Nos­tal­gic night in with rock n’ Bowl leg­ends

RocKwiz Salutes the Bowl 9.20pm, SBS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

ASK Mel­bur­ni­ans to name their favourite Sid­ney Myer Mu­sic Bowl mo­ment, then duck while every­one ar­gues. My mother would say the Seek­ers in 1966. Our gang has a vast reper­toire of mem­o­ries, from see­ing Neil Di­a­mond with their par­ents to Christ­mas Eve’s Car­ols by Can­de­light with their kids, and all the bands and dance styles in be­tween.

RocKwiz co-host Brian Nankervis re­calls sit­ting in the rain at one of Bob Dy­lan’s 1978 con­certs. The 50-some­thing Nankervis has aged with the Bowl; so have many au­di­ence mem­bers. RocKwiz crit­ics main­tain this older de­mo­graphic con­strains the show’s think­ing. But let’s face it, who else is at home on a Satur­day night watch­ing tele­vi­sion?

Re­luc­tantly, we ad­mit our best Bowl days are be­hind us. Let us have fun, then, with this one-hour trib­ute.

Tonight’s RocKwiz Salutes the Bowl was filmed on Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 13, at the end of a hot and grue­some week of bush­fires and tragedy. Th­ese events may ex­plain why the au­di­ence was primed for a col­lec­tive mu­si­cal hug.

The Bowl opened in Fe­bru­ary 1959. Named af­ter the great phi­lathropist and re­tailer Sid­ney Myer who died in 1934, it was paid for by the Myer Foun­da­tion and given as a gift to the peo­ple of Mel­bourne.

‘‘ Ladies and gen­tle­men, folkies, sharpies, hip­pies and punkers. True be­liev­ers united un­der the stars and this grace­ful canopy,’’ Nankervis says at the start of the show. Kram, of Spi­der­bait, now out on his own, belts out Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs’ 1972 clas­sic Most Peo­ple I Know and the place is ready to rock.

But let’s not for­get this is a quiz show. Dur­ing the next hour Ju­lia Zemiro fires ques­tions about the venue’s his­tory. In which year did iceskat­ing be­gin? Who played this fa­mous riff?

The RocKwiz band — Peter ‘‘ Lucky’’ Lus­combe, James Black and Mark Ferrie — meet Zemiro’s ev­ery chal­lenge. So do the con­tes­tants ( keep your eye on Ni­cholas).

And a line-up of lo­cal artists belts out the big Bowl sounds. Jet’s Nic Cester sings Maybe I’m Amazed and brings to life Wings’ 1975 con­cert. Kutcha Ed­wards does great things with Yothu Yindi’s Treaty. Paul Kelly, Mad­der Lake’s Mick Fettes, Stephen Cum­mings, Ross Wil­son, Ross Han­naford and other Bowl pin-ups re­mind us of a rich rock his­tory that thrived be­yond the Kings Do­main.

‘‘ In 1977, $ 12.50 would have bought you quite a lot of Chiko Rolls,’’ says Zemiro. ‘‘ It would also have bought you a ticket to ABBA.’’

En­ter, stage left, Kush’s Jeff Duff singing Danc­ing Queen .

We’ll keep quiet on the iden­tity of the fi­nal per­former. ( And it’s not Den­nis Wal­ter; he’s on ear­lier do­ing a very good Di­a­mond.) Suf­fice to say, my mum will be happy.

Cor­rie Perkin


Ross re­vival fever: Ross Han­naford and Ross Wil­son on SBS’s

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