Russell Morris, Daryl Braithwaite and John Farnham … collective age 208. Man are their voices in mighty fine form still!
Russell, Daryl and John played Rochford Winery for a day on the green this weekend and sounded like they were still in their 20s. Each one of these performers has not stopped in over 50 years so you have a combined 160 years of experience. Like seasoned sportsmen, these three guys are currently at the top of their game right as many of their fans the same age are preparing for retirement.
There is no sign of Russell, Daryl and John slowing down. Why would they? They each have a legacy of classic hits that is no longer being replicated by the younger generation of artists. Each one of these guys had their first hit in the 60s.
Russell Morris gave the a day on the green audience a 45 minute setlist dating back to 1967, some 70s classics and a selection of his masterpiece 21st century recordings from his Blues trilogy, kicking off with Black Dog Blues. This is a band that works as one. Mitch Cairns, John Creech and Peter Robinson have been working together as a band since Sharkmouth and in Johnny Creech’s case, the relationship goes all the way back to the start. The band is a fine-tuned machine and easily manoeuvres its set to captivate the thousands of fans at the Coldstream winery.
Russell Morris setlist, a day on the green, Rochford Winery, 8 December 2018
Black Dog Blues (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
Wings of an Eagle (single, 1972)
Its All Over Now Baby Blue (Somebody’s Image, single, 1967)
Birdsville (from Van Diemen’s Land, 2014)
Money Don’t Grow On Trees (from Sharkmouth, 2012)
The Real Thing (single, 1969)
Hush (Somebody’s Image, single, 1967)
Sweet Sweet Love (from Bloodstone, 1971)
Daryl Braithwaite picked up his new fanbase with women now 30-40 in the late 90s when they were still in their teens. Not surprisingly, the biggest reaction from the audience came from what is now Daryl’s core demo. His cover of the Rickie Lee Jones song ‘The Horses’ is now their anthem while older fans navigate to the Sherbet classic ‘Howzat’. Both got what they came for.
A few years back Daryl recorded a new album Forever the Tourist, so like Russell, his set also has a 21st century relevance wrapped around his 70s and 80s classics. The surprise was his cover of The Babys ‘Isn’t It Time’. It was actually a perfect choice for Daryl and would have shared the charts with his Sherbet days.
Daryl Braithwaite setlist, a day on the green, Rochford Winery, 8 December 2018
All I Do (from Edge, 1986)
Blueswalking (from Sherbet, Howzat, 1976)
Beautiful Feeling (from Forever The Tourist, 2013)
Summer Love (Sherbet single, 1975)
Not Too Late (from Forever The Tourist, 2013)
As The Days Go By (from Edge, 1986)
Rise (from Rise, 1990)
Higher Than Hope (from Rise, 1990)
Isn’t It Time (The Babys cover)
Howzat (from Sherbet, Howzat, 1976)
One Summer (from Edge, 1986)
The Horses (from Rise, 1990)
John Farnham is now a living legend. The Whispering Jack album is historic having achieved near 1.7 million sales in Australia (with a population of 25 million). That makes it the second biggest selling album of all-time in Australia. (Meat Loaf Bat Out Of Hell is slightly ahead).
Farnham is touring a celebration of the Whispering Jack album but he is not doing the usual start to finish track order of the album, instead performing the classic on shuffle mode (which allows for the big finish with ‘You’re The Voice’ to sit in the last song of the set position.
Farnham has opened and closed his sets with the Queen classic ‘We Will Rock You’ and AC/DC’s ‘It’s a Long Way To The Top’ for years but he has also recorded his own versions of the classics. (Incidentally, AC/DC have not performed this song since the death of Bon in 1979).
This is another band that plays as one and is playing to win (to coin his own LRB rocker). ‘Playing To Win’ was just one of the LRB hits from the short-lived Farnham era. Farnham made three albums as lead singer for Little River Band. It would be nice to see maybe ‘Down On the Border’ or ‘We Two’ one day in a John Farnham set.
The bagpipes in ‘You’re The Voice’ is always worth the price of admission at a Farnham show and the Acca Dacca closer always leaves the crowd on a high.
John Farnham setlist, a day on the green, Rochford Winery, 8 December 2018
We Will Rock You (Queen cover from One Voice, 2003)
Hearts On Fire (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
Age of Reason (from Age of Reason, 1988)
Chain Reaction (from Chain Reaction, 1990)
Every Time You Cry (from Anthology 1, 1997)
Reasons (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
No One Comes Close (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
Love to Shine (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
One Step Away (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
Trouble (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
A Touch of Paradise (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
Pressure Down (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
That’s Freedom (from Chain Reaction, 1990)
Playing To Win (from Little River Band, Playing to Win, 1985)
You’re The Voice (from Whispering Jack, 1986)
It’s a Long Way to the Top (if you want to rock n’ roll) (AC/DC cover)
A day on the green has become a much loved staple of Australian music culture. When Mick and Anthea Newton created the event as “a Big Day Out for grown-ups” in 2001 little did they know then that his would be one of the biggest live attractions in Australia almost 20 years later.
The 2018/2019 season will also include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kylie Minogue, Bryan Ferry, Bryan Adams and Florence + The Machine.