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Image for A Day On The Green – Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley 26/22/16Image: Kerry Kissell

A Day On The Green – Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley 26/22/16

Written by Kirsten Maree on November 29, 2016

Over the weekend I packed up my picnic blanket, jumped in the car and headed to the Yarra Valley. Not for a fancy lunch at Chandon. Not for the taste of Rochford’s best Pinot. For Garbage.

It struck me as odd when the A Day On The Green tour was announced – that Shirley Manson, the pop punk Queen of twenty years ago, and co, would choose this as the venue to return to where it all started. Surely the dark and grungy Festival Hall, where they played in 1998, or even the sticky floors of 180 Russell would have been more suitable. Especially when the band boasts the guy who would produce Nirvana’s Nevermind. But here we were, on a lovely, sunny (kinda) Melbourne day, sipping wine from plastic cups and watching Garbage from picnic blankets among the vines.

Butch Vig didn’t actually make the tour, cancelling at the last minute due to a sinus condition that wouldn’t allow him to fly. BUMMER. But the night, and let’s be honest – every night with Garbage, was won by Shirley, and the fans that were moshing front of stage two decades ago were now nursing babies and vaping and enjoying a chilled out afternoon with some really decent tunes.

Image: Kerry Kissell

Image: Kerry Kissell

Interspersing old hits, albeit through gritted teeth, Stupid Girl and Cherry Lips, with brave new tracks and a few political musings, Shirley Manson embodied the nostalgia and energy of Garbage at their finest. And even in the moments that weren’t quite holding up, it was just fucking cool to see them on stage again.

Garbage weren’t alone on the bill of course. More suited to the surroundings perhaps were Australian pop rock darlings The Temper Trap, with Dougy Mandagi’s insanely beautiful vocals soaring over the hill while the sun set. It was still their radio smash hits that resonated most with the tame crowd, the punters happy to kick back and take in the sounds of Love Lost, Fall Together and Sweet Disposition.

Image: Kerry Kissell

Image: Kerry Kissell

Rewinding a little further were The Preatures, who can’t be faulted for their energy on stage and punk sounds. It’s not a stretch to describe them as the ‘new’ Garbage in fact. But even so, it was Melbourne girl Tash Sultana that was the biggest surprise of the day.

There is not an instrument she hasn’t mastered and her sound is unlike any other. She merges the stage presence and melodies of a James Bay, with the edgy, raw grit of Courtney Barnett in a way that blew my fricken mind. Seriously, if you’re not already around Tash Sultana, get around her. Her tune Jungle closed her mind-bending set, and in my opinion, remained untouched for the rest of the day.

Image: Kerry Kissell

Image: Kerry Kissell

The A Day On The Green tour continues tonight and this weekend. Catch dates and details here.

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