Heart Of St Kilda Concert @ The Palais
Promoted as ‘An Amazing Gig for An Amazing Cause’, the fifth annual Heart of St Kilda Concert fulfilled expectation with its unique blend of comedic and musical flare; all in support of 30 tireless years of devotion by the Sacred Heart Mission. Ian Bland’s poetic depiction of the suburb we all know and love was real and matter of fact as he painted a pure and honest portrait of an eclectic and often desperate landscape. Bland delivered a metaphorical image of Melbourne’s most famous bayside precinct as a living, breathing body surging with life.
MC Brian Nankervis, kept proceedings on track and the audience beaming with his charming sarcasm and radical showmanship. He introduced us to Cal Wilson whose self-depreciating humour spanned gym etiquette and retro bathing suits as well as cleavage contests with two year old girls. Rebecca Barnard and Billy Miller sang with the Caravan Club Singers, who I prematurely mistook for the Choir of Hard Knocks. Their pensioner’s medley of Going To The Chapel and All My Friends Are Getting Married was perhaps a little lifeless for tonight’s affair.
There was true variety however when Greg Champion took a jovial swipe at footballers and fans alike with his tender Train To Montmorency as Brighton boy, Lawrence Mooney stood proud on all things bayside before standing his ground with the view that ‘it’s not cheating if you leave your undies on’. Nick Barker brought the tough love, performing Ian Rilen’s sentimental Saints And Kings as well as his own Timebomb before paying homage to The Band’s Levon Helm with Up On Cripple Creek. He too enlisted the wonderful backing of house band Even, who had earlier provided their dreamy power-pop drive with new single What You Wanna Do.
An extremely underrated epicenter to the Melbourne scene for a long time, Even’s collective prowess shone during Lanie Lane’s exceptional selection of tunes. Her glistening vocals and killer legs enough to seduce any urban cowboy. Ash Naylor’s guitar licks a real highlight. Unusualist Raymond Crowe was a feast for the senses, captivating the crowd with his YouTube sensation, shadow puppet presentation, What A Wonderful World. Rapturous applause followed.
Most fittingly at such an event was Tim Rogers. Whether it’s meandering the streets on two wheels, belting the Sherrin with Paul Kelly, supporting Pure Pop or putting one away at Pint on Punt, Rogers is St Kilda through and through. He and fellow Temperance Union counterpart, Shane O’Mara went from exquisitely acoustic and contemplative to rock royal kaleidoscope, mastering Hermans Hermits’ Little Boy Blue and John Lennon’s Instant Karma, much to the delight of Ash Naylor and the audience! Congratulations to all involved. See you next year.
BY JOHN DONALDSON
LOVED: The strength of community willing to support those less fortunate.
HATED: The relentless hardship much of our community still faces.
DRANK: A pre-gig mango lassi.