Review + Gallery: Relive the 2018 Reclink Community Cup in all its glory

Why can't footy always be this good? 

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Anna Madden

The Reclink Community Cup is a mainstay event in the Melbourne gig calendar, combining a footy game with numerous live sets in a safe and inclusionary space. The musicians play as the Rockdogs, and the radio presenters as the Megahertz. *Spoiler alert*. In the end, it was a triumphant all-round win for the Rockdogs and everyone involved.

Wacky is the predominant theme here; a bit like a comic relief fundraiser. There are cheerleaders and staged streakers. Kram played ‘My Pal’ by GOD in the goal square during the first quarter. It’s almost like Melbourne has evolved into self-parody, but the atmosphere is warm and everybody treats each other kindly. Children play kick-to-kick on the field at every break amidst the dogs and cheer squads. The umpire kicked a goal in the tightly contested final quarter, which saw the Rockdogs win by five points. Unfortunately, the drink lines were outrageous. An issue in previous years, it’s a shame this hasn’t been figured out yet, the unfortunate truth being that however good the cause is, punters will leave to get a beer if they have to.

Rockdogs coach Rory Burnside’s alt-rock band Rudely Interrupted played first, followed by country from the Cartridge Family and Hiatus Kaiyote’s neo-soul music. As expected, outdoor stages don’t make for the best sound, but Cable Ties’ aggression came through regardless. The sun had just set post-game and the trio glowed from the stage. The crowd was fixated during Jenny McKechnie’s monologue in ‘Say What You Mean’, addressing to the cops who escorted the one non-staged streaker from the field during the game.

The MC introduced the Aints with a load of hyperbolic fanfare. ‘Know Your Product’ was triumphant as ever, but a little breathless in the vocal department. A selection of the newer mid-70’s material followed. The absolute stand-out of their whole set is one of these songs, ‘Goodnight Ladies’, that hammers a Motown beat for over five minutes, coursing through Ed Kuepper’s trademark chord sequences and horn arrangements. The new record isn’t far off.

The brass section was swigging from tinnies and singing into their contact mics, looking more brazen than they did three months ago.  ‘Messing With The Kid’ and an excellent ‘Nights in Venice’ closed it out. The band is in top form. Nothing wacky happened. It isn’t evident whether Kuepper cares about AFL.

Final score: Rockdogs 44, Megahertz 39.

By George Young.

Highlight: Music by The Aints, but overall the sense of community.

Lowlight: Hate to have to say it, but the bar queues.

Crowd Favourite: Rory Burnside and the Rockdogs accepting the cup after their win.