on rockin’ boys!

Penultimate act for the festival was a return to Stage 2 by “The Casuals”, before a lucky last second set by “The Rustlers”. Incorporating some original material from their various albums and plenty of good time rock’n’roll, Gary and the boys pumped along with more of their repertoire until we had to finally call it a day!

So, Riverstock 2015 is done. And we all had a great time! As always, immeasurable thanks go to the organising Committee and all the volunteers from the Moorook and District Community Club and the Weekend Warriors Music Club (SA), all the bands and ensembles that donated their time, to the special guest artists and all the generous sponsors, without whom the event simply could not be held. A special shout has to go out to the security guys who worked tirelessly throughout and, of course, special thanks to all the crew from Stageright Solutions for staging, lighting, audio and production.

Finally, thanks to all the beautiful people who came along to share in the experience of Riverstock and make it all the more worthwhile for us! Be sure to keep a lookout for all the bands that played over the weekend and especially watch out for details of R16 coming soon!

Peace and love – take care!

MooRok Music Festival – 5, 6, 7 June 2015

by Peter Vawser, June 2015

Day 1 – Fridtay Night:

Great night last night – but we always expected that it would be! MooRok 2015 kicked off with style on an immaculate stage put together as usual by Lance from StageRight Solutions. With clever placement of a single, but huge, speaker stack the workable stage area has been increased by several square meters and is framed by a stunning black backdrop highlighted with vertical strings of coloured led’s.

This year marks the 7th in a row that the Weekend Warriors Music Club has partnered with the Moorook and District Community Club to host a full weekend of live music, fun and friendship.

With the dinner crowd packing the room and all tables booked, the night kicked off as scheduled at 6.00pm with the D’ukes ukulele ensemble, MOSS in acoustic mode and Steve Woodward solo. There was a slight disturbance in the force, influenced no doubt by the high levels of electricity in the air, which caused a circuit breaker to pop with a resultant power outage. But resourceful as ever and right on the ball, Lance had the problem identified and rectified within a minute or two and all was right to carry on.

Then followed Strange Brew, as a full electric band, showcasing all originals to the pleasure of many fans present relishing the chance to experience songs previously heard in semi-acoustic fashion now arranged for full instrumentation.

Keeping to the format of non-stop live music two stages operate in the Club, both managed by Lance from a single 32 channel desk, and next up was a return of MOSS duo on the second stage.

Increasing the volume slightly, and marking the change from dinner-time to party-time, next up was “Off the Rails” with Dave Yelland and the boys in fine form as they rolled out some classic Chicago blues tunes.

Then back on stage 2, the trio cunningly known as Trilogy exhibited their arrangements of contemporary rock and pop tunes in a funky acoustic setting.

Renowned for embracing diversity, country favourites Crossfire were up next with their mix of contemporary-country, country-rock, country-blues, country-folk, country- jazz and just plain country-country with a whoop and a holler thrown in for good measure.

Not abandoning their acoustic roots, Strange Brew did a set on stage 2 in that mode this time with a mix of originals and the odd cover…

And having started earlier in the evening as a duo on stage 2, MOSS (the full band) took over Stage 1 with an energetic set including several iconic Aussie classics from Ice House, Midnight Oil, Hunters and Collectors and many more.

Penultimate act for the night, on Stage 2 “The Casuals” delighted the still strong crowd with acoustic renditions of blues standards, just right for foot tappers and sing-alongers alike!

The final set for the night was Tusk!FM, with part of their tribute to the music of Fleetwood Mac, including the time-tested “Oh Well” from the original Peter Green’s 1969 band through to classics from the heady 70’s with Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham and more…

And as last drinks were called came the the inevitable closing time… But we’ll be back tomorrow!

Day 2 – Saturday:

It was a classic misty and crisp Riverland winter’s morning that announced the arrival of Saturday, and anticipation was rife as we awaited the commencement of the day’s activities.

Introducing a new segment, an open mic session was organised for Saturday afternoon, kicking off from 2.00pm with energetic acoustic offerings, including some fresh original material from Tyler, David, Chloe, and Phil til about 3.00pm.

Then a 25 minute set from Craig Smart on acoustic guitar and vocal. With some great covers and a loving original tribute to his recently departed best mate, his dog.

Next up, Lance and Terril in duo (a first for MooRok) playing fun blues and country backed up with fine covers of Michelle Socked, Creedence and Suzanne Vega and the classic Harper Valley PTA by Tom T. Hall. Surprises aplenty at MooRok 2015.

The Stage was then reset for young band Embrace, with a set of originals by Chloe sharing themes and ideas from her life experiences and thoughts.

While the large stage was reset again for another treat, Craig gave us another set of acoustic covers from some of his favourite artists including Hootie and the Blowfish, Diesel, Soul Asylum and The Who!

As the dinner crowd began filling the booked out room, the iconic “Yabbies” took the stage with members coming from the Riverland, Adelaide, Victor Harbor and beyond, including the inimitable Lance on bass guitar. It was fun for all as the boys and girls rolled through “Come back again”, See you later Alligator”, “It’s all over now” and “Boppin’ the Blues” featuring Jackson Gum on piano.

From 6.00pm programming with Weekend Warrior Music Club bands continued with The Mellows up for their first set of the weekend and Dave Curtis breaking out the full body washboard to compliment Brian’s acoustic bass and Barry’s guitars and harmonica. Great laid back classics and rarities.

And as the room continued to fill and more chairs were brought in, return sets followed from Strange Brew, Trilogy, Crossfire and the D’Ukes and the dance floor filled.

MOSS gave fine set featuring an all Australian list of numbers including the ever popular “Real Thing” by Russell Morris.

Tusk!FM followed up last night’s tribute to the music of Fleetwood Mac with another set of Mac Classics including a pumping rendition of the original Peter Green version of “Black Magic Woman”.

The room was still full and jumping for the return of the Casuals, Strange Brew, MOSS (acoustic duo) as a lead to the final act for the night, the on fire “Off the Rails” rolling out more favourite Chicago style blues classics.

As always, the clock wouldn’t stop and closing time came around. So we wished each other safe journey’s home, or to wherever they would spend the rest of the night, and looked forward to what Sunday morning would bring!

Day 3 – Sunday:

Lots of special things happen in Moorook, and the June long weekend is noted for not only (of course) the MooRok Music Festival but also as an overnight stop for the annual canoe marathon. And on the Sunday morning the “keen” (or insert own choice of adjective) canoeists hit the water at dawn. And how do they know when to start? Someone fires a shotgun round of course! But they don’t all start at once, that would be madness. They go off in groups so there are repeated shotgun blasts, one for each group… What an excellent way to wake up on a Sunday morning!

And so with great gusto, the day had begun and from 10.00am the now traditional Sunday Morning Open Jam was on. Locals Eric, Jenny and Glen each took the stage, joined by several others from the Weekend Warrior Club on guitar, acoustic bass and percussion providing backing for a mix of originals and covers, followed up by an impromptu blues session led by that past “Other”, Dave Yelland on vocal.

Then at noon the formal programming re-commenced with guest (but familiar friend) Nathan Bruhn from Nuri, with acoustic guitar, stomp box, and great vocals. The Casuals then had a stint on the big stage, this time with David White on full drum kit, while the small stage was prepared for second guest of the day Michaela Jenke and the Zerner Boys (Karl and Triston) also from the Barrossa, who treated us to a fine set, tailored for lovers of classic country, but as truthfully stated by Michaela, “with something for everyone”, including a great rendition of “I’ve been everywhere man”!

Then from 1.30pm, and with the dining room tables all full, we cut across to follow-up sets from The Mellows, then Trilogy, Crossfire, Strange Brew (acoustic), MOSS, The D’Ukes and Tusk!FM. And in her solo debut at MooRok, Sue Craig gave a set of her originals before final Weekend Warrior band for the event, Off the Rails finished up at 6.00pm.

But the entertainment continued over dinner and into the evening with acoustic sets from Craig, Terril and Lance, and Kylie and Jarrod Loxton (aka “Shorts all Winter”) and then the Yabbies rocking and bopping and even daring to get the whole dance floor packed and jiving the Madison to Nutbush City Limits.

It had truly been a great weekend… but we always expected it would be!

Special thanks to Colleen and the team at the Moorook Club, and especially to Masterchef Nat who created the fantastic Rump and Red, Burger and Beer, and Bird and Bubbles combos. And to the army of volunteers who put together the lunchtime meals, served behind the bar and did the washing up! And of course, to Lance Gum and his crew from Stageright Solutions, who again provided awesome audio and lighting production for the whole weekend. We had a ball! Cheers til next time…

Riverstock 2014 – The phenomenon plays on!

by Peter Vawser, November 2014

What was the weather doing? Hot, cold, dry, wet? We’ve had them all and the forecast couldn’t make up its mind but with the experiences learned from 6 successful Riverstocks we can take on anything!

From Wednesday, site preparations at Riverfront Park Moorook got underway and continuing through the 38⁰ of Thursday and Friday, Lance and the crew from Stageright Solutions laboured to ensure stage, sound and lights would be ready when the power was turned on and Riverstock 2014 kicked off.

Riverstock 2014 – Day 1, Friday

First up, Riverstock new-comers “Racket Science” debuted with an all Aussie Rock set. Continuing the tried and tested formulae twin stages were set up, but this year operating side by side, to allow non-stop live music throughout and saving the crowd from having to switch attention from one end of the arena to the other. So then Stage 2 came to life with local Terrill (The Squirrel) Marais (celebrating her birthday!).
“Brompton Blues Band” got back to basics with their brand of the blues, local Craig Smart rocked out with his acoustic guitar on Stage 2, before “The Cocker Train” unleashed the spirit of Joe Cocker getting by with a little help and feeling all right! The colourful D’ukes took their ‘coustic ‘ukes to Stage 2 then, back on Stage 1, “Tusk!FM” summoned the magic of Fleetwood Mac rocking with Rhiannon because love is dangerous!

To Stage 2, “Strange Brew” offered a set of originals, mixing classic melody and story-telling to captivate all present! Hotting up on Stage 1, “SideFX” blistered through a tribute to the grunge sound of Seattle, rekindling the sparks from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Silver Chair and others. Then, like the calm in the eye of a hurricane, “Mellows” chilled for a moment on Stage 2 until “The Common Good” erupted on Stage1 with a steamy set from Free and Bad Company to end the outdoor program for day 1.

But, as they say in the classics, the night was still young and arrangements had been made for festivities to continue in the Moorook Club. In another new feature for Riverstock 2014, the Club hosted an acoustic “Open Mic” session, kicked off with a return sets from Craig Smart, Terrill The Squirrel and lots more…

Time for bed… big day tomorrow. Bring it on!

Riverstock 2014 – Day 2, Saturday

It was a beautiful morning in Moorook, with the majestic Murray meandering along as it had done for millennia. Perhaps it was too beautiful. Riverfront Park was green and fresh and a gentle breeze brushed the leaves of the trees as it thought about which way to go and what to do, a picture of peace.

Lance and crew with Weekend Warrior stage hands were up and about, resetting the stages, re-assembling the back-line, checking cables, adjusting lights and balancing the PA in preparation for another great day of live music for Riverstock Rockfest day 2. And at noon, all was ready to kick off once again.

“Racket Science” was back with a fun selection of party rock to set the tone for a lively day. Tirrell embraced Stage 2 again and offered up another silky smooth set. “Off the Rails” were next and, with over 250 years of musical playing experience between them, poured out an abundance of easy going bluesy numbers to transition us into the afternoon. Peter Jarvis took command of Stage 2 and wowed the growing crowd with his energetic acoustic action. “Mellows” took on Stage 1 with their full electric line up and rendered up a nostalgic set of one-hit-wonders from the 60’s, 70’s 80’s. Local stalwarts “Krome Plated Yabbies” continued the fun on Stage 2 with an inimitable but refined collection of happy tunes and then the boys from Brompton (BBB to their friends) bounced back onto on Stage 1. The colourful D’ukes did their thing again with the buzzing sound of their plugged in ‘ukes cavorting with the still subtle but present breeze.

4 o’clock and time for country rock so it was “Crossfire” on Stage 1 rockin’ through the mountain way and not at all jacked up! First time for the weekend, “Trilogy” made an easygoing time of it on Stage 2, followed by “Stonehenge” on Stage 1 with their tribute to the man who made it hurt so good, American roots rocker, John Mellencamp.

Then local young psychedelic blues trio Rat Ta’Mango rocked Stage 1 and as they played, Subtle Breeze started to mosh about and summoned its friends Black Cloud and Thunder, and as the 3 boys came to the end of their set Torrential Rain gate crashed and hung around to see what mischief it could wreak! And mischief it did bring with the arena soon awash and the marquees bursting at the seams trying to accommodate the becoming saturated crowd! Ultimately Lance had to make the responsible call to shut all power to ensure the personal safety of all. Wow, what to do now… deliberations ensued. Do we wait it out? Was there another front coming through? Should we adjourn to the Club for the rest of the program? But the Club was in trouble too as Torrential Rain inundated it too causing a gutter to burst and threatening to bring the flood inside! But we were ultimately blessed as the front passed, the ground water flowed off and, when deemed safe, power was restored!
So with a short delay, “Tusk!FM” took to Stage 1 with another set of Mac favourites including a salute to Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green with the classic “Oh Well (part1)”.

Unfortunately, Stage 2 became a casualty of the rascally weather and sadly had to remain powered off for the rest of the night.

So we progressed straight on to the “Common Good” this time rockin’ and rollin’ with a tribute to the Zep’ and banishing Black Cloud and Thunder. And although Subtle Breeze hung around became a bit cold and stroppy, Torrential Rain went off to annoy somewhere else! “SideFX” up next raising the atmospheric pressure, and getting down and dirty with their grungy take on the sounds of Seattle, announced that this would be the last time they would grace the big stage at Riverstock as, after tonight, they were calling it a day to pursue other opportunities! All the best “SideFX”!

Then, now running just a whisker behind scheduled time, special guest John “Swanee” Swan and his band really raised the roof with a blistering hour-and-a-bit long set, giving us a taste of his new album “One day at a time”, together with a trip back to past hits “Lady what’s your name”, “If I was a carpenter”, He’s gonna step on you again” and “Hold your head up”! Phew!

Finishing the outdoor program was “The Cocker Train” with Joe Cocker classics complete with screaming vocals from Ronny B and dulcet harmonies from the 3 Delta Ladies!

And with emotions and energy still high, the Moolight Club kicked on after midnight with a capacity crowd relishing encore performances from “SideFX” and “Stonehenge”, this time pumping out rocking party pub rock until 2.00am closing time!

Then, a bit soggy and a bit tired, it was time again to retire, rest and revive in time for the start of day 3 in few hours time…

Riverstock 2014 – Day 3, Sunday

Have you seen those pics and videos of Saturday’s storm? Good Golly, we were really a proverbial bee’s appendage from calling stumps at the outdoor arena and adjourning to the sanctuary of the Club for the remainder of the session. But can you imagine (and those of you who have had anything to do with a Riverstock probably can) how much effort would have had to be expended to achieve that? Needless to say, everyone present drew a sigh of relief when we were able to roll on through the night mostly as planned!

So, to day 3! Sunday, and we awoke to blue skies and sunshine. Perfect! In keeping with tradition the action kicked off about 11.00am with an open jam on Stage 1, where old friends reacquainted and new friends were made, trading chords and strings and beats and vocals without pretence or ego, just as it should be. But, with due respect to the timetable, the jammers vacated the stage at about 11.45 allowing “Off the Rails” to set up and get ready for the start of formal proceedings at high noon. What a way to start the day!

Stage 2 was now back to full functionality and hosted the D’Ukes for another session as special guest Kelly Menhennett and her band prepared for her first Riverstock set on Stage 1. And a delight she was, with some songs from her latest album “Small Dreams” and a mixture of classics rendered in her country-bluesy-jazzy-soulfull style.

“Mellows” continued the laid back mood and as the day eased through to mid afternoon, “Infusion”, some talented young people from Loxton Primary School, assembled on Stage 1 under the careful instruction of Mr Gum. The kids had a great experience giving family and friends the opportunity to see and hear them performing on the big stage!

“Strange Brew” kept things simmering on Stage 2 while another young group “Embrace” set up on Stage 1. It was great to see “Embrace” again, having performed at a number of Riverstocks , and watch how their musicianship and stage presentation has developed and blossomed. “Trilogy” next on Stage 2 redefined more fine classics with great acoustic interpretations and then “Crossfire” returned to Stage 1 for another bracket of modern-country spiced with a twist of jazz and blues for fun.

And as the afternoon rolled on, popular local duo Kylie and Jarrod took their “Shorts all winter” show onto Stage 2 to the delight of all before the final act of the festival, an encore performance by Kelly Menhennett and her band with more of her velvety originals and cheerful covers, brought the weekend to a close.

Special thanks go to all involved in the running of Riverstock 2014, especially the members of the organizing committee, the Weekend Warriors Music Club, the volunteers from the Moorook District Club, Stageright Solutions and all the sponsors, without whose physical and financial support the event simply could not happen.

And so we said our farewells to old friends and new with the promise to return again for Riverstock 2015 next November! Plans are already underway… watch this space for news!

Riverstock 2013

Peter Vawser, November 2013

Expectations were high. From strength to strength and with the bar raised each year the Committee had its work cut out. But by early November all was sorted. The 6th annual Riverstock Music Festival would be one of the best yet!

With supreme professionalism, the crew from Stageright Solutions, led by Lance Gumm, began assembling the stages and sound systems on Thursday. But clearly much planning and preparation had already occurred. This year, as usual, 3 stages were created. The main performance space, being the big stage in the outdoor arena on Riverfront Park, again boasted over 8000 watts of front-of-house power and fully mixed stage fold back sends. The outdoor acoustic stage proudly mounted on the deck of half a B-Double semi pantech trailer with full sound and lighting rigs provided ample coverage for the numerous ensembles, some of which included more than 6 persons. And as has become legendary, the Moorook and District Community Clubrooms became home to stage 3 for the late night “Moonight” Sessions from midnight till the wee hours on Friday and Saturday nights. All was ready.

Friday! By mid-day campers had already begun to take their places, some even having spent the previous night on location to take advantage of the best spots. The ground was filled to capacity. And the numerous houseboats at their moorings added to the spectacle with their reflections on the river ripples glistening like champagne flutes awaiting the next refill.

With stages set, back line in place and drum kit tuned, like clockwork the festival began right on time with duo “Ashbury” warming the growing crowd from the acoustic stage. The tried and perfected formulae for non-stop live music with bands and acoustic ensembles playing back-to-back on the two outdoor stages again showed what a unique festival “Riverstock” has become.

From its roots as a festival paying tribute the performances at the original “Woodstock Music and Art Fair” in 1969, “Riverstock” has expanded to celebrate not only the music of the Woodstock ’69 era, but to now include other popular genres as well. And so on the big stage we reveled with “Sweet Dreams” (The Eurythmics), “Common Good” (Neil Young & Jimi Hendrix), “SOULed UP” (Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and Amie Winehouse), “Cocker Train” (Joe Cocker), “MOSS” (Woodstock ’69 era hits), and “Tusk!FM” (Fleetwood Mac). While on the acoustic stage we were delighted by local Harrison Lowe, the infamous ukulele ensemble “The D’Ukes”, original music from “Strange Brew”, solo Peter Jarvis and much appreciated Nathan Bruhn from Eudunda.

Then at midnight attention turned to the “Moonight Club” with Dave Yelland fronting “Bluesed UP” for some Chicago style blues and “MOSS” with an up-tempo dancing set taking us through to closing time.

And some time after 2.00am a degree of tranquility descended and some folks found the time and place for some peaceful slumber and await the new day.

Saturday! Day 2 kicked off at the relatively early time of 10.30am with local band “Krome Plated Yabbies” performing with an abridged version of their line-up under the name of “Rusty Crayfish” followed on the big stage by “The Mellows” (J.J Cale (R.I.P.) tribute), SideFX (with a collection of 80’s classic rock hits), “Crossfire” (Country Rock), “Brompton Blues Band” (Classic Blues), “Stonehenge” (John Mellencamp), “Anything Goes” (young Warrior band), “Sweet Dreams”, “The Cocker Train”, “MOSS” (Rolling Stones “Golden Years” tribute), “Tusk!FM”, “Sweet Anarchy” (young Warriors band playing hard rock in the mould of Deep Purple), “Common Good” (Led Zeppelin and Free) and “SOULed UP”. Filling the card on the acoustic stage were “The D’Ukes”, “Strange Brew”, Nathan Bruhn, “Cameo”, “Ashbury”, Harrison Lowe, Brompton Blues Band (unlugged), Teal Hart and Roberto and Peter Jarvis.

Following the outdoor mid-night curfew, things kicked on in the “Moonight Club” with return sets from “SideFX” and “Common Good”. And then with the satisfaction of a good day and night’s work done we rested, embracing the remaining hours of darkness in slumber knowing that another full day of frenetic live music and fun were to follow.

Sunday! Day 3. Daylight again! Another feature of the Riverstock Music Festival is that of local involvement and this year several young bands from schools in the district shared their passion and love for live music with us. Under the mentorship of Lance Gumm, students from Loxton Primary School “Super Bass”, and Renmark North Primary School “Mental Blank” showed us how important music is as part of a young person’s education. We were then privileged to hear new original music from “Embrace”. These students from Loxton High School, again with Lance as guide, write their own material and were clearly ecstatic at the opportunity to perform live on the big Riverstock stage. The live music carried on during the change-overs with stage 2 hosting local guitar/vocalist “Cookie”, “Copper Plated Yabbies”, “Cameo” and Teal Hart.

Some formalities were of course required and specific thankyous were made to the numerous sponsors and organizing committee. Then at 3.15 the raffles were drawn and the stages released again for the final session of the weekend. Return performances by “Bluesed UP”, “Crossfire”, “The D’Ukes” (this time on the big stage), and “Krome Plated Yabbies” (both plugged and unplugged!) interspersed with acoustic sets from “Strange Brew”, Nathan Bruhn and “Ashbury” saw us through to the inevitable end of the Riverstock 2013 program.

The weather had been suburb, the crowd magnificent, the atmosphere fantastic and the music totally awesome. Bring on Riverstock2014! Work has already begun.

MooRok Music Festival 2013.
Friday June 7, Saturday June 8, Sunday June 9, 2013.
by Peter Vawser

No, it’s not a mis-print. Finally after 12 months preparation the 7th annual music festival in Moorook, in SA’s sunny Riverland arrived! Labelled “Moorok” this year’s event carries on the tradition of 3 days of live and non-stop music action in the infamous Moorook and Community District Club. Bands, small ensembles and solo acts from the SA Weekend Warriors Music Club and some local musicians played throughout the long weekend with Rock, Blues, Pop, Aussie folk and Country all featured.

As usual Lance Gumm from Stage Right Solutions assembled 2 impressive stage sound and lighting rigs to ensure that all performers had the tools to look and sound their very best. Stage 1, designed to accommodate the larger bands incorporated the Music Club’s backline gear of guitar and bass amps, provision for keyboards and the return of the Yamaha Stage Custom drum kit after a long absence awaiting repair. (Thanks to all involved in restoring it in time for the festival.) Stage 2 was set up for the smaller acoustic groups and solo acts with sound reinforcement managed equally well from Lances mixing desk.


It’s an awesome task to open a festival and this year the job was given to the D’ukes, the Weekend Warriors Music Club’s ukulele collective. With their colourful outfits and bright, light strumming they were a fitting way to ease into the weekend. The 2 stages made possible the non-stop live music format with focus alternating from Stage 1 to Stage 2. Peter Jeffrey was up next rolling out some classic Aussie Crawl rock on his acoustic guitar.

The first debut for the weekend followed with the “Weekend Bushrangers”, inspired by the inimitable Richard Tonkin playing fiddle and squeeze-box. The concept is for a perpetual ensemble, open to all Music Club members, whose focus is Aussie Bush folk tributes. Duo “Ashbury” next with some of their polished popular acoustics kept the crowd enthralled. Back to Stage one with “The Mellows” who produced a mixed set including favourites from JJ Cale and Ringo Star. Acoustic blues time next with the unplugged Brompton Blues Band (BBB) on Stage 2 keeping up the variety.

Second debut for Moorok was solo Nathan Bruhn who travelled in from Eudunda in the Barossa Valley. Smartly dressed Nathan in tie and vest captured his audience who willingly joined in with him as he applied his own engaging personality to rock classics with his acoustic guitar.

Crowd favourites “Sweet Dreams” gave us their tribute to the Eurythmics complete with delightful harmonies, sensational stereophonic 80’s style synthesiser and bopping bass and guitar.

The D’ukes then returned, this time on Stage 2 with more of their humming and strumming before we turned our attention back to Stage 1 for “Tusk!FM” pumping out a selection of hits from the magical Fleetwood Mac, finishing their set with a thunderous version of their namesake “Tusk”!

It had been a great night, but it was not yet done. “The Mellows” morphed into their acoustic version as “The Mellow Fellows” on Stage 2 and then last act of the night “MOSS” took to Stage 1 with their Rolling Stones tribute bringing out Stones hits from the Golden Years of the “Get ya Yah Yahs out” era.

But things must end before they can begin again, so as last drinks were called and closing time approached we left the stage and said good night with promises to return to do it all again tomorrow! See you in the morning (or maybe lunch time!).


After a crisp night, the morning came heralded by the sound water birds and a paddle steamer somewhere up the river which rolled on, majestic as ever.

The mic’s were open from 11.00am and a small ensemble enjoyed making some freestyle acoustic blues and then handed affairs over to the “Krome Plated Yabbies”, featuring Lance on bass. Normally an 8 piece extravaganza, we had the joy of a steam fried trio version sharing some Polk Salad with us from Annie’s house which was so small that the take-away pizza had to be delivered outside! (Ask someone who was there…)

“BBB” acoustic followed and then the “D’Ukes” again and as the early afternoon crowd gathered an acoustic Peter Jarvis chilled out with a selection of tunes just right for munching and lunching.

Along with repeat performances from some of Friday’s fun, we had the Moorok debut of acoustic duo “Harvest”, playing a sweet mix of Neil Young and Kansas. Then, fresh from a guest spot earlier in the day at the Barmera Country Music festival, “Crossfire” countried up the afternoon with their first set for the weekend.

In the late afternoon, next debut was electric trio “The Common Good” who cranked up the volume and energy with a steaming tribute to Free and Bad Company.

A small change to the published program gave us the familiar faces of Ashbury, Peter Jeffery and, Nathan Bruhn who, complete with stomp box, rolled out more classics once again to the delight of all present.

Finishing off the acoustic dinner-time spot was local Harrison on acoustic guitar and vocal.

So with final meal orders submitted, the way was clear to up the ante and the volume once more with the first appearance for the festival of the bluesy “Done and Dusted” rolling us from Kansas City to Route 66 and back, while members of the Adelaide Rock’n’Roll dance club filled the dance floor with jumping and jiving. The mood continued with “6 o’clock Rock” the returns from “Harvest”, “Sweet Dreams”, “The D’ukes”, “Tusk!FM”, “MOSS”, “BBB” and finally “The Common Good” who were shakin’ all over and banging the gong until it was time for last drinks and a close to the nights formalities.


Shotguns at 4 am reminded us that it really was duck season and then as the pre-dawn passed the annual Murray River canoe marathon maniacs were summoned into the water and with the sound of starting canons continued their paddling down the river. Ah, the Riverland in wintertime!

After a leisurely start to the day, over at the Club a small gang gathered and, continuing the tradition began rolling out some classic acoustic blues and then handed over to the “Brompton Blues Band”, electrified and energetic!

Final Moorok debut, acoustic duo “Barberic” came next bopping out some top pop and leading on to repeat showings from “Ashbury”, “6 o’clock Rock”, “Mellow Fellows”, “Weekend Bushrangers”, Nathan Bruhn, “MOSS”, “Harvest”, “Mellows”, Harrison, “Crossfire”, “The D’ukes” and final act for the weekend, “Done and Dusted”. It was a sensational Sunday session!

With some formalities and thanks to all involved from Moorook and District Club, Warriors Music Association and Stageright Solutions, we turned off the amps but decided to leave the big pack up til next morning. Dinner was calling and while some folks took advantage of the Club’s Sunday special and enjoyed roast of the day or a schnitzel, others headed back to campsites and house-boats to share more of each other’s company. And inevitably a large group assembled on one particular boat and instruments began to appear for the almost mandatory jam session and after party. Long into the evening the revelry continued with singing and coffee table dancing lasting well into the small hours of Monday morning!


From the relatively early hour of 9.00am, a respectable crowd of about 20 reassembled to pack up the backline and then enjoy a magnificent country breakfast of sausage, scrambled egg, bacon, baked beans, toast, coffee and orange juice, all provided by Club. Thanks Colleen!

And then we said goodbye with promises to meet again soon. At least, some of us said goodbye, but the Committee had more work to do with a meeting to work on plans for Riverstock 2013 and start planning Moorok 2014. Dates have been set, so lock into your diaries November 15 -17 for Riverstock 2013, and the June long weekend Friday 6/6 – Monday 9/6 for 2014 Moorok Music Fest.

As always, enormous thanks to all involved in the planning and arrangements for this fantastic weekend away.

Check out this YouTube link to see the weekend compressed into 5 minutes! Thanks Lance.

For more information about Weekend Warriors SA, check our website below, or visit us on Facebook.

Riverstock 2012
by Peter Vawser

Ladies and Gentlemen, a round of applause please! Riverstock 2012!The 7th annual music festival at Moorook in SA’s beautifulRiverland on the banks of the majestic Murray River is done!

Mother Nature has given it all to us over the years with rain, wind and searing heat. But not this year. What a magic weekend November 9-11was; picture perfect blue skies, a gentle zephyr breeze and the best of SA’s spring weather temperatures.

As always, months of preparation had been carried out by the Weekend Warriors Club Events Unit in conjunction with the Moorook and District Community Club to ensure that Riverstock 2012 was bigger and better than any that had come before. And over 25 bands and ensembles responded with performances that raised the bar in professionalism,quality presentation and entertainment value.

The Riverstock theme to re-live the music, peace and love of the original Woodstock festival in 1969 was expanded this year and we saw a more diverse collection of tributes, classic rock and popular hits across the weekend. But throughout, the program remained focussed on doing what Warriors SA does best, enjoying live music and playing it live!

All week, Lance Gumm and his crew from “Stageright Solutions” toiled to erect the 2 stages for the weekend. Stage 1 was sensational as usual with full lighting rig and PA. Stage 2, smaller but amply fitted out, was set to accommodate the numerous acoustic, unplugged and semi-electricsolo and ensemble acts who would perform across the weekend. And like clockwork, all was in place with time to spare for proceedings to kick off on the dot on Friday at 7.00pm.

Friday Night!

First up, with their Riverstock debut, was “MOSS” bringing an exciting mix of classic rock. Peter Jarvis followed with a set of 3 on the acoustic stage, then 2nd debut for the weekend was “Tusk!FM”, showcasing a half hour sample from their set of Fleetwood Mac hits.

Keeping with the tried and true format to provide non-stop live music, our attention was drawn back and forth from Stage 1 to Stage 2 with Mellow Fellows sharing with us from their easy listening Donovan collection. Next up the kids from “Fallen Angels” rocked their little socks off in the first of their 3 power sets for the weekend.

Barry Mundi and friends really entertained the crowd with their semi-electric set before 3rd Riverstock debut “Sweet Dreams” brought the Eurythmics to life before our very eyes and ears.

Festival favourites “The D’ukes” warmed up their ukuleles on Stage 2 before yet another debut act “Kaleidoscope Eyes” delighted all as they gave us their take on that rock and roll music, Beatles style!

Harrison Lowe provided a polished acoustic set on Stage 2 while “The Common Good” prepared for their Riverstock debut which morphed the festival back to ’69 with a smoking set of Hendrix hits.

Peter Jarvis returned for the final acoustic of the night in striking contrast to the fervent “Full Tilt Janis” who followed with their fully loaded Led Zeppelin tribute.

Moonlight Club:

After a magic start to the weekend festival, what could be better to keep things pumping but a dose of good ol’ style blues! And over at the Moonlight Club (aka The Moorook and District Community Club) “Done and Dusted” waited with their instruments tuned but tethered til the crowd rolled in just after midnight to let it all hang out. Then the boys let rip for 40 minutes or so taking us on a journey from Kansas to Chicago to LA, with mojos working all the while.

“Kaleidoscope Eyes”, still wide open from their performance earlier kept the feeling going with more Beatles classics. So many hits, so little time!

And then with jumping room only on the dance floor, “MOSS” returned to keep on rockin’ baby no matter what you want!

2.00am, closing time and nobody wanted to go home. But all good things must end and with polite encouragement from the bar-staff the reluctant crowd did finally shuffle off and we said goodnight with a satisfied feeling and the expectation of a big day to come in just a few hours time!


What a cracker of a day! With more blues skies, the magnificentflowing river, the sounds and sights of contented water birds taking the morning air and calm serenity over the festival arena. With a few hours sleep tucked away the crew began reassembling the backline of amps and micing up the stages. The drums were re-tuned after their enjoyable Friday night and all was set for the day.

First up, an open jam session on Stage 1 with a few of the boys warming up and then enjoying some of local Jenny’s sweet acoustic originals and a couple of covers. Then, local trio “Blown Away” was up. 2 girls and a guy with magic harmony work and fine acoustic guitar accompaniment, including a touch of hip-hop, really kicked the morning session into gear. Proving again that live music is truly entrenched in the Riverland.

The formal programming began on time at 10.45 with “Moonlight Shadows” (featuring Dave Makin aka Sir Cliff) with some classic Shadows work and Cliff Richard tunes. Then we had the first appearance for the weekend from “Two’s a Crowd”, an acoustic duo(again featuring Dave Makin on guitar accompanying Sue Warman onvox and keys) with fine renditions of tunes from Crowded House and others. Return performances from the Friday night bands allowed them to show off more of their set-lists in fine fashion. Additional artists taking the stage “Tush” (acoustic duo with fine vocals from Maggie Donovan and guitar work by Peter Nicholls), “Crossfire” (popular country-rock band complete with broad brim hats and checkered shirts), “Brompton Blues Band” (classic down home blues), “Ashbury” (acoustic duo with Mark Simpkin on guitar and Suzie Craig on vox), “SideFX” (powerful and slick radio hits from the 70’s through to now).

The afternoon lingered as we enjoyed SA’s daylight saving timezoneand as the sun began to set “Fallen Angels” were joined on stage by Aus music icon Swanee! Mr Swan teased the crowd with a belting rendition of “All Right Now” with Cara Warman providing backup vox. Tyler Di Palo nailed the guitar solo as brother Dylan brought the beat to life. Kristie Dix’s agile wrist ran effortlessly up and down her bass guitar fret board while Nathan Warman kept the rhythm guitar pumping. The crowd were begging for more but the tight time frame simply didn’t allow for encores and with the end of the “Fallen Angels” set, Swanee left the stage with a promise to come back later in the evening.

Next up was the return of “Kaleidoscope Eyes”, and more Beatles favourites. And yes, Swanee fulfilled his promise and joined the boys with 5 more classics. And all the while the crowd were on their feet dancing and singing along in the true spirit of peace and love. After a short break with The Duke’s on Stage 2, “Full Tilt Janis” took to the main stage again, this time with their authentic Janis Joplin tribute set, taking us back to Woodstock once more. And taking full advantage of the night, Swanee came back on for another session with Mel and the boys taking us to the Crossroads and back with some ZZ Top’s Tush! With thunderous applause, Swanee showed just what a great showman he is and truly deserves the icon status that has been bestowed upon him.

“Ashbury” kept the live music going on Stage 2 as the guys from “The Common Good” set up on Stage 1. And then, joined on backing vox by Ms Craig, direct from her acoustic set, they rocked again with more classic Hendrix until mid-night and the close of the outdoor festivities for Saturday.

Moonlight Club:

With the big PA rig subdued for the night, a capacity crowd crammed into the Club to experience once again the energy of SideFX. Front man big Steve Carlton engaged with everyone present, Greg Osborn willinghis instrument into submission and taking it just where it wanted to go, Graham Burkin mastering his stealth bass and backing vox and the sophisticated David White caressing the drums with delicate poweredfinesse.

And with the sweat still damp on their collective brows, Full Tilt Janisrolled on from the early hour until closing time at 2.00am with Mel and the boys delivering a powerhouse of hard pumping rock! If you’re into loud and tight rock’n’roll, it don’t get any better than this!

So with the amps powered down, and the axes and keys stowed in their cosy cases we left the club to enjoy a magnificent astral display. The fine Riverland clear night skies showing more stars than you could ever imagine looking up at a city vista. A night so still those stars were reflected in the millpond still river, punctuated only by the revelous banter coming from the numerous riverfront camps. Truly awe inspiring stuff from which the best songs and memories are born.


The camping ground at Moorook was filled to bursting last night and many camps just couldn’t resist the urge to party and just kept on! 5.00am ticked on to 6.00am but then around 7.30 there was a brief tranquil pause as some finally crashed and others stirred before the inevitable housekeeping prior to breaking camp.

But nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of tech crew and musos who, sustained with bacon sandwiches and fine coffee, reassembled the stage backlines once more in preparation for another magnificent day.

First event was another open jam, with locals and Weekend Warriors sharing the stage in an impromptu session of blues and country favourites.

But today is November 11, and with due respect at 11.00am Cath McArdle invited those gathered to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of our Service Men and Women who have, and continue to, serve our country in arenas of conflict. We especially think of Cath’s own partner who is currently on active service in Afghanistan.

Then “Moonlight Shadows” gave a repeat performance of Shadows magic before handing over to local favourites Jen and Kylie on the acoustic stage with more of Jen’s material.

Just before high noon “Fallen Angels” came back with their final show of the weekend fest showing that youth has no bounds to its energy and passion. But these were not the only kids ready to show off their talents and share the excitement of the big stage! Locals Mick and Roger pumped out some tunes on Stage 2 while 2 groups from Loxton and Renmark North Primary Schools started to get themselves together backstage. With Stageright Solutions main man Lance as their teacher, “Epic Heights” from Loxton had their debut on a big stage. What a great experience for these young musicians who showed us that we all belong with the classic “Black Fella, White Fella”! “Ashbury” provided more from the acoustic stage while “RN7P”, the year 7 music students from Renmark North, took over the main stage, looking resplendent in their fine school uniforms. Again under Lance’s leadership, the kids belted out favourite hits including a brilliant take on “Gimme some Lovin”.Kudos have to go to Lance and the other teachers in the Riverland schools who see the value in providing a music option for these young people and have made the program possible.

Encouraging the notion of spontaneity, a spot was left in Sunday’s timetable for a band to be created on the spot, and with about an hour’s notice “The Stragglers” came together! Terry on drums, GB on guitar, Cath on vox and sound guy Bret on bass found 30 minutes of material and had great fun making it live on Stage 1! And that’s what the Weekend Warrior Club is all about. (Just for the record, they sounded pretty good too!)

The “Mellow Fellows”, and “Crossfire” had return performances before final newey for Riverstock 2012, interstate guest Susan Lilly, gave us a great rendition of some of her own work. Susan did the Weekend Warrior program in Melbourne and is an old friend of Riverstock. “Doing the Weekend Warrior program changed my life!” Susan proudly shared. She has since played numerous festivals including Tamworth and really lives and breathes her country roots in her music.

Having played several acoustic spots over the weekend, “The Mellow Fellows” took to the main stage, accompanied by Mr Richard Tonkin on violin and accordion, with their collection of J.J. Cale classics. “I never knew J.J. Cale wrote so many songs”, said Phil, audience member on the day. But he did, and the Mellows brought them to life!

“Ashbury”, “SideFX”, “Tush”, “MOSS”, “Barry Mundy”, “Brompton Blues Band”, “The Dukes” and “Done and Dusted” all kept the festival going Sunday afternoon until the reality that all things must end came home.

And so it was. With sun kissed shoulders, broad smiles and hugs all round we said our goodbyes to friends old and new and made promises to meet again at Riverstock 2013..

And so it will be! Riverstock 2013 will happen again in November next year.

Stay tuned for info…

Moorook Music Festival 2012
by Peter Vawser

Day 1, Friday June 8, 2012

What could be better? No winter time blues this weekend, just great fun and sensational live music at the 6th annual Music Festival at Moorook in SA on the magnificent Murray River. Night time temperatures were estimated to go way down to zero, but inside the Moorook and District Community Club it would be steaming!

Again the organising committee had been working feverishly for months and from about lunch time on Friday members of the Warriors Music Association began assembling in the town, setting up camp and reacquainting with familiar faces and friends from the district. Lance Gum and his crew from Stage Right Solutions had been hard at work for hours putting together the two awesome sound rigs in the venue, complete with black backdrops and lights to make the event visually spectacular as well!

With the room starting to swell, the evening kicked off with “6 o’clock Rock” warming up the dance floor with a selection of rocking hits from Elvis, The Beatles and more.

Moving to Stage 2, the “Mellow Fellows” provided some smooth acoustics from Donovan, further enhancing the level of expectation in the house.

Back to Stage 1, and a debut performance from new outfit “Mockream”, showcasing the symmetrical matching Gibson SG’s of Trevor Graham and Al vander Hoeven with a blistering tribute to the music of 60’s Supergroup “Cream”. The temperature was definitely rising.

More acoustic action followed with the “Blond Country”, led by a couple of gals with matching hair and vocals and bringing the country well and truly home to Moorook this weekend.

Showing their versatility, “The Mellows” returned, this time to Stage 1 with full kit to bring us their tribute to the music of the great J. J. Cale. With great tunes and good times the boys really let it all hang out (figuratively speaking of course!).

Keeping the non-stop action happening, Peter Jeffrey took to Stage 2 for some solo work on vocal and guitar and got the crowd inspired and singing along …“L-O-L- A Lola!”

What Moofest would be complete without a dose of the Blues? And “Done and Dusted” obliged next with the boys doing their best to fill the dance floor with a selection of Chicago blues classics. And fill the floor they did!

Back to Stage 2, and “Ricardo” (aka Richard Tonkin) led us through his musical wonderland on accordion and banjo-uke with ballads and ditties to raise a smile in true minstrel-esque fashion.

And all the while the largest ensemble for the weekend was assembling themselves ready to rule Stage 1. “Warrior Voice”, complete with live backing band led us through a choral symphony of pop classics to Leonard Cohen’s endearing “Hallelujah”, all the while with harmonies complementing the various solo voices present.

Stage 2 again and the “Mellow Fellows” return with more from Donovan, a fitting follow-on to the choir’s work.

And keeping the temperature up, the blond girls were back, this time on Stage 1 fronting “Crossfire” with both kinds of music absolutely rocking along! Yep, modern country is alive and well!

But time kept ticking on and without delay we turned back to Stage 2 for an acoustic session with 4 piece “Cameo” and some smooth late night numbers.

Then for the last time on day one we went back to Stage 1 for an absolute ripper of a set from “Sweet Dreams”, pumping out 45 minutes of “Eurhythmics” classics. The crowd went wild and cried for more, but old Mr Time said it was soon to be closing time and the end of the night came. But after all, it was only day one. We had two more to come! Stay tuned…

Day 2, Saturday June 9, 2012

Well, after a fantastic opening Friday night, Moofest 2012 was set to continue in fine fashion Saturday. The day began with crispness on the river mist and then around 9 o’clock the first acoustic guitars, mandolins and banjos were awoken from their snug cases and the day’s breakfast jam began!

First up on Stage 1 was “Done and Dusted” with more of their Chicago Blues. Just the way to start any day!

Anyone seen a ukulele? Oh my gosh, Stage 2 had 8 of them all buzzing gleefully as the “D’ukes” took over for their first outing of the weekend! The day was shaping up to be a musical extravaganza. Fun for all!

After closing the show last night, “Sweet Dreams” were back on Stage one, no morning blues for these guys and gals, they were smokin’! And the pattern of the day was set, with non-stop live music back to back swapping from Stage 1 to Stage 2. Next up Peter Jeffrey once again this time with some sweet acoustic blues!

Making their first appearance at Moofest, “Fallen Angels” one of the warriors Music Association Junior bands then launched into a blistering set taking us from Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz, to Pink’s So What, to Deep Purple’s Black Night with ease! These kids really rock and as an added bonus help to keep the average age of the Warriors Music Association membership below 50!

Throughout the morning an army of volunteers from the Moorook Netball Club ferried in steaming pots of soup and savouries preparing great value snacks for the hungry lunch time crowd with proceeds going towards the fundraising activities of the club. Just what the Doctor ordered! And as the crowd swelled, by mid-afternoon it was standing room only and with log fires burning it could have been minus 10 outside and no-one would have cared.

“Cameo”, up next on Stage 2, was a delight for the senses sailing with their 4 part harmonies through the sea of love to take us all home!

Another debut for Moofest – “The Semantics” rocked out inxs on Stage 1 with the first sax for the day giving us some loving and sticking together because the night belongs to lovers!

A repeat performance by “Mellow Fellows” on Stage 2 kept the music going while Stage 1 prepared for “Done Things” with a tex-mex influenced Australiana set featuring again “Ricardo” (aka Mr Richard Tonkin) on Piano Accordion! “Blond Country” and “Done and Dusted” also followed with return performances but introducing new material to their sets.

“Peter Jarvis” came to Stage 2 for his first solo set of the weekend, a dynamic selection of numbers to showcase his fine vocal work, ably supported by his acoustic guitar.

Then after the second showing for “6 o’Clock Rock”, “Two’s a Crowd” took to Stage 2 with guitar and keyboard rolling out some Crowded House favourites with classic two part harmony.

“Warrior Voice”, “D’Ukes”, “The Mellows”, “Peter Jeffrey”, “Mockream”, “Fallen Angels”, “Cameo”, “Crossfire”, “Two’s a Crowd” and “The Semantics” all took the stage again during the day and evening before local outfit “Red Mud”came on.

There was anticipation in the air as the Riverland boys adjusted the settings on Stage 1, and then launched into a hi-octane set with driving bass and drums and heavy power guitars under melodic vocal work. From some down and dirty blues from Chain, these guys remembered when they were young and were slick and tight as they rolled through C.C.R.’s.Suzi Q, S.R.V.’s Mary had a little lamb and a rollicking Am I ever gonna see your face…, with Kryptonite on steroids!

Then the Mellow Fellows offered some calming tones, this time with a set of John Lennon tunes, as the final act for the day prepared. It was “Sweet Dreams” again, and goodnight everyone. Another big day was to come tomorrow!

Day 3, Sunday June 10

So, when you’re in Moorook, in June (that’s wintertime here in South Australia) apart from Moofest, what else is there to do? Well, it’s the annual Murray River Canoe Marathon of course. After all, even though the temperature might be poking zero, the waters not frozen… well not quite anyway. And just as well for the canoeing fanatics who braved the elements from 6.30am to the sound of a starting pistol every 10 minutes until 7! Awesome. Still, the jam party in the houseboat did wind up about 3.30am, so they had plenty of time for a kip!

Sunday morning means Breakfast Jam and a substantial throng gathered at 10 and drifted into renditions of favourites like Hoochie Coochie Man, Help me, Born in Chicago and more.

We were underway again. “Cameo” kicked off the formal session at 11.45am followed by “Sweet Dreams”. Then throughout the afternoon there were return performances by “Mellow Fellows”, “Donethings”, Peter Jarvis, “Fallen Angels”, “Two’s a Crowd” and “Crossfire”.

Final debut for the weekend, and another Moofest first was “Stonehenge”. Performing as a trio instead of their normal 4 piece line up, the boys took us on a world tour with music from Oz, the USA and the UK, and a special salute to the Queen’s birthday (this long weekend is for her birthday after all), and every one having a birthday, in the form of their cover of the Beatles “Birthday”.

More return sets followed from the “D’Ukes”, “Mockream”, “Blond Country”, “The Mellows” and “Mellow Fellows”, “Ricardo” (AKA Mr T.), and “Done and Dusted” with the final set for Moofest 2012 coming from the powerhouse local boys “Red Mud”.

And that was that. Apart from the packing up! But that could wait… it was still party time in Moorook and the houseboat kept on rockin’ and rollin’ until well into the frosty morning until finally the ol’ clock on the wall said it was time and the weary but satisfied ensemble called it a day.

Enormous thanks have to go to all involved in the organisation and running of Moofest 2012. Especially to Lance and William from StageRight Solutions for their fantastic efforts in control of the sound systems on both stages all weekend, to Kev Neeson and Greg Palmer for Stage Management, to the volunteers from the Moorook Community who manned the bars for the weekend, to the Moorook Netball Club for the great value snacks provided at lunch-time each day, to Georgia Lee and Peter Vawser for MC work throughout the weekend, to the Moofest Organising Committee, to the Weekend Warriors Music Association and Committee and in particular to  Al vander Hoeven and Tonia Brooks for their tireless efforts, to all the muso’s who played and had a ball over the weekend and to all the people who came and enjoyed the festival with us.

Now we can’t wait for Riverstock 2012, the outdoor festival held on Riverfront Park at Moorook , November 9 to 11. Stay tuned for more details!

Rock on!

Riverstock 2011
by Peter Vawser

In the weeks leading up to November 2011 the long-range weather forecast seemed too good to be true! Temperatures in the high 20’s, clear skies and gentle breezes were suggested. How much more perfect could it be for the 4th annual Riverstock Music Festival? But then with just one week or so to go, Mother Nature reminded us all that she is the boss and deserves our ultimate respect. In a short 20 minutes one afternoon she unleashed her fury along a strip of Riverland real estate with 100km per hour winds destroying hundreds of trees, de-roofing numerous buildings and causing general havoc. Mercifully, no person sustained any serious injuries.

But then she relented and allowed us to go ahead! Gangs of willing hands had been organised to begin construction of the music arena at Moorook’s Riverfront Park, but in true Riverland Rural spirit, many eagerly responded to the call to help with the task of cleaning up the aftermath of the storm. Then after the short delay, with united effort and all bodies working tirelessly, the tech crews turned their attention back to staging and marquees, rigging lights and assembling the PA. And the weather did become as perfect as promised. Riverstock 2011 was underway!

Each year the playing and spectator areas get better and better, and this year Acoustic Stage 2 was moved under the cover of the large open sided marquee which was relocated off to the riverbank side of the park. This provided open viewing of both stages from anywhere in the venue and gave the front of house mixing desk for Stage 1 protection from the elements without the need to erect its own gazebo. Full staging and production was again skilfully managed by Lance Gumm and his team from Stageright Productions.

And as has become the preferred format for Riverstock, non-stop live entertainment was enabled by the use of the two stages, with acoustic ensembles performing on Stage 2 while the crew on Stage 1 facilitated the changing of the bands! Check out the Riverstock 2011 flyer below for details of who played when, the Riverstock Facebook page and SA Weekend Warriors Website link to an amazing collection of hundreds of photos

Continuing the theme to celebrate the music of the Woodstock ’69 era, first on Stage 1 was Wayne Rich, aka Richie Wayvins with his tribute to Richie Havens who famously opened the original Woodstock festival. While the original Mr Havens played an impromptu extended set for around 3 hours (filling in time while other performers battled with congested transport conditions which delayed their arrival) our Richie Wayvins selflessly constrained himself to his allotted 20 minutes. A fitting start to our extravaganza!

But always looking to keep the theme fresh, this year the committee decided to extend the challenge and make headline spots available to bands covering artists who were invited to perform at the first Woodstock but for whatever reason did not make it! These included Bob Dylan (covered by Long Time Coming who took inspiration from electric interpretations of his material), Led Zepplin (authentically re-produced by Zed Lepplin, aka Fulltilt Janis who also performed a passionate tribute to Ms Joplin) and The Rolling Stones (a dedication from the Bluesmen in Done and Dusted, who, when assembled on Stage 1, collectively represented over 250 years in musical performance experience). These tributes became fitting partners for Undercover (fresh off the magic bus to debut their The Who set), Rock the Casbah (all aboard the Cocker Train with another cracker of a show dedicated to Mr Joe Cocker), Sultana Bunch (with some new faces complimenting the dual Gibsons of Truman and vander Hoeven in a blistering Santana set), The Brians (formerly Rat-a-tat Revival, rolling down the river with Credence), Wound Up (featuring rock’n’roll classics from Sha Na Na, the group that played at Woodstock at 7.30am just before Jimi Hendrix) Crossfire (with Country Rock fitting for a rockin’ festival in the country) and Undersold (a 10 piece outfit which brought a Soul’n’Funk dimension that really shook a tail-feather)!

Also gracing the big Stage was the ever growing Warrior Voice choir and the newly formed D’Ukes of Warriors ukulele ensemble. It was truly awesome to see the stage filling with these humming strummers and choristers.

The Friday night festivities continued after midnight as the Moorook and District Community Club was transformed into “The Moonlight Club”, with Undercover needing no substitute and leaving no doubt about who they were before the Cocker Train rolled into the station with Rock the Casbah doing it again to a packed house. Then as some weary punters found a place of sanctuary for the rest of the night, the Houseboats moored along the riverbank could not constrain the happy jamming of uke’s and guitar’s and anything else that could be strummed or plucked until the glimmer of dawn slipped through the curtain to herald the new day!

The acoustic stage was bustling from the time the first bacon and egg sandwiches were ready as an informal session warmed the morning folks prior to some local talent showcasing their stuff. Then it was on again. Crowd favourites Tush, followed by the fresh and bubbly Wildflower (and the bee!) Uncovered (familiar faces from Undercover showing us their more sensitive side) Nickelwound Karma (with their blend of Woodstock Era classics and originals) Mellow Fellows (authentically reproducing the sounds of Donovan) Threesome (some of the kids from FullTilt Janis chillin’ with their ‘coustics) Threez Company (more local guys sharing their passion for live music), Richie Wavens and The D’Ukes kept the music flowing all day and all of the night.

As the day progressed the crowd swelled and kept swelling until a capacity audience was gathered. One of the highlights of the night and the whole weekend was of course the on stage appearance of Weekend Warrior Ambassador, John (Swanee) Swan! Making guest appearances with both Undersold and Sultana Bunch Swanee left no reservations about what a great showman he is with over 40 years of rock history behind him! Duetting with Lennie Firth and with backing vocals from Georgia Lee and Beth Christensen in Undersold and Cath McArdle in Sultana Bunch, Swanee thundered our renditions of 6345 789, Midnight Hour, Hold on I’m comin, Gimme some Lovin’ , Black Magic Woman and Sunshine of your Love! He entertained everyone of the capacity crowd, and they loved it!
The balmy night was electric with excitement and not so much spilled, but gushed over into The Moonlight Club after 12 where Zed Lepplin pulled out all the stops and unleashed a session to be reckoned with before the Sultanas filled the club stage and the spirit of Carlos filled the packed room!

It had been a big night, but still the Houseboats creaked and rocked to the buzzing of Uke’s and improvised percussion until again the morning light began to beckon.

The fantastic weather continued into Sunday and the day started again with an acoustic jam session, this time under the directorship of Mr Dave Yelland who took us on a journey from Chicago to LA with all stops in between! And the good times continued to roll on through the day with both stages bustling.

During the afternoon Stage 1 hosted the necessary formalities with thanks being given to all the sponsors and those involved in the planning and running of Riverstock 2011. Special mention must go to Jarrod Loxton, who as Manager of the Moo Club, has been one of the mainstays on the organising committee, Al (the Bassman) vander Hoeven, President and Events Manager of the Weekend Warrior Club and all of the Riverstock Music festival Committee who work tirelessly all year to ensure the event runs smoothly.

Then, after a special guest acoustic performance by Kylie Loxton accompanied by Peter Nichols on guitar, we said our final goodbyes and Riverstock 2011 was done! Bring on Riverstock 2012! Check out progress on Facebook at

by Peter Vawser

Winter is wonderful. And with freshness in the air the anticipation brimmed to fullness as we headed off once more, this time to Moofest 2011 in the sunny SA Riverland town of Moorook.

The now 5 year old annual event has grown from an outdoor blues festival in 2007 which moved indoors into the Moorook Club in 2009 with the format changing from purely blues to more generalised themes. This year, over 30 bands and ensembles gathered for 32 hours of live music over the 3 day June long weekend to feast on blues, country, rock, jazz, soul and funk with some original material in between.

Sound reinforcement on the main stage was again provided by Trevor Philby’s “Valley Sound” rig with the usual meticulous attention to detail. Stage one management was once more under the control of Kev (Nurse) Neeson ensuring that musos’ needs were met and timetables were kept. A special stage feature this year was the outstanding three metre long Moofest banner, produced by WW bassgal, Mirium Hunter.

The Warriors’ Club gear was deployed for the acoustic stage under Steve Rees’ careful and always sensitive watch. MC tasks were this year shared by the charming Georgia Lee and Peter Vawser. Acoustic Richie Wavens (aka Wayne Rich) opened the fest with a selection of Paul Kelly tunes followed by tributes to the Blues (Brompton Blues Band), Robert Johnston (Mick Mack), Divinyls (Temperamental), Donovan (Mellow Fellows), Pretenders (Undercover), The Blues Brothers (Undersold), Crowded House (Two’s a Crowd), Simon and Garfunkel (Special K’s) with classics from Tush and Side FX. Closing Friday night just a whisper past the midnight hour was the tight and rockin’ Renmark band “Red Mud” with a blistering set!

Saturday dawned with another glorious SA Riverland winter morning and Nurse Neeson was on duty early to open up the acoustic stage for an open jam. Two 13 year olds using borrowed guitars reminded us all that the passion for live music making has a secure future as they engaged the morning punters with an improvised blues instrumental, exchanging licks from bass to dobro and back again.

But we were in for a big day with performances scheduled through until 2.00am Sunday Morning. Features included repeat performances by Side FX, Two’s a Crowd, Undersold, Mick Mak, Tush, Brompton Blues, Special K’s, Temperamental, Richie Wavins, Mellow Fellows and Undercover in between the massed “Warrior Voice” choir, tributes to The Shadows (Flingle Bunt), Sha Na Na (Wound Up), The Beatles (Beatlejuice), Fleetwood Mac (Long Time Coming), Travelling Willberys (Riverbound), Cold Chisel (Chisel It), Rock Chics (La Biach), acoustic country classics from Trevor Philby and originals from Nicklewound Karma. Loxton locals “Crunch Lab” were last to play delivering a powerhouse party pub rock set including some classic Chisel and captivating the crowd til closing time.

Sunday. After a clear and chilly night the sun was bright and the air fresh as we assembled for the 10.00am jam session. Building quickly to a 12 strong ensemble, the group drifted out of Muddy Waters onto the highway from Chicago to LA, put on its blue suede shoes and went walkin’ down the street to knock upon Gloria’s door. Then the bands were back playing first to the appreciative luncheon diners, on into the afternoon until late Sunday evening and with senses fully sated, the session and the festival came to an end.

The weekend was a great success with the new format applauded by the local community as a winner. All that remained was to pack up and bump out. But not before partaking of the welcome and generous Moorook Community Club Monday morning country breakfast!

Again special thanks must be given to Jarrod Loxton and all the Team at Moorook, and to Al van der Hoeven and the Weekend Warriors Club (SA) Events Management Unit, without whom Moofest would not occur.

And so there it was, with the months of preparation, the rehearsals with their tears and tantrums, the laughter and the fulfilment all culminating in this fantastic weekend escape. Next on the Weekend Warriors festival calendar is of course Riverstock 2011, our annual tribute to the music of Woodstock again to be held outdoors on Riverfront Park on the banks of the Murray at Moorook. And with 2011 also being the 50th anniversary of the Moorook & District Community Club, the Riverstock weekend over November 11, 12 and 13 will be a cracker!

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Riverstock 2010 – The experience LIVES on…
by Peter Vawser


Last year Riverstock 2009 celebrated the 40th anniversary of the original Woodstock Music and Art festival with temperatures in the dry 40’s and the country in drought.

Riverstock 2010 challenged the organisers and technical crew with persistent, albeit welcome, rain from Thursday through to Sunday night! But what a joy it became. StageRight Productions provided a water resistant solution to the precipitive problem and, well Hey Man! dancing in rain is fun! Check out the pics on Facebook and the SA Warriors Website to prove it.

Through Thursday and Friday the crew toiled in the rain, erecting marquee and sound stage, running cables, aligning pantech trailers for storage and stage access, setting up tents and facilities and just making stuff happen so that the players in bands and acoustic acts that were to come could actually do their stuff!

And as with previous Riverstock, two magnificent stages were provided At the far end of the outdoor arena, close to the well patronised beer tent, “Stage 2”, catering for smaller and acoustic ensembles, set up and Managed by Trevor Philby. At the top end of Moorook Riverfront Park, “Stage 1” engineered by Lance and crew from StageRight Productions, and Stage Managed by Kevin Neeson. 8,000 watts front of house PA, full stage mix and lights, we were set to be part of a weekend that some budding musos could only ever dream of!

And in the rain we played! The conditions did take their toll on the setting up procedures and our scheduled start time on Friday was delayed by 15 minutes to 7.15pm, but from then it was full on with Stage 1 featuring Woodstock tribute bands “Long Time Coming” (covering Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), “Ratatat Revival” (the best Credence you’ll hear live today), “La Crème” (doing Jimmy Hendrix and 10 Years After), “Full Tilt Janis” (lead singer Mel IS the on stage reincarnation of Janis Joplin), “Sultana Bunch” (the best Santana you’ll hear without having to wait for Carlos to tour) and “The Jackets” (covering classics from The Who including a selection from the Rock Opera “Tommy” but sadly having their Friday night set cut short because of the outdoor midnight curfew).

And throughout, Stage 2 providing a variety of popular, country, blues and folk provided by Tush, Little Riverbound, Brompton Blues Band (BBB), Special K’s and Richie Wavins (Wayne Rich, with his special tribute to Woodstock stalwart Richie Havens). The night was full.

But wait, there’s more! After midnight we let it all hang out at the Club with “Full Tilt Janis” again and friends playing through til 2.00am. What a day!

Day 2. Saturday November 13…

… was a somewhat subdued* morning. Some of us awoke in time to see the foggy cloud gently caress the peaceful river as it embraced and absorbed the falling drizzle. Others elected to forgo the early delights and chose to arise closer to lunch time… They missed out!

From 11.45am through the afternoon Stage 2 and Stage 1 took turns providing the non-stop live entertainment that the Riverstock festival guarantees.

First surprise of the day was “Wound Up” who delighted with covers from the Sha Na Nas, the band that played alongside Jimmy Hendrix at Woodstock ’69. Then “Wild Flower” on Stage 2, followed by the debut performance of the “Warrior Soul Choir”, an initiative set up this year where Association members can be part of a managed choir delivering soul and other classics, singing this time to a recorded backing track.

Brompton Blues Band (BBB) on Stage 2, and back to Riverbound on Stage 1, demonstrating to us that there are as many versions of Country music as there are stars in the sky! “Two’s a Crowd” on Stage 2 led us into “Lost in Bass” on Stage 1, pumping up the energy and the volume! Duo “Tush” back on Stage 2 returned some calm before “Undercover” unleashed themselves on the main stage.

“The Jackets Unzipped” shared some acoustic original material on Stage 2 before local band “Crunch Lab” rocked it out big time. “Little Riverbound” showed their versatility with a set on Stage 2 before the “Warrior Soul Choir” gave their second performance for the weekend. Having worked out some logistical issues this showing really let the Choir’s potential shine!

The “Special K’s “ on Stage 2 finished the afternoon segment for Saturday and shortly after 6.00pm “The Jackets”, this time in full kit played their “The Who” set to kick off the evening session. They were followed by “La Crème”, “Long Time Coming”, “Full Tilt Janis”, “Rock the Casbah”, “Sultana Bunch” and for the first time at Riverstock 2010, “Ratatat Revival” with their tribute to “Creedence Clearwater Revival”! (Rollin’ on the River!).

All these Stage 1 acts supported by those on Stage 2 – Kieren Farrel, Two’s a Crowd, Wild Flower, BBB, and Richie Wavens.

And as midnight fell, Stage Manager Kev finally subdued* the crowd sufficiently for Sultana Bunch to finish at the outdoor venue with the promise that the Club was about to kick off with “Lost in Bass” and “Rock the Casbah” to take us through til the clock on the wall said it was time at 2.00am! Another big day….

Day 3. Sunday November 14…

It had been a big** night. The rain had stopped by about 10.30 Saturday night and dawn on Sunday was magnificent! An early contingent of crew gathered to prepare*** the stage for the day and by shortly after 9.00am Lance had the big rig runnin’ and an informal open jam evolved with several acoustic guitars, a bass, drums and numerous vocalists lettin’ it all just happen! The sun was shining, the river-birds were singing and with bacon and egg sandwiches and great coffee we knew the day would be a cracker!

BBB opened the formal program on Stage 2, followed by local teenage band “Five Star Hotel”. These young guys and girl rocked their hearts out and by the audience applause it was clear that the future of music in the Riverland districts is healthy and secure!

The scheduled program became dynamic as a substitution was needed on Stage 2. Sadly “Wildflower” had to withdraw as poor Cath had sung her soul out with Lost in Bass on Saturday and a good part of her voice went with it! Richie Wavens stepped in and then it was back to Stage 1 with “Long Time Coming” and the growing crowd appreciating and enjoying the perfect sunshine. Richard Tonkin delighted all with his ukulele on Stage 2 then “Wound Up” once again on Stage 1. “Special K’s” were back on Stage 2 followed by “Riverbound” on Stage 1, electric and energised and oozing out more country charm. “Tush” provided more class on Stage 2 then “Undercover” came out in the open again on Stage 1 with their blend of classics, pop and rock.

Another dynamic program change saw “Two’s a Crowd” finish the Stage 2 entertainment before our attention turned back to Stage 1 for Richie Wavens, who bravely ploughed through broken strings, the terror of alternate tunings and other instrument hardware issues with true Woodstock authenticity. And then, the final act for Riverstock 2010 “Crunch Lab” exploded onto the stage with their polished pot of popular party pop pub rock! Moorook Riverfront Park rocked to the limit as this final set came to an end and the crowd applauded and made their unified commitment to return in a year’s time for Riverstock 2011.

During the afternoon, Riverstock 2010 MC Peter Vawser and Moorook and District Community Club Manager Jarrod Loxton thanked and praised all involved in the planning, organisation and physical effort that had taken place to make the Festival a reality. Special thanks go to all the sponsors for their support, without which such an event could not be held for entry by gold coin donation!

Riverstock 2011 is already in the planning stages. The dates are set – November 2011, 11th, 12th and 13th! The weather for Riverstock 2009 was fine. In 2010 it was HOT. In 2011 it rained, proving that fine, shine or rain Riverstock will go on! Set aside the dates for Riverstock 2011 now and watch for updates on the Riverstock Facebook page, and SA Warriors website (see links below).

And watch for news of other Weekend Warriors SA gigs and events on Facebook and the website!

Rock On!

*speak to anyone present on the night for an accurate description of “subdued”…
**speak to any of the Sunday morning stage crew for an accurate definition of “big”…
***speak to any of the Sunday morning stage crew for an accurate definition of “prepare”…


Moorook Music Fest 2010
Peter Vawser, June 2010.

The Queen’s birthday long-weekend 2010 marked another milestone for Weekend Warriors SA and the Moorook and District Community Club. Now four years on from the inaugural Blues Festival in June 2007 the event has evolved into a celebration of music covering styles from rock to country, acoustic and electric, groups and solos and a myriad of variations in between.

And with each successful year we have seen the Club develop into one of the leading live music venues in the area. Interior renovations have been carried out significantly increasing the available space in the dining room and a permanent stage area with in built drum riser has been installed.

And following the success of last June it was again decided to hold all performances within the confines of the Club, taking advantage of the refurbishments. Bands played on the ample stage with sound reinforcement sensationally provided by Trevor Filbey. Acoustics and the smaller ensembles performed at the opposite end of the room using the Warriors’ PA.

From 7 o’clock on Friday night the acoustic stage was in full use and alive with Warriors’ members and our friends from the Riverland sharing the space, playing to a full house and setting the tone for the weekend. Into the night they played later giving way to the first electric bands to take us up til closing time.

For those up early enough, Saturday gave us one of the majestic River Murray’s misty mornings but for most, the day was introduced slowly and finally arriving by about lunch time. The Club was buzzing with 9 bands on Stage 1 and 10 acts on Stage 2 from early afternoon til after midnight, playing to a capacity crowd for most of the day.

Sunday arrived peacefully and a small group of Warriors met in the Club for an ideas forum, providing an opportunity to talk about gig opportunities, share thoughts about future festivals and get an update on the planning for November’s “Riverstock 2010”. It’s an exciting time for Warriors SA!

The music kicked off again about lunch time and again the two stages were in constant use, with bands and ensembles in perfect coordination into the night until last drinks were called and it was closing time once more.

Once again our sincere thanks go out to Jarrod and the staff and committee of the Moorook Club, and to the Events Management Unit of the Weekend Warriors Club. All present had a fantastic time – check out the many posts and pages on faceboook!

Keep a lookout for future Warriors Club gigs, and remember the “Open Mic.” sessions at The Gov’. every Wednesday. We’d love to see you there.

Riverstock 2009 – The Experience – November 13, 14, 15, 2009
By Peter Vawser

Months of preparation and countless hours of negotiation between organising committee, district council, community clubs, major sponsors, minor sponsors, audio technicians and performers were done. All that remained was to hear the final weather forecast to ensure that all was in readiness. And what a weather forecast it was. Hot, Hot, Hot! But not as hot as the awesome weekend was to be itself. The 2nd annual Riverstock Music Festival was on, and it was to be bigger and better and hotter than any of the previous joint ventures between Warriors SA and the Moorook and District Community Club had ever been.

Early in the week, the tiny community of Moorook in SA’s sunny Riverland became a buzzing hive of activity as the peaceful riverfront picnic and camping ground began to be transformed into a 2000 plus capacity outdoor music venue. Security fencing was erected and marquees blossomed under shady trees as the majestic River Murray casually passed by, ever watchful over proceedings. Kassulke’s classic tray top truck was strategically positioned to become Acoustic Stage 2, take advantage of shade and have a commanding view overlooking the venue from the opposite end of the main stage while the “pièce de resistance”, the magnificent Main Stage unfolded from its transport and grew and grew and grew until it was 10 metres wide and 5 metres deep. Thursday night calm descended but the riverfront rested uneasily in anticipation of what was to come next morning.

There was to be no bad luck this Friday the thirteenth, and from early in the day while Trevor Philby installed his sound system for Stage 2, the main stage crew hustled into action rigging stage lighting before the full roof was hoisted into position and the whole thing got locked down onto four 1000 litre water tanks. This rig was not going to blow away! Then securing enough PA speaker boxes to build a small home, with stage sound mixing desk at stage left, front of house mixing desk sheltering from the sun in its purpose built gazebo, hundreds of metres of cabling and power lines rolled out, pantech semi trailers positioned at rear of stage to provide secure gear storage and stage access and a dedicated green room in the form of a small circus tent erected immediately behind the stage, by mid-afternoon they were ready for the backline amps and drum kit to grace the stage. And of-course, no professional sound stage is complete with a drum riser and StageRight Solutions made sure that one of ample proportion was provided.

Adding to the logistical challenge of Riverstock ’09 was the fact that as well as the Main Stage and Stage 2 in the outdoor venue, provision was made to transform the Moorook Club building into the “after Concert Bash” venue for those revellers who would just need to party on after licensing requirements forced the outdoor venue to close at midnight. So the “Warriors SA” PA with a bank of additional backline amps and our faithful midnight blue Premier drum kit was also set up and ready to go in the Club.

Back to the main stage, another drum kit was provided by Holden Hill Music. This one being a brand-spanking-straight-out-of-the-box-new Yamaha “Stage Custom”. With brand new heads she was tensioned up and tuned in. (Special thanks to Lance Gum’s brother Harry, who provided his pillow from their camper-bus to ensure that the new bass drum sound was to be just right! Actually, Lance commandeered the pillow before Harry had arrived, so Harry didn’t actually know where his pillow had gone. So, thanks again Harry!)

And so, by 6.30pm on Friday, the first of our 42 degree days for the weekend, all was in readiness for the first act of Riverstock ’09!

6 Bands took to the stage on Friday night each paying tribute to performers who were part of the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair 40 years ago.

First up the swelling crowd was blown away with the power and passion of “Holding Company”. These guys and girl really made us believe that Janice Joplin was alive and pumping out her hits right before our eyes and ears.

“GTR” transferred attention to Stage 2 with the first of 24 sensational acoustic sets. Then “The Jackets” took to Main Stage with their covers of “The Who” electrifying the already excited gathering. “Lys and Josh” on the acoustic stage wooed their audience with beautiful guitar and vocal providing a perfect lead in for “Ratatat Revival” and their Creedence Clearwater Revival” show. With costuming to match the theme they were really rockin’ and rollin’ on the river.

Look around, time for “Tush” on the Acoustic Stage before “La Crème” turned up the heat again with classics from Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Ten Years After. “Venus and Mars” shined bright on Stage 2 with velvet harmonies blending into the riverfront night.

But, before there was time to take off your coat (but at still 30 degrees, there were not a lot of coats to be seen) we were attending back to Stage 1 as “Rock the Casbah”, wigs and all, crashed their Hitchcock railway straight thru the bathroom window while keeping their hat on with an awesome tribute to Joe Cocker. Back on the Acoustic Stage “Brompton Blues Band” showed us how the blues is raw and beautiful all at the same time. Then, final act of the night in the outdoor venue for Friday, the dynamic 7 piece “Sultana Bunch” delighted all present with the infectious latin rhythms of classic Carlos Santana, providing a fitting end for the 950 or so in the audience on day 1 of Riverstock ’09.

But it wasn’t the end! The after concert bash was just about to start in the Club. “The Jackets”, still warm from their earlier performance rocked the crowd of 200 or so in the Club with a selection of classics til 1.30am and then handed over to a jam band of members from La Crème and Moose Bumps with a couple of friends joining in for good measure until closing time at 2.30am.

Somewhat tired and with some a little emotional, the gathered throng departed to their respective sanctuaries to spend the rest of the hours of darkness before it would all start again with the morning light!

Day 2, Saturday.
R’09 continued with an absolute full day. Due to kick off with an acoustic jam session at just 10.15am, Stage 1 Manager Kev Neeson was about early looking for an egg and bacon sandwich to kick start the day. Catered for by members of the local Moorook Bowling club, breakfast was accomplished and the day was set to go.

Saturday would see general performances by a wide selection of Warriors SA bands, some long established and some created as projects for no other reason than to have fun playing music live at Riverstock and including Junior Warriors band “Unleashed” who had the opening spot on the Main Stage at 10.45am, and local tean band “Shattered Glass” who put on an awesome set. Interspersed with acoustic acts on Stage 2, the ever growing crowd was kept enthralled throughout the day. Check out the Riverstock 2009 Program for a full list of all 28 performances on Saturday.

From 6.30, the Main Stage exploded back into a frenzy with the tribute bands again strutting their stuff for all. And in spite of the high number on the thermometer (which was able to be managed with sensible precautions and thanks to some truly inventive local genius who put together a magical spray misting archway that, as attested to by literally hundreds of devotees who capered repeatedly through its inviting centre, reduced the feeling of heat by about 100 degrees,) attendance on Saturday approached 1900! It was truly awesome to look out from the Main Stage over that fantastic crowd. Everyone was enjoying themselves! Check our Facebook page and website Photo Album for pictures.

And after midnight, we let it all hang down again across in the Club for the after concert bash. This time with “Rock the Casbah” playing their best party set with a couple of Cockers thrown in for good measure! Then “La Crème” and “La Moose” combined to take the show through til closing time, literally leaving the packed house begging for more. But closing time is closing time and at 2.30am the clock on the wall said it was time to go. However, while some welcomed the peace and solitude of bed, a significant contingent of diehards found their way on board the Big Houseboat moored just down from the Riverfront venue. 2.30 meant nothing to these professionals. 3.00am gave way to 4.00am and on they went, jamming on their acoustics and sharing early morning refreshments and the wisdom of the world with each other until the Sunday sun started to wearily peep through the night sky and suggest that a new day was about to begin.

Day 3, Sunday.
All was quiet by about 6.00am on Sunday morning, and with the experiences of Saturday tucked away for future reference, nothing much happened for a while.

But, with the sun in the sky and a fresh bacon sarni’ in hand, the Stage and Sound Crew sprang back into action to reset for the final day of Riverstock 2009. General performances were to be the order of the day again punctuated with sets on the acoustic stage. Junior band “Unleashed” had the responsibility of warming up the Main Stage at 11.00am before handing over to “Take This”, “Rollin’ Fog”, “Yeah Baby”, “Riverbound”, “White Noise” and a the final performance for the festival by the “Warriors Backing Band”.

And then at about 5.30pm, after seeing more than 3000 people across the weekend, the final chord was struck and cymbal crashed. And it was time for satisfied but weary stage crews to begin the job of dismantling the rig. This was arguably one of our most successful joint ventures that Warriors SA has participated in and paves the way for more, bigger and better events in the future. Absolute thanks have to go to the Warriors SA Events Management Unit, the Moorook and District Community Club, all the sponsors, StageRight Solutions, Trevor Philby, all the volunteers from local clubs and Warriors SA and especially to the 3000 strong crowd who made the event such a fantastic experience for all the performers.

Plans are already being developed for Riverstock ‘10 so keep November next year free!

Pure Rock at The Gov – Saturday 18 July 2009
Peter Vawser

What a coup! On Saturday July 18 2009, Warriors SA secured its first major gig in “the big room” at Australia’s leading live entertainment venue – the famous Governor Hindmarsh Hotel!

The Events Management Unit, having developed a great relationship with the Gov’ at our now weekly and highly successful Wednesday Night Open Mike sessions in the front bar, pulled out all stops and coordinated a night of “Pure Rock @ the Gov’” with 5 of the Association’s bands strutting their stuff to a crowd of over 200 in the big room.

From 4.00pm road crew, technicians and band members began gathering at the stage door to load in the gear. Stacks of Marshalls, bass bins, keyboards, drums and drum riser were rolled in to compliment the Gov’s ample in-house PA. Under the careful watch of Captain Kev Neeson, who was to Stage Manage the show, and Gov’ resident audio tech Dan Woolford the rig was assembled and (apart from a small equipment failure, well a fuse actually, that caused Greg Truman’s beautiful new custom made ¼ scale stack to die, but it was OK because he had his trusty full size Marshall double quad box rig on hand as well) all was in working order for sound check at 6.00pm.

An eerie calm descended over the next hour as muso’s and crew went into their pre-show preparation routines, some enjoying a hearty meal in the bubbling restaurant, some taking a plate quietly on their own, some finding peace at the bar and others just enjoying some solitude. The PA was just ticking over, emitting a tasteful and easy listening blend. Then, at the beckon of some inert signal, Dan finished his dinner and rose with decided confidence. Taking his place behind the consul he assumed complete command and with calm control awoke the PA from its slumber and the power was unleashed!

With a rousing welcome and introduction from Compere Georgia Lee, first up was “Find the Frequency” who teased the crowd with a staggered entry onto the stage but then, atop the throbbing bass and rhythm section of Jess and Danny, left no doubt that they were there to rock as they unleashed a blistering set.

“The Jackets” followed and thoroughly enjoyed themselves with renditions of some musical icons and a couple of power originals. Don Gleeson was mystical behind his Nord and matching red sunglasses while Charlie’s mascara paid the price of heat exposure under the lighting rig!

Big Steve Carleton led “La Crème” in a psychodelicious journey though such 60’s classics as “Foxy Lady” and “Sunshine of your Love”, with the twin Gibson SG’s of Truman and Vander Hoeven providing a truly creamy groove.

“Lost in Bass” pumped up the pace as more revellers invaded the dance floor, rolling and reeling with delight. Kyleena wooed the crowd as her vocals soared while guitars and bass roared in unity with Terry’s drums.

With the awesome task of following up the 4 power bands that came before, “Sultana Bunch” took to the stage at 11.30 for the final set of the night. With the performance space crammed with Rickenbacker, Hammond, Gibson and the percussive trio of drums, timbales and congas the air was filled with Latin sounds under Carleton’s vocals once more. And finally, with the dance floor crowded and the Sultanas in full flight on the instrumental “Soul Sacrifice”, the night ended.

At least, the night began to end for the enthusiastic and excited crowd who reluctantly started their meanderings homeward but for the satisfied and adrenalin filled players and crew, the job of packing up and bumping out was about to begin! Ah, the joys of rock’n’roll!

And so, thanks to many willing hands, not much more than an hour later the Gov’ stage was clear once more and while the last few stragglers enjoyed a final cleansing ale, plans were already being hatched and probing questions asked about the nature of the next big gig. The night was without doubt one of the dates that will go down in Warriors SA history again lifting the bar for the scale and quality of future events. I am absolutely sure that all who watched, listened danced, played and sang will join me in expressing our heartfelt appreciation to all who participated in the planning and execution of “Pure Rock @ the Gov’” and especially to Al the Bassman, without whose vision, persistence and energy the event would not have become reality.

Moorook Club Music Fest 2009, Friday 5 June 5 – Sunday 7 June 2009
(Peter Vawser)

With officially 37.5 hours of scheduled playing time, the Moorook Club and Warriors SA crammed a working week’s worth of live music into one weekend! Over the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June 2009, the third annual Music Festival at Moorook was a joy and exhausting pleasure for all involved.

Deviating from the outdoor “blues” focus of the past two June festivals, the Moorook (remember, sounds like “chook”) Club hosted 13 bands and 14 acoustic ensembles playing 46 sets over the three days from 6.00pm Friday to 12.00 Midnight on Sunday.

This was an ambitious program, with two venues being constructed within the confines of the Club thus offering all present comfort and protection against the winter elements. The decision to move indoors, having been made many months before, was ratified with resounding acclamation as the rain poured down on Saturday afternoon. Absolutely welcomed by all present, it would really have dampened spirits if the event had been staged fully outdoors.

Friday night kicked off with an electric “whiteboard jam”. Association Members and local friends alike joined onstage to warm up the venue, and each other, in anticipation of what was to come. Some bands took advantage of the opportunity for a last minute dress rehearsal and teased the enthusiastic crowd who beckoned and cheered for more as each ensemble played just two songs at a time under standard “whiteboard jam” rules. The party had begun and continued well into the small hours of Saturday.

An early start on Saturday morning (well about 8.30am anyway) saw Trevor Philby’s “Valley Sound System” rig being moved into the electric venue, and the Music Association PA installed on the acoustic stage. All was ready by 11.30 and at High Noon the scheduled program kicked off with the Warriors Backing Band supporting numerous vocalists, both Association members and local talent. Then, while Mick Buechter entertained from the acoustic stage, “White Noise” set up and launched the afternoon with power and energy. Check the published program for a full listing of all bands and ensembles that played on.

Following the last scheduled act on Saturday it was clear that nobody was ready to go home and, doing what we do best, an open jam manifested epitomising the fundamental rule of the Warriors Music Association – to have fun playing live music! It would be impossible to attempt to describe in words the atmosphere that was created at the time, but check out the photos posted on the website and numerous Facebook pages and you’ll get the idea! Suffice to say that there was a mighty big band gathered on stage and they made a mighty big sound!

Sunday morning dawned onto a rather more subdued Riverland setting, but after one or two Espresso’s and a strong cup of tea, an acoustic session emerged and the music began to flow once more. By about 11.30 the crowd began to reassemble and at Noon the Mic was thrown open. Day three had begun in earnest! Next followed another acoustic set and then the Shadows were tickled from Trevor Philby’s 1965 Jaguar to much appreciation from those present. From then on it was full and frantic with non-stop action echoing back and forth from electric to acoustic stage. Band after Band, Acoustic set following Acoustic set, the pace was fast and although a Riverland winter descended outside, inside the Club was hot and cookin’!

Throughout the afternoon the crowd swelled to fill the venue to capacity but with obvious forethought and planning all ran like a well oiled metronome (albeit set to “presto”!). Special invited guests, local teen band “Shattered Glass” joined the gathering to play a fantastic set mid way through the evening session, and really kept the place jumping!

Bands played on til just after midnight but then, reluctantly the end had to be announced. With a final flurry, and amidst cries for more we said our thanks to the Moorook Club Management and all present, and issued an unreserved invitation to gather again in November for ”Riverstock 2009” – celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the original Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.

Special thanks have to be tendered to the Warriors Music Association SA Events Management Unit and organising committee for their tireless work in making this event happen. On behalf of all Members, Thankyou!

But the June 2009 Moorook Music Fest was just a tease! Riverstock 2009 will be awesome! Keep an eye on the website for updated information, and make sure you get your accommodation booked early!

Moorook Riverstock Rock Fest 14-16 November 2008
(Charlie Hunter and Peter Vawser)

The largest rock concert ever conceived was coming to town….. Three days, not hours, of Music….. Camping out under the stars….. This was going to be a “serious” party!! Months to plan the trip….. Save some money….. Create believable lies for parents, bosses, loved and unloved ones….. Round up your travel buddies or lover and hit the road. Gathered that weekend in 1969 were liars and lovers, prophets and profiteers. They made love, they made money and they made a little history. Arnold Skolnick, the artist who designed Woodstock’s dove-and-guitar symbol, described it this way: “Something was tapped, a nerve, in this country. And everybody just came” How Woodstock Happened … Part 1 By Elliot Tiber – The Times Herald-Record and Mr. Tiber Woodstock Commemorative Edition

Gathered that weekend on the banks of the River Murray at Moorook in November 2008 were lovers and families, prophets, musicians, artists, drinkers and dancers, the old and the young, …. a generation from Woodstock combining with all generations – people who wanted to create their own stock …. A Riverstock … a moment in time – a place to remember – an event to remember with music, love and peace wrapping the atmosphere like a virtual blanket that seeped into us all and kept us warm. Charlie Hunter, the artist who designed Riverstock’s pelican-and-bass guitar symbol, described it this way: “Something was tapped, a nerve, in this community. And everybody just came”. … And in saying that she thought it had been said before …..

This is the Riverstock Story

The dust was settling, a cool shadow settled over a sun drenched ground, the barbeques firing up, the beer was cold, the houseboats started queuing and the river was moving along as it had done for years.

Musicians and audience alike arrived at Moorook, on the banks of the River Murray, and then drifted in droves through the Riverstock’s venue gates on that balmy Friday afternoon. They had travelled from all around the country – they had seen the promotion, they had heard it on radio, they had read the papers ….. It was on, the excitement had built and expectations were high …..

Stage Right Solutions were ready –Stage 1 was fit for an outdoor event of the magnitude of Woodstock itself … the amps were set loud with 8000 watts out front and a stage foldback system large enough for the Town Hall, the speakers were preparing to pump. Stage Two was on its way, ready to kick in with acoustic performances that aimed to tic tack continually throughout the entire weekend to provide a nonstop music experience.

And so, the scene was set. After months of planning, led by Al the bass man, the WMA vision that would be Riverstock was forming in front of our eyes. And then it began.

King Biscuit Time started the whole weekend with a thumping, deep down and dirty blues set that set the scene. Their guitars were whining and tugging at their straps as their sound was released with a gutsy growly voice. “Empire State Express” by Eddie ‘Son’ House, had a soulful slide guitar in perfect pitch in a playoff with the blues harp – this was just spine tingling and the sound emanated down the bank and seemed to call people in ….. a bit like a Riverstock Pied Piper really.

A quick change over, masterminded by the quick thinking and footed WMA stage crew led by our very own smiley Kev Neeson, did not let the growing crowd any opportunity to rest. The Moss Rocks came out pumping and one actually thought the river had surf, created by the pulsating waves of rock sound. Covering some classic rock, old and new, the Moss Rocks reached out to the audience and grabbed their attention, young and old …

And then, it was like a magnetic force was applied, the whole crowd turned around …. Stage Two was set up and ready to take on the task. Lys and Josh commenced the acoustic program and set up what was to be the precedence for a high quality, soulful, sweet ‘unplugged’ sound that was so totally plugged …. this young duo was setting themselves up to blow everyone away later in the weekend …. we weren’t to know that the next generation would set the standard …. and they did it in style.

AND THEN, entered Joe Cocccccckkkkkker ….. Rock the Casbah, with a pounding rhythmic piano, driving guitars and magnificent backing singers to boot, the ‘President’ screamed out the Cocker classics into the dusk, (and even did it without a bottle of scotch). One of the songs of the night would have to be ‘With a little help from my friends’, everyone knows this song, people were singing and dancing and this band got the audience pumping

Then we all turned back to Stage Two … (who needs drugs?!), special guest Susan Lily, from the Victorian Warriors Music Association captured the crowd’s imagination with her humour and insightful original music of everyday life experiences. Her acoustic guitar was played with heart and rung out with the spirit of Woodstock.

As if the grounds were set on a lazy Susan, they all turned around again the crowd lifted their heads and turned their attention. SIDE FX blasted out into the full moon, attacking each song with such energy, covering many Woodstock hits and music from the era … with just three guys, jumping around like “Eveready” batteries, they pumped out such a full sound, the audience started to dance and revel – beer cans held high as they saluted in simultaneous rocking motion.

M’Naah rang out across the night, capturing everyone with some Woodstock classics with such a strong soulful voice and beautiful guitar…. and then the people started to sing along ….. The crowds were promised that M’Naah will feature again …

And if the crowd hadn’t had enough, Sultana Bunch entered the arena on Stage 1. And there they were – young and old alike being sucked into the mesmerizing sound that is Carlos Santana. With three drummers spread across the stage, a virtuoso lead guitar player…(who must have been playing Santana from birth), 2 fantastic singers, a big beautiful bass player, bodies started to collectively sway with the rhythmic and persuading percussion and the crowd were dancing and jiving. ‘Black Magic Woman’ set the scene, this classic Santana hit known by all; it was just sublime, Sultana Bunch rocked.

Then more magic occurred on Stage 2, as Moorook’s own Kylie Loxton sang out into the night with such a sweet, sweet voice that would feature again throughout the weekend …

The Jackets just walked on Stage 1 and opened with a nuclear explosion of sound with the iconic Woodstock theme song “My Generation” and the crowd, now completely pumped danced the night away. In keeping with the Woodstock theme, The Jackets covered the super rock group ‘The Who’ and closed the show Friday night. And out the hits came such as “Behind Blue Eyes”, “Pinball Wizard” as well as the 8 minute rock anthem masterpiece “Won’t be fooled again” …… and the crowd wanted more …and the Jackets gave it. These guys (and girl) were electric, so energetic, pumping out some classic rock anthems.

And then, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, like a tsunami, the crowd washed out of the arena.

Saturday, 8.00 am – and Trevor Philby’s Stage Two rig was already powered up. Acoustic duos and ensembles engaged with the morning sounds of the Riverland. The crowd began to re-group over bacon and egg sandwiches, coffees and other caffeine laced beverages. There was calm, but also anticipation. Last night set the bar high. Today the crowd has high expectations. It will be a big day, and they will not be disappointed…

Karl and Co opened on Stage 1. Mr Zander has recovered well after a late night at the caravan park and his collective eased the gathering into growing awareness of the great things to come.
Next, Ratatat Revival on Stage 1. Great fun, rockin’ the river with classics. Back to Stage 2, and the youthful tones of Lys and Josh giving a hint of what is to come later… Then, back and forth like clockwork – 2 stage crews working in perfect symmetry for the rest of the afternoon and night:
Stage 1 – Swyndal – a class act laying down more favorites from the 60’s and 70’s
Stage 2 – Susan Lily –after a big night Susan did it all again. And there seems to be a special rapport developing between our Sue (we claim her as ours now) and a particular local lad…
Stage 1 – Lost in Bass – One of the newer additions to the Warriors Music Association. These gals and guys brought the sophistication of sax to the festival whilst raising the heat.
Stage 2 – Kylie Loxton – After last night, up to do it again! Ah Kylie, you belong to the Riverland, but we’ll take you as one of our own as well.
Stage 1 – Black Kryptonite – first appearance at Riverstock for these kids. The WMA “Junior” band included several Woodstock style classics in their set and really embraced the concept of the festival.
Stage 2 – M’Naah – Their second appearance for the weekend. Class acoustic guitar and vocal.
Stage 1 – Chisel It – Another debut at the festival and the first appearance for this hot outfit did not disappoint. All the great Cold Chisel hits were there including personal favorites “Flame Trees” and “Conversations”. Really authentic “Chisel” feel.
Stage 2 – Wayfaring Strangers – No strangers to the acoustic stage, the “Wafers” kept the crowd mesmerised for their set. No mean feat seeing how the Stage 2 was located right next to the beer tent!
Stage 1 – Jam’n’Cream – “Cream” didn’t play Woodstock, but Riverstock got the next best thing with this tribute band. Having played at the Moorook Blues festival, J’n’C were crowd favorites and the power trio gave it their all!
Stage 2 – Lys & Josh – simply a joy to listen to.
Stage 1 – King Biscuit Time – Back to basics again with the sound of the blues. The “Buscuits” brought it on home.
Stage 2 – Tonia & Susie – two voices blending as one. The perfect compliment to the hard hitting acts at the other end of the arena.
Stage 1 – The Jackets – With the afternoon coming to an end the big stage is really hotting as evening approaches. Continuing the theme, “The Jackets” started the set with Woodstock classic “The Weight” and finished with the Beatles classic “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” like you’ve never heard it before.
Stage 2 – M’Naah – Another joy.
Stage 1 – Hard Impact – It’s 7 o’clock and we wanna rock! These guys came together specifically for Riverstock and when they say “Hard Impact”, that’s what they mean! 3 lead guitars (including the keyboard sound effect pedal), killer bass, and vocals they really put in.
Stage 2 – Kylie Loxton – doing it again with Peter Nicholls on guitar.
Stage 1 – Rock the Casbah – getting down to what it’s all about.
Stage 2 – Susan Lily – Our interstate import has become one of the family by now.
Stage 1 – The Moss Rocks – The twilight has faded and the night sky teases coloured stage lights into an optical frenzy! The Moss Rocks, pulsing with energy, pump out more of their blend of classic and new.
Stage 2 – Wayfaring Strangers – With the widest variety of instrumentation for the whole festival, the “Wafers” incorporate effortlessly guitars, violin, mandolin, bass and percussion with multi-vocal harmonies.
Stage 1 – Side FX – The trio of men is now joined by their new lead singer Tracey Wenn, and she rocks! We said they were good last night as 3, but tonight they blew us away!
Stage 2 – River Rats – These guys looked so much at home we could have put them on a riverboat and sailed to Louisiana
Stage 1 – Sultana Bunch – Last act for Saturday night and the crowd was pumped as high as the 1956 flood! As it surged back to the big stage, the “Sultanas” recreated the Santana experience again with timbales, congas and drum kit weaving together against the omnipotent bass, voluptuous organ and commanding guitar providing the foundation for the complimentary vocals of Rick and Sara. Smooth!

And so Saturday night came to a close, but not before many adjourned to the nearby Moorook Club for a quiet wind-down refreshment. And of-course, there was another PA set and ready to accommodate the inevitable impromptu semi-acoustic open-mike session! This could have become the party that never ended. And for some it was! At least for the weekend…

Sunday opened with a few sore heads, sore dirty feet, sun kissed faces and if you expected a mellow quiet lazy Sunday afternoon picnic by the river, then how WRONG were you!

Black Kryptonite opened on Stage 1 … The likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Living End blasted out into the Sunday morning …. and from there it did not stop …. Rock the Casbah featuring Kylie Loxton covered some rock classics, Hard Impact were just that and for a Sunday … where did it come from? ….The Jackets spun everyone out with the likes of Pink Floyd’s “Money”, The Moss Rocks reveled with some old ones and new ones, Side FX did it all again and just rocked, Chisel It got all the working class men in a frenzy and Sultana Bunch got up and did it all again …. Befitting that Santana closes the Riverstock Weekend.

And in between all of that, Stage 2 was relentless with ongoing mesmerizing acoustic experiences echoing into the sunshine and so just for the day after …. Kylie Loxton, Tonia and Suzie, Karl and Co, M’Naah, River Rats, Wayfaring Strangers and Susan Lily entertained us all. And who could forget the magic, the sweet and beautiful music from Lys and Josh; they had the crowd eating out the palms of their hands, jaws dropped and you could have heard the pelican drop a pin in the river as everyone took it in …. oh, so young, so talented.

One of the most memorable performances that will stay in the hearts and minds for everyone in the Association for a long time was the announcement of and the final performance of ‘Jam’n’Cream. This group has been the epitome of the Association with cover renditions of the super group “Cream’. A well loved and respected Warriors band whose music will be well and truly missed.

And so this is the Riverstock 2008 story, the inaugural Riverstock story that belongs to every member of the Warriors Music Association, their families, loved ones and friends. It exhausted us, it moved us, it rocked us, some fantastic friendships were formed and many rekindled over our common denominator that is, ‘having fun playing live music’. And so we wait in anticipation for Riverstock 2009, love and peace to you all.

Riverstock to rock in ’09
By Craig Treloar. From The Murray Valley Pioneer

Thousands of keen music fans flocked to Moorook for the inaugural Riverstock Rockfest over the weekend.

The three-day celebration of music attracted around 2500 people, peaking at 1000 on Saturday night.

Organiser Jarrod Loxton said the “trial event” was so successful it has been placed on the planning fixture for 2009.

“The Warriors organisation, which was responsible for the bands, has already been inundated with bands wanting to play next year,” he said.

“It will definitely be on the fixture for November next year.

“Everything just ran so smoothly, everyone had a great time and it rocked.”

Mr Loxton said he was pleased to see the event attract hundreds of people from outside of the region.

“A large contingent of Adelaide people came up, but it was also well supported by locals and tourists,” he said.

“There was a real family atmosphere during the day.

“And at night there was not one incident, which is great when there is alcohol served.”

Mr Loxton said the only thing organisers would change is the closing time.

“Sultana Bunch rocked on Saturday night and the crowd wanted more,” he said.

“But we had to stop at 12 midnight, so maybe it will go later next year.

“But everyone still came back to the (Moorook) Club and it was a great night.”

City Bay Fun Run Sunday 21 Sept 2008
(Peter Vawser)

‘Sounds like fun’ they said.
‘We should do it’ they said.
What time was it again?’ they asked.
‘Sorry, it sounded like you said 8.00 o’clock – in the am …!’
‘Oh, you DID say 8.00 am – and there’ll be how many people?’
‘28,000! Are you serious?’
‘You are serious! Well, bring it on! We’ll be in that….’

And so it was that Warriors SA made a commitment to the Life Be In It program to provide two bands to give their time and provide street side entertainment from the Ray White Real Estate venue on the City Bay Fun Run route on Sunday September 21.

Moss Rocks and The Jackets got the opportunity to play between 8.15 and 11.00am, starting shortly after the first Fun Run entrants arrived and continuing until the final police escort passed by.

At the break of dawn (literally), members of the two bands awoke from their impatient slumbers to gather their individual wits and make the journey from far flung corners of Adelaide’s suburbs to Glenelg East where Rob Merritt and Al van der Hoeven had begun unloading gear at 7.30am.

Negotiating the necessary road closures (Kev chose to park on the northern side of Anzac Highway and simply walk across with his compact rig in hand) and assisting with traffic control (Charlie rescued a forlorn female driver who inadvertently ran over a strategic traffic cone. Four witches hats were excessive anyway and three would have done the same job perfectly well) the bands arrived and helped with the set up of the PA and installation of drums.

But the “stage” was a freshly mown lawn patch (looking resplendent after recent rains) and bass drum and hit-hat pedals on grass don’t mix. What to do? Always alert to an improvised solution, the team took advantage of a nearby building renovation where a pile of demolition rubbish included three sheets of rather splendid plywood wall panelling. Perfect for an instant drum kit platform!

And it was indeed a perfect Spring morning with fine blue sky and a gentle zephyr breeze reminding us of our proximity to the beach and also that Summer is not far away. (Note to all – remember the sunscreen when playing out of doors!)

Many of the participants passing by made the effort to show their appreciation with cheers and fists in the air, chanting along with a rock anthem chorus or two, and the ultimate accolade, “You guys are better than the other band up the road!”

It was indeed great exposure for Warriors SA, with our banner proudly taking advantage of the Ray White Real Estate location in front of 28,000 people. And it was great to share in this community event, with folks who clearly demonstrated their passion for life by rolling, running and strolling, giving us another chance to live up to the Warriors SA motto and “have fun playing live music”.

Moorook Blues Weekend 2008 (1)
(Peter Vawser)

Had it really been 12 months? Hard to believe but the calendar doesn’t lie. And with the advent of the 2008 Queen’s birthday long weekend in June, we could truly announce that Moorook Blues Weekend had become an annual event!

The 2nd Annual Moorook Blues Weekend was certainly equal to and in many ways topped the standards set with the inaugural event in 2007. There were more musicians, more bands, bigger stage, better facilities and more people to enjoy it all.

And it kicked off with a packed crowd in the Moorook Club Sports bar Friday night. Semi acoustic duo “For better or Worse”, with “King Biscuit Time” and “Shoebox Blues” doing a “acoustic” sets (one day we’ll explore the definition of “acoustic”) got the pendulum swinging for a weekend of great times and grooving blues.

There was action aplenty at the Moorook site from just after first light Saturday morning as the PA was assembled. Bigger and better than last year, “Stageright Solutions” provided a system with 8000watts capacity out the front and a massive 4000watts available for stage fold back. Awesome! Great jobs guys. Thank you.

Local ABC radio provided the opportunity for a live-to-air interview Saturday morning giving us the chance for last minute promotion to all in the Riverland district. This really was to be a big event.

On Saturday, 7 WMA Bands explored the vast richness of the blues genre, ranging from the semi-acoustic folk-blues style of “The Katz” and traditional tones of “Shoebox Blues”, through to the raw power of trio “King Biscuit Time” and in-your-face “Los Derros”, a touch of sophistication with “Studio 30” and “Straight Jacket” combining traditional power chord blues with blue-rock and original music and “Jam’n’Cream” providing a tribute to psychedelic purple blues with the music of the legendary “Cream” late into the night. And on Sunday, they did it all again!

The electric jam sessions were an unparalleled success with the organisers providing a fill in backing band for continuity to support an almost endless supply of talented Riverlanders who would have happily sang and strummed and blown and drummed all night!

And we must praise the organisers for the forethought in providing a second “acoustic” stage where duos and trios kept the momentum of the weekend going with 20 minute sets during the lull while bands changed over on the big stage. Some impromptu performances were outstanding but we must recognise and applaud duo “M’NAAHN” for the excellent entertainment they provided.

The local community adopted and supported the Weekend with passion and various groups took responsibility for the numerous catering tents. All present will agree that the standard and variety of food available this year was fantastic. And of course, the Moorook Club beverage tent was undeniably well stocked with refreshments suitable to cool or warm (as the need arose) the cockles of our hearts.

There was rain on Sunday, but it could not begin to dampen the spirits of the several hundred strong crowd who simply grooved on regardless. Even though the temperature was low, the precipitation was a refreshing and much welcome feature in a land so desperate for drought relief.

So as Monday dawned the Sound Crew had already packed up their rig, the instrument and gear storage area had been cleared out and a succession of tired but happy and very satisfied Warriors made their way to the Moorook Club for the best country buffet breakfast you could wish for.

Plans are already underway for the 2009 Moorook Blues Weekend, but just as exciting is the news that the SA Warriors own “Woodstock” Concert, to be known as “Riverstock Rock Fest”, is also in the planning stages. Keep a watch out for news bulletins and information on this two-day rock event scheduled for November 14 – 16 2008!

See you at a SA Warriors Music Association event soon!

Moorook Blues Weekend 2008 (2)
(Deb the Jewelry Lady)

Well what can I say about the weekend? It was fantastic. The bands were great, the atmosphere was good and the organisers were friendly.

I have spoken to a few people about the weekend and all have said what a great time they had. Some said that they thought there would have been more of the old blues, but a great time was had by all. Personally I think I was one of the lucky ones. As I was staying on site, I got to hear the guys and girls have a jam session around the camp fire into the wee hours of Sunday morning. I would like to thank all the artists for a great weekend.

My husband works with intellectually and physically disabled clients. As he was working on the weekend he bought them out for a couple of hours on the Saturday. The clients did not want to go home. On the Sunday my husband had a six hour break from work and spent that time at the festival. He did not want to go back to work. I’m also glad that I talked the last two acts for the Sunday into playing. It took a while but I must have nagged them long enough.

Once again thanks for a great weekend and hopefully I will see you in October for the Rock Festival or in June for another top weekend of Blues.

All the best, Deb (the Jewelry Lady)

Brickworks Markets. Saturday 15 March 2008
(Reuben Fogg)

The whole world felt like it was melting on the last weekend of the Adelaide Festival.

That didn’t seem to bother South Australia’s Warrior musicians and singers at Adelaide’s Brickworks Markets on that hot Saturday afternoon.

People say that after the final nuclear Armageddon, when the world dissolves in smoke and flames, the only things left will be cockroaches and Keith Richards.

If their resilience on Saturday is anything to go by, there might also be a few Warriors among the ruins, clutching their smoldering guitars.

Reuben knew that if he skipped the matinee of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, he could catch the Warriors’ show and be back in time for the closing night of Lovers and Haters at Norwood Town Hall with nobody the wiser. Especially those nice people who were paying for him to cover the Festival and Womad.

The taxi ride out to the Brickworks Markets in Torrensville was quick. The roads were quiet and shimmered in the heat haze. As the taxi approached ground zero, South Road was almost deserted. It seemed that all sensible folk were indoors to escape the blistering glare.

Clanking up the checker-plate stairs from the car park, Reuben was thankful when he entered the back door of the beer-garden to find that it was roofed over and more-or-less enclosed.

Industrial pedestal fans circulated the air and at least gave the illusion of a cooling breeze. Meanwhile the bar was doing a brisk trade and it was easy for Reuben to blend in.

Vinyl Kaos was on stage, sweat dripping and fingers flying. It was the first time Reuben has seen these guys, and hey, they were good. Some great bass lines, interesting lead guitar breaks and a solid rhythm section. And when the singer Alison launched into Pleasure and Pain, the whole audience knew what she meant.

SideFX were on next. Reuben saw these guys at Mount Barker just before Christmas. They were tight then and they kept it that way now, despite the furnace-like conditions.

Who in their right minds would get up in front of spotlights on a 100 degree day and jump about? Their terrific version of Chain of Fools took on extra meaning in the circumstances. Thank goodness for crazy people.

Jen on keyboards and Jan were both in good voice and worked well together. Even the light chaser suddenly started to work mid-set.

Next up was Wis’n Up, a classic, all-guy rock and roll band with some rock and R and B thrown in. This is the third time Reuben has seen these guys in six months. Technically they have got better and better and this set started off very promisingly. But in the middle of the set, the wheels started to fall off*. Nothing too disastrous, just a few glitches from time to time that threw some of the members momentarily.

Maybe it was the heat – a case of the Summertime Blues perhaps – or the gremlins that strike all bands occasionally. Or maybe the Brickworks Ghost that the taxi driver told Reuben about decided to make his presence felt**.

Whatever it was, these guys know their stuff and were able to pull things back on track quickly, even though a couple of numbers were cut short. By the end of the set they had regrouped and were back to their usual standard, finishing with some rollicking classics.

A new group, Get Rocked, finished the show. Reuben heard this was their inaugural public performance. It sounded like they had been playing together for years. Great selection of songs spanning 40 years of rock.

Reuben particularly enjoyed their version of You Really Got Me, it brought back many memories of a golden age of rock and of youthful exuberance***.

Jackie the singer had the audience of around 60 people in the palm of her hand from the start. There were fists pumping the air, horned fingers aplenty and appreciative yells and screams throughout.

High Voltage said it all – it was high voltage rock and roll right through a high energy set. Keep your eyes on these guys, we’re going to be hearing more of them in the future.

As the excited crowd dispersed, Reuben joined the general drift out towards South Road to wait for his taxi. On the journey back, with the sun a bit lower and the shadows a bit longer, a few more souls were out and about. Maybe they were heading out to start their evening of Festival going.

Reuben was heading to the hotel for a quick shower and change of clothes before heading out to Norwood for a bite to eat and then his paid theatre gig. He hoped his feet would stop tapping in time.

Copyright © Reuben Fogg 2008. Reproduced with author’s permission. All rights reserved.

Webmaster’s notes:

* Hey, Reuben, this is my band you’re talking about. I thought you were my friend.

** The Brickworks Ghost is supposed to be active when the temperature has been very high for several days. More like a poltergeist, he plays mischievous tricks on people who work there, very rarely on visitors. There are two versions of why the ghost exists. One says that it is the ghost of a worker who accidentally got trapped in the kiln during a firing. The other says it was a steeplejack or bricklayer who fell into the chimney during construction. The connection with the kiln is given as the reason for mysterious incidents occurring only during very hot periods.

*** You Really Got Me entered the UK charts on 13 August 1964 at no. 34. It went to no. 1 on 10 September and stayed there the following week. That was the week Reuben and I both turned 18.

Mt Barker Christmas Pageant. Saturday 1 December 2007
(Reuben Fogg)

When the Visigoths attacked Rome they caused less consternation than the Warriors’ invasion of Mt Barker.

It was the first official day of summer Downunder and yours truly had flown in from a chilly Big Apple to cover the first Adelaide International Guitar Festival.

But the Reverend Reuben decided to play hookey from his day job, skip Chicks with Guitars down at the Festival Centre and see what his Warrior mates had been getting up to since he was last in town.

Reminding himself to stay on the right (that is, the left) side of the road, Rollin’ Reuben piloted the hire car up the freeway and out into the boondocks.

Just before the old agrophobia started to kick in, the turn-off to Mt Barker appeared, leading weary and thirsty travellers into that pretty little outpost of civilisation. Reuben is still wondering where the mountain is.

Sneaking the hire car into the last parking space for miles around (behind the pub), Reuben pushed his way through the crowds as the last strains of “Jingle Bells”, played in march time, faded away down Main Street behind Santa.

The good folk of Mt Barker had turned out in droves to watch the jolly old gentleman do his thing and were now in the mood to party.

As the Caledonian pipe and drum band receded into the distance, Warriors from the big, bad city took to the stage.

Reuben uses the term ‘stage’ in its broadest sense. Today, it was a couple of parking bays up the quiet end of Main Street, under a couple of nifty new marquees and a nice shady tree. (Editor’s note: he means Gawler Street).

The floor was the bitumen road surface with the stage marked out by safety cones and plastic road works fencing. The road camber was so steep, the back line looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Sometimes even the drummers looked puzzled.

But the road crew had done a good job of setting up, and it worked (and sounded) better than some million-dollar stage sets Reuben has seen. The crowd seemed to like being able to get up close in front, at the sides and even round the back. It was a real friendly sort of show.

Alternating throughout the afternoon between his vantage points in the pub and the nearby coffee shop, and pretending to be fascinated by Mt Barker’s retail emporiums in between, old Reuben managed to stay incognito behind his shades while keeping an eye (and an ear) on the shenanigans on and around the Warrior stage.

It was the first time yours truly had seen a group of Warriors in daylight. It took him a little while to recover.

First up was SideFX. Reuben hears these guys are getting quite a bit of their own work nowadays, and it’s easy to see why.

Good choice of songs, tight performance and a nice stage presence. The soaring vocals of the two female singers, Jen and Jan (or was it Jan and Jen), carried down the street and, like the Sirens’ song, lured people into their magic circle.

And who was that lone dancer? The magic stayed with him throughout the whole afternoon, as he performed his mystical, arrhythmic moves to every song from every band.

Midnight Addiction took over the baton on main stage while Rewind started up further down the street by the pub, right next to one of Reuben’s hideouts.

Reuben was torn – like a dog in a forest, not knowing which leg to cock first.

Rewind went through a workman-like set – solid and dependable, covering many of the song-book standards.

Great work guys, especially considering the challenges you faced, from a sound system that sometimes seemed to have a mind of its own to over-enthusiastic and over-friendly pub patrons.

What a great way to pay your dues and learn your chops – putting on a professional performance in less than perfect circumstances. Remember, if it doesn’t kill us it makes us stronger.

Meanwhile, up the end of Main Street, Midnight Addiction were doing their thing. Heads in the crowd were bobbing, feet were tapping and the Lone Dancer still grooved to a beat that only he could hear.

Now these guys are getting to be a tight little outfit – very interesting too when they sometimes get a twin lead guitars thing going. Most of these guys can sing too, and that puts vast repertoires at their disposal.

And they certainly picked stuff from all over and acquitted themselves well. Reuben just wonders if the choice of a couple of the slower, moody ballads was a good idea for that particular show? Brilliantly executed, but perhaps for that crowd, maybe their up-tempo numbers were better suited.

As one Warrior said, when he first arrived at the venue outside an iconic Mt Barker shop and read its name emblazoned in large letters across the front, “Hey, look! We’re playing in front of Hillbilly’s!”

But the appreciative crowd gave the band a warm round of applause as they finished and left the stage.

All, that is, except for the guy with the white stratocaster who didn’t seem to want to go.

The reason soon became clear, he was also the lead guitarist for the next band Wisen Up (editor’s note: it’s Wis’n Up).

Yours truly last (and first) saw these guys playing at a Rock and Roll show during a previous flying visit to Australia. Now they did a more mixed set of covers.

Reuben heard the drummer say that the lead guitar was a stand-in for their regular guy and only had about five minutes practice with the band.

If that’s so, then it was a darn fine effort on everyone’s part to get it together that well – a classic, all guy line-up doing the classic covers.

Straight-up and authentic sounding, relaxed and enjoying themselves, entertaining the small but appreciative late afternoon audience, as well as the cool old couple who had been sitting in deck-chairs just in front of the stage all afternoon, and of course the enigmatic shadow dancer of Mt Barker.

A great way to wind up a Saturday afternoon in the Hills.

At least it would have been, if Mr Grumpy, the inspector dude, had been having a better day.

Reuben was amazed to see him go up to the stage in the middle of the third song and start grumping at the band.

He couldn’t hear what Mr Grumpy said, but from the look on the guys’ faces, they were pretty amazed too.

As he found out later, this guy was telling the band to start wrapping it up ‘cos everything had to be closed and cleared by 4 o’clock. That was 45 minutes away. Rules is rules, and them’s the rules.

So, like true professionals, the band cut their set by half and rearranged the running order on the fly to finish up their short but tight set in time to save Mr G. from apoplexy.

Within minutes the street was deserted and the shops were shutting.

It seemed the good people of Mt Barker were settling down to a bit of Saturday night tea and telly before an early night to be up in good time for church next day.

From his look-out back in the pub, Reuben watched the Warriors pack up their gear ready for the long haul back down the hill into the big, bad town.

Soon the street was empty again, just another high street in another small town with no sign of the magic that happened there earlier.

Even the enchanted dancer had melted away like mist in sunlight.

And as the twilight began to fall, and a lone cat skulked away into the shadows, the tumbleweed began to drift down empty Main Street.

Copyright © Reuben Fogg 2007. Reproduced with author’s permission. All rights reserved.

SideFX at the City to Bay Fun Run – Sunday 16 September
(Graham Morgan & Greg Osborn)

SideFX took up a prime position at the Bay to entertain the thousands of City to Bay participants as they ran, walked, rolled and limped by.

Setting up in the cold at the corner of Brighton Road and Anzac Highway at the ungodly hour of 7:30 in the morning, the band found that Peter and Kevin had arrived even earlier and had already been working hard to have the PA and drums set up.

Usually early morning brings sounds of birds chirping and the sweet smell of dew on the ground. But not today. This morning, the atmosphere was puncuated by the mutterings from singer Jan along the lines of “I will never get up this @#*&&!#$ early for a @#*&&!#$ gig again.”

The band rallied around and settled into entertainment mode then kicked off just a few minutes before the first runners came through at a blistering rate.

Before long Jan was doing what she does best, entertaining the large crowd of onlookers – at first just a lady with a stop sign and a girl sitting on a Gym ball.

Jan’s demeanour changed significantly when many more athletic and scantily clad runners came running past. She really got ino the groove and belted out her stuff with When Will I be Loved, Fire and Stop Dragging My Heart Around among the highlights. She performed Pleasure and Pain for the participants with extra passion.

Despite the early hour Jen was up and running with her classy and professional style. She opened up her set with a fine rendition of You’re Gonna Get Hurt which seemed appropriate for the event. Other highlights included Back on The Chain Gang and Would I Lie to You?

David kept up a stunningly tight beat as usual with Graham on bass providing the backbone of the solid and driving rhythm section sound. This helped guitarist Greg to play along, in his words, “despite cold hands and no alcohol for confidence and lubrication”.

The band played a two and a half hour set straight through and was appreciated by the growing line of spectators and the slower runners and walkers who had a little more time to appreciate the music.

Ronald McDonald attempted a guest appearance but retreated after the band introduced him to everyone as Hungry Jack. They were also joined by some dancing Tele Tubbies and various other participants who were less serious about breaking records.

The band had a sensational time and are looking forward to returning next year. Special thanks go to the Life Be In It folks for the invitation to play and to Peter and Kevin for doing a great job on the set up and sound.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Night – 11 August 2007 (Reuben Fogg)

Energy. You could feel it crackling round the hall. Enough to power a small city. The Warriors were in town and Rock ‘n’ Roll was the name of the game.

The crowd started to gather early. There were plenty of Warrior friends and family members but also several groups of folk who had heard about the show on Coast FM and came along to share in the fun.

Many people had put in a special effort and looked great in their 50s and early 60s gear. Tonia was the force behind the organisation and expectations were high. The crowd was not disappointed.

MC and PA guru Peter got the show under way with a few welcoming words. Then first up was FBI, paying tribute to many of those classic instrumental numbers that were the sound track of our younger days.

They nailed that instrumental guitar sound and got the audience’s feet tapping from the start. FBI came back for two more brackets during the night between the other bands.

Next came a brief demonstration by special guests, the Adelaide Rock and Roll Club dancers. The dancers strutted their stuff to pre-recorded tracks and reminded the crowd what dancing was all about back in the 50s.

Next on stage was Wis’n Up, rocking the joint with a high-powered bracket of classic Rock ‘n’ Roll numbers that brought the crowd to its feet. The dance floor was heaving under the pounding of 200 pairs of dancing shoes. The 50s and 60s were with us again and the Boomer generation was alive and well.

The Rock and Roll Club dancers joined in the general dancing throughout the night as the audience rose to the occasion with enthusiasm. It took days to get the scorch marks off the floor.

FBI kept the nostalgia going until Spunk Rats took the stage. Their set of old Rock and Roll favourites was warmly received and packed the dance floor once again. Saturday night at the local hop was with us again.

After another dance demo and another bracket from the indefatigable FBI, it was the turn of the Backing Band and the free-wheeling Warrior singers.

Seasoned musos from various other Warrior bands make up the Backing Band to give unattached singers the chance to showcase their talents.

With five singers plus band members, the stage was as crowded as Rundle Mall on a Saturday morning. The singers, solo or in an ever-changing kaleidoscope of vocal combinations, rounded off the night with an eclectic mix of personal favourites that went down well with the crowd.

Great work by the organisers and helpers leading up to the show and on the night itself. The kitchen area looked like a tsunami in a music shop and it was no mean feat to get a couple of dozen singers and musos and their gear on and off stage smoothly several times during the evening. But the whole thing ran like clockwork and was a nice little earner for the Deaf Society and Warriors SA.

A memorable evening, when the Boomer generation staked out its claim in the Warriors SA rock pantheon.

Copyright © Reuben Fogg 2007. Reproduced with author’s permission. All rights reserved.

Moorook Murray River Blues Weekend. 8-10 June 2007
(Peter Vawser)

“Moorook” – M’rook, rhymes with chook. Nestled on the banks of the majestic Murray River, two- and-a-half hours or so from Adelaide. A peaceful place – except for the long weekend in June!

What an event! The venue was the size of a football field. The stage was a full size pantechnicon. The sound system was awesome. Everything was miked. Even before “Strange Brew” cranked the first of what must have been a million 12 blue bars at 11.15 on Saturday morning those of us present knew we were on the verge of something bigger than had ever been first imagined.

Over the long weekend, June 8 through to 10, the Moorook & Districts Club (MDC) played host to six bands, 400 people and over 20 hours of rockin’ blues. Everything had been thought of, from braziers and spit roasters to beer and port-a-loos. From humble beginnings in conversation over a few beers at the Club, Tony Bowes and Wayne Hamood, Manager of the MDC, worked long and hard with the Warriors Music Association SA (Warriors SA) over the past several months to plan what is destined to become an annual event in the Riverland. The Moorook Murray River Blues Weekend!

Six Warriors SA bands put together their best Blues sets and took the Association to new heights in terms of event staging and management . Ladies and Gentlemen, the bar has been well and truly raised!

On Friday night, Blues in the clubrooms. A select group of muso’s played for three hours to a crowd that swelled to well over 100, packing the bar and dining room to capacity. On Saturday, “Strange Brew” opened the weekend proper with a classic set of their unmistakable “dirty” blues. “Straight Jacket” followed with Captain Frank pumping up the growing crowd. New bands “Snake Pit” (featuring their world-wide line up), “Blues Tones” and “Old Play” kept true to the genre and showed us what the Blues is all about with renditions of tunes from some of the great Blues Masters. Then as darkness was beginning to fall and the stage lights were turned on, “Jam ‘n Cream” gave a great tribute to the super-group that has influenced so many of the artists that have came since.

Following a short break in proceedings, allowing the bands and crew an opportunity to enjoy the Community’s hospitality and grab a bite to eat, the stage was thrown open to a white-board jam session during which several locals joined with Warriors SA members and continued with the blues for another couple of hours.

Hi-noon Sunday it all began again with “Straight Jacket” kicking off another energy packed set. “Snake Pit” followed with even more confidence than the day before, leaving the crowd of several hundred warmed and ready for more. “Jam ‘n Cream” outdid their previous performance and paved the way for “Blues Tones” to keep the crowd happy. “Strange Brew” put on another top show and merged their set into the start of the Sunday night open Jam. With a bit of encouragement from their friends, we saw several very talented locals come on stage to pump their harps, strum their guitars and sing their enormous hearts out well into the night.

But all things have to end, and so it was at the end of a very long Sunday the drums were packed up, the amps unplugged, the guitars and keybords safely cradled in their cases, and the PA pulled down. So many people worked so hard to make this event the success it was, we simply can’t attempt to name them all. But what is absolutely certain, is that it wouldn’t have happened without the contributions and effort made by all involved, and especially that people were brave enough to take that humble idea and make it a reality.

Following a post festival breakfast feast at the Moorook Club, we said farewell to the Moorook Community and took ourselves home. At least some of us did. Tony Bowes was still there, starting to get down to detail with Wayne about Moorook 2008! Watch this space.

Country Bash – Blumberg Hotel, Birdwood. 11 March 2007
(Andrea Duff – Jambalaya)

The Warriors’ country chapter comes of age

The grassy knoll behind the Blumberg Hotel at Birdwood was surrounded by budgies, goats, dogs and dust. The air was a-waft with snags and onion. Around 400 patrons – some in deck chairs, some on hay bales – came and went during the afternoon to enjoy the country riffs, pulses and hoe-down hollers at the inaugral Weekend Warriors’ Country Bash.

The day began with the Cash-esque strains of the Cannelloni Cowboys and the spirit continued with the resonant baritone of Carl Zander with bassist Peter Jeffery and the brush totin’ drummer, Ron Bellman.

The Weekend Warrior Backing Band never sounded so good. The birds stopped singing when Michelle sang Jolene – unable to compete with the high-C’s in the final chorus.

Jambalaya contributed its usual combination of country-music-through-the-ages with Texas Swing, contemporary country rock, Cash, Cline and Chambers.

Many thanks to the Blumberg proprietors – Steve and Rebecca; sound man and events entrepreneur Peter Jeffery; Algernon Vanderhoeven; Tonia Brooks; Rob Green, Kevin all the participating musicians, family and friends.

Birdwood – traditionally known for its Rock ‘n Roll – has not seen the back of the WMA Country Fraternity.

Warriors as Guest Quizmasters. Friday 23 February 2007

Colin and I promoted the Warriors and the Association to over 200 guests at the large “Fogolar Furlan” Italian Club in Felixstow when we did our gig at the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Quiz Night on Friday 23 Feb. We were guest quizmasters presenting the music round – focusing on Classic Rock from the Golden Age, playing the extracts live.

Kicking it off with a high risk yell of “Are you ready to rock?”, we were delighted when just about the whole crowd immediately yelled back “Yeah” without any further prompting.

Straight into a “spot the intros” question, we’d only done the first few bars of Brown Sugar and Bad Moon Rising, when people at the front tables were already bopping and grooving in their seats. By the time we were into “spot the names”, a single verse of Johnny B Goode had some couples jiving in the aisles.

The rest of the questions went well, and there was some extra entertainment for the audience in the final Million Dollar Riffs section when we mis-read our running sheet and I launched into the riff from “I heard it through the grapevine” as Colin started on “Satisfaction”. But we quickly got it back together, and we finished by getting the whole audience clapping on the backbeat and then ripping into the riff from “Smoke on the Water”. Just about everyone welcomed it like an old friend.

While we still had everyone’s attention, we did the promotion for the Warriors and the Association and made sure there was a flyer on every table. When we gave out the answers, Col’s flying fingers did a brilliant reprise of 2 seconds each of the whole 20 extracts.

We wrapped it up by playing them into the interval with a slow blues. In the best Warrior tradition, we were joined by David Ellis on harp. He’s one of the MS volunteer helpers. Our spontaneous jam was a great illustration of what our organisation is all about.
Ian Short (Soul Riders; Iron Chefs and Wis’n Up – rhythm)
Colin McGee (Blood, Sweat and Beers; Iron Chefs and First Cut – lead)

Band Night Report. Saturday 19 November 2005
(Ron Bellman, President)

The Band Night was an absolute blast last night. For those of you who missed it, don’t miss the next one because the shows are getting bigger and better.

First up we had Zoomers who are nothing short of brilliant. They are a youngish original band and they do some very cool stuff. I think we all should just keep an eye on this band. There is something happening there.

Then we had Karl Zander who said he only had two songs but ended up doing four in the break and another four in the next break and then he grabbed Al and Phil, his mates from a previous round and they did a couple of unrehearsed but pretty damn good songs together. Well done guys! I will never believe Karl again when he says he doesn’t have any material!

Next up we had Strange Brew with their solid kick-ass blues, an all time favourite with the blues lovers. Mixed Breed did a cool as set, a real crowd pleaser. Some very cool stuff from them particularly their version of Come Together which left an impression.

Nexus were on last. Those guys were jumpin’ and the crowd wouldn’t let them off stage. They eventually had to go because the pub wanted to kick us all out. I haven’t got the numbers count yet but it looked to me like the room was packed and the bar was pumping. Thanks for everyone who helped out with the gear.

Wind Down, Saturday 10 September 2005
(JP Hunter)

The Wind Down at Rob Roy tonight was, in a word, AWESOME. The bands were fantastic…..and yes Ron, that Bass Player Phil…out of this world. What a performer. The whole crowd were up dancing….There were probably in the region of 50 or so there. Fantastic Venue!!!!!! ….

Plugged the Association heaps… heaps of people have said they will join and took membership forms. The “start” band were Lix Bros (they played last at the concert ) … It was a fantastic night…and all the “players” had a ball..