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Stephen Walker Tribute

Celebrating 30 Years of the Ghost at RRR FM
with the Sand Pebbles, Ron S. Peno, Dave Graney & the Lurid Yellow Mist, Gareth & Dan from the Drones, Skull Cave All Stars (David Bridie, Pete Lawler, Gary Young, Phil Wales), The Dirty Three, Max Crawdaddy & RRR DJs
and special guests Nick Cave, Joel Silbesher, Andrew Coates, James Lee, Rob Craw, Kerri Simpson, Wolfgramm Sisters
Forum Theatre, Monday 31st January 2011

I had been looking forward to this gig since last year and booked a ticket almost immediately when I heard it was going to be held, not just for the worthy cause of supporting the Ghost, but also I wanted to see the Dirty Three again after four years and hadn't made it to any of the festivals they performed at. As usual I was very busy in December and January is when I have a rest. I don't get to hear much of the Skull Cave on RRR these days, but when I wasn't working for a while I would listen to it every week.

As it was a special occasion I was even considering not taking photos for once, but changed my mind only a couple of days before as this line up was not going to happen again and I was not sure when I would get to take photos in the Forum either as it is usually off-limits. Thanks to Max Crawdaddy for pointing me in the right direction to get access for the gig.

I remember hearing the Sand Pebbles do a live to air during the Skull Cave when they released their Ceduna album, but I had not had the chance to see them before. I thought they played well and the people who managed to make it early enjoyed their set.

It had been a while since I had seen Ron Peno perform with Kim Salmon as part of the Darling Downs. He ran around the stage a lot during his set and I expected him to start tap dancing at one point. As I remember he was theatrical with the Darling Downs also (I am too young to remember Died Pretty.)

The last time I saw Dave Graney was at the Forum, but he was in the audience that night watching Clare play with the Ukeladies. It was good to see him play again as I missed the Cup Eve Show to see Clare Bowditch. It was a greatest hits set, but I also recognised a few songs from some more recent albums.

Gareth Liddiard and Dan Luscombe from the Drones played an acoustic set of Drones songs to a very vocal audience and were happy to backchat. I was too scared to yell out for Garteh to play "Strange Tourist" five minutes before the end of their set. I thought they went well and it was much better than the last time I saw Gareth Liddiard at Queenscliff.

I was looking forward to the Skull Cave All Stars almost as much as the Dirty Three and they played a power set with some very special guests including Kerri Simpson and the Wolfgramm Sisters. I enjoyed this part of the show as it reminded me of the line-up for RRR BBQ day and the Radiothon show.

Four years is a long time to wait to see a band, it was worth every minute of the wait with the Dirty Three in that I really ended up hanging on to the rail of the crowd barrier and hoping not to be blown away in the storm. It was louder than any performance I had seen for a while and I was right in the middle of it. Normally at the Forum I would go a bit further back into the crowd, but I wanted to be up the front for this. Warren Ellis even ended up sitting on the edge of the stage to play part of a song, it was great. Special guests for their set were Nick Cave and Joel Silbersher, I thought they really added something special to the show.

It was a great night for a good cause and I am looking forward to more gigs in the future and many more years of the Ghost at RRR.


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