If the great Australian play, Don’s Party, and the often-maligned film, The Big Chill, both concern themselves with university graduates a decade or so into their careers and juggling work, family, and reconciling fading student idealism and with their tarnished realities, then the Day on the Green music festival is also populated by a specific demographic.
These are about us Gen X types. For many of us, music in the 1980’s was unspeakably horrific, and post-2000, a little spasmodic if not disappointing.
The 1990’s were it.
So yesterday on the outskirts of McLaren Vale, as American grunge outfit Veruca Salt worked through their excellent set, we were sitting back on our chairs and watching all the punters and all their different band shirts. It seemed to be an unspoken uniform.
Anyhow, the wife suggested I make a list of the band shirts I saw.
Midnight Oil – Head Injuries and Great Circle tour edition
Bad/Dreems – making expertise use of the West End design
Fat Boy Slim
Cold Chisel- Adelaide 500 edition; sadly no East album shirts
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes
The Living End – is it cool or even appropriate to wear a band shirt to their concert? Is it done ironically?
Ed Sheeran – this poor kid had obviously been dragged along by her parents!
Some band called Bintang – I think they’re big in Bali, specialising in Khe Sahn covers
AC/DC – For Those About To Rock
The Hard Ons – given the demographic, at future concerts they’ll be supported by rising punk stars, The Viagras
Tool – see above
The Clash – London Calling shirts; impossibly cool
My Bloody Valentine
Nirvana – the smiley face version
Guns ‘n’ Roses
Cosmic Psychos – nice day for some beetroot
Adam Ant – What do we make of this?
Boony Army – great band out of Tasmania, lead singer a stout moustachioed cult hero
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
The Smith Street Band
Old Day On The Green shirts – again is this cool, or sad? How would I know!
Sturt Football Club – I think they play the, wait for it, blues
Rage Against the Machine – male, middle-class and white
Metallica – not the Speed of Sound tour, as roadied by The Dude
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Fred Pants and the Footy Pies – this one intrigued you didn’t it? I just made it up. But I’m going to get it printed before my next concert. I’ll be the coolest guy there.
Quite a list.
Of course, I was sat there in a checked shirt, looking like an accountant searching for a water cooler. Maybe I could’ve worn my c. Marsh b. Lillee shirt.
Later, in the rain wandering through the crowd I had on a plastic poncho. A bloke yelled at me, “Nice poncho. You’ll never catch me wearing a condom!”
“Fair enough.” I replied, “But I’m trying to keep the stuff out, not the stuff in.”
Heading along the Southern Expressway (to home, not Yr Skull) I glanced at the dashboard clock, and said, “It seems like midnight! At this rate we’ll have to go to a Lunchtime on the Green in future.”
It was just after 9pm. “Or maybe Brunch on the Green,” replied the wife.
Meanwhile, let me know if you spot a Fred Pants and the Footy Pies shirt.