|Posted by [email protected] on January 22, 2020 at 7:50 PM|
New Year's Eve Dance and Review of Victorian Rock n Roll Scene in 2019
Rockers everywhere celebrated New Year's Eve in several dances held around Melbourne and in country Victoria. The Uptown Catz played in Rosebud, Fender Benders in Pakenham, Kid James in Wheelers Hill, Moonlighters in Altona, Straight 8's in Bacchus Marsh, and the Rockin' Tones in Maryborough were just some of the many gigs held on New Year's Eve. I too joined in the fun by attending the dinner dance with Honky Tonk Rockers at the Dandenong Workers Club.
So we bid farewell to 2019.... a year with many highlights and some lows. Our Melbourne and Victorian rock n roll scene continue to be vibrant and very much alive with live bands and dancing every weekend and, on a week day as well, at the Freccia Club in Keysborough which has continued on the rock n roll tradition for nearly 20 years. There's new dance venues started this year at Hampton Park with a regular monthly dance and at the Bayswater Senior Citizens Hall. The Pirates Tavern in Williamstown also hosts regular gigs with live rock n roll bands from time to time. It was also very pleasing that Fast Eddies Poolroom once again has opened its door for live music and rock n roll dance on Sunday evenings.
For those rockers looking for an alternative live music & dance scene, look no further than to our Melbourne's very vibrant pub scene where great bands and music is available every weekend at the Gem bar, Dog's bar, Transport bar, the Lomond, Rainbow hotel and Oak Tree Tavern just to name a few of these venues. Many of these bands such as Louis King & the Liars Klub, Scotty Baker, Ezra Lee, Hanks Jalopy Demons, Kieron McDonald etc are not usually seen playing in our "classic" traditional rock n roll venues but nonetheless, these bands are internationally acclaimed and get invited to play in international music festivals around the world.
There have been at least a couple of new bands started in 2019 like Kid James Trio and the Uptown Catz whilst other bands such as the Straight 8's and the Vincents have been rockin' Melbourne for over 25 years. Sadly, a couple of bands - the Speedsters and the Jump Devils, finished up in 2019 and they will be sadly missed in our dance scene. We shall also miss the dynamic work of DJ Ashley and his wife, Leanne, who decided to retire from the dance scene due to Ashley's health issue. Thank you for the music Ashley as we have been the beneficiaries of your work in introducing the very best bands in Victoria.
Rockers continue to be blessed with choices in terms of the multiple music festivals they could attend in 2019. In Victoria, we have Camperdown's Rock The Clock, Rosebud's Rock by the Bay, Ballarat Rock (to be revived in 2020), Geelong Rock n Roll Festival, Gippsland Rock n Roll Festival, Ararat Jailhouse Rock and several other county Victoria rock n roll music festivals in Bendigo, Mulwala, Horsham and in Cobram.
For those rockers who are prepared to travel, there's Cooly Rocks On which continues to draw a large contingent of rockers from Victoria and other states every year, Greazefest in Brisbane which is a rockabilly music festival celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with more international acts and the ever popular Chromefest held at the Entrance and Kuri Kuri Nostalgia festival. One could also attend Adelaide Rock n Roll festival as well as Victor Harbour Rock n Roll Festival in South Adelaide.
One highlight for 2019 is the VRRDA annual Rock n Roll Dance Championship which continues to showcase the best of competitive rock n roll dancing. Dancers from Sydney's Swingcatz continues its dominance in winning the top events including the Senior Open titles. Another very pleasing feature of this year's VRRDA dance championship has been the increase participation of young rock n rollers thanks mainly to the work done by Grant & Maryanne Richards. For those interested in competing, there's also Alleycatz's Melbourne rock n roll dance competition and several other Victorian country dance competitions held in Geelong, Gippsland and in Camperdown held as part of their music festivals.
The VRRDA continues the tradition to recognise individuals who have made a huge contribution to Rock n Roll. For 2019, Linda Smyth and Bill & Maree Oldham were deservedly rewarded for their immense contribution to our Rock n roll scene and were inducted into VRRDA's Hall of Fame.
Rockers continue to participate in this year's Good Friday Charity dances with proceeds going to the less fortunate. Unfortunately, the very popular Rock n Suzie's Good Friday dance in Berwick did not proceed this year but DJ Ashley and another one held in the Northern Melbourne suburb were very successful in raising money for charity.
2019 has a been a big, eventful year for rock n roll music and dancing. Thank you to all the great work done by VRRDA, events holders and promoters and the many venues that have been actively supporting the promotion of our 1950's style rock n roll scene. Thank you also to all our bands for the rockin' music that we have enjoyed dancing to. But most of all, thank you to all you rockers who have come along to enjoy and support rock n roll music, dancing, cars fashion & culture. I feel confident we can again all look forward to more happy, rockin' times in 2020......keep rockin' everyone!
Copied with permission from Vicrock.com.au