Avondale Homestead was our next destination, just outside of Bundaberg. We flew up that morning to Brisbane then drove to Bundaberg. When we arrived in Bundaberg it started to pour with rain. Great, the gig was outdoors and this is Queensland, where’s the sun? Luckily though it stopped and the sun came shining through.
A big queue built at the gate once the pub had been cleared out and closed. The local radio station was broadcasting from outside the pub and they were going around asking questions and keeping us amused while we waited.
Finally gates opened and we were in. The trip down to the stage was not an easy one; the ground was so uneven with loose stones and rocks everywhere. The girls in their stilettos amused us as they struggled to move around. It was quite a long wait once we got settled. There was a huge crowd there - but they were all stuck up the back trying to get food and drinks. First you had to stand in a queue to purchase tickets, one queue for food tickets, one for drink tickets. Then you had to queue again for the food, and then join another queue to get a drink. The queues were massive - not a very good system. Lucky we are not drinkers!
Back to the music - First support was Stone Parade, those of you who used to go to Jimmy’s gigs in NSW a few years back would remember them as Tapered Edges. They are a Sydney band and supported Jimmy quite a bit back in the club days. They are quite good. Following them was Elly May and her band, Jimmy’s band. Dario Bortolin on bass, awesome to have him back, Davey Lane on guitar, Rob Woolf on keys, no Jackie on drums though, it was her boyfriend Nick instead. Elly and Davey shared the singing. They did some songs from The Beatles, Rod Stewart and Neil Young plus one of Davey’s own songs. Loved the Neil Young song - When You Dance I Can Really Love.
After the break it was time for Jimmy. Onto the stage he came to lots of screaming. The guys came back on joined by Jackie on drums and Mark Punch on guitar and with Darren Percival and Shauna Jensen with Elly on backing vocals. Driving Wheels got the crowd going from the start. Jimmy told us there would be no break tonight, they would play right through. The set list was adjusted to suit the venue and the crowd. Some songs were missing but a favourite of mine; Time Will Tell was back and sounded excellent with Dario on bass. He is a monster bass player and it was brilliant to have him back. He adds so much to the band and creates a real vibe up there. He and Davey were having so much fun. Davey was going off with scissor kicks and windmill arms, love it. Rob is a bit hidden up the back but the keys can be heard very clearly and his solos are excellent. Mark Punch does his job and does it well; he can certainly play the guitar. Jackie is so good on drums, his improvement is quite noticeable. I reckon he enjoys the change to the small drums and percussion in the acoustic section. Victor was up in Qld with his Mexican harp. It seems a strange mix, Mexican harp and rock songs, but Jimmy and Victor make it work well.
It was a bit of a strange crowd, a lot of young people around us. There was a bit of pushing and shoving but nothing to worry about - had room to move most of the time. Being outdoors and having no break the set was shorter than what we have grown accustomed to. But no one was complaining. Jimmy had delivered an awesome performance, everyone enjoyed themselves and we were left wanting more. Tomorrow night - and that can’t come quick enough.
The walk back up was worse now, there were so many cans and glasses on top of the loose rocks, and it was dark too. But we made it (wonder how the girls in their heels went!!) and were still buzzing on the way back to Bundy. It had been a fun night.