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Wimmera music fans unite for rock of ages

50 Years of Wimmera Rock committee members Denise Leembruggen, Don Mitchell, Lynton Brown and Paul Fidler urge music fans of all ages to make the most of the free musical smorgasbord on offer.

It’s been a long time since they rock ‘n’ rolled, but that won’t stop Wimmera music lovers from flooding Horsham venues to see their favourite bands back in action this weekend for the highly-anticipated 50 Years of Wimmera Rock celebration.
For some acts it’s been 30 years between drinks, but the memory stays strong for fans of the Wimmera’s powerhouse live performers like U-Jorgan, Rift, The Bunts, Second Thoughts and Cutting Edge, who can’t wait to see the bands strutting their stuff again.
50 Years of Wimmera Rock is the brainchild of Horsham’s “video man” Lynton Brown, who came up with the concept while educating his son about rock music.
“In February last year I took him to see local band Last Stand because he just was starting to play guitar,” Lynton said.
“I caught up with guitarist Rod Ahern who I hadn’t seen for a number of years and we got talking about some of the great bands of the past – a ‘where are they now’ sort of thing,” he said.
“I thought about it overnight and it just went ‘click’ – this is how it is, this is how it’s going to happen. It was so simple.”
From there he started knocking on doors, talking to people he knew in the industry. With the inspiration of a positive response under his belt, Lynton set up a website to link bands and band members and started the ball rolling.
With the Kannamaroo festival committee and dozens of local clubs and businesses getting behind the event, a date was set.
After more than 20 months of planning and preparation – and a lot of help from his friends, Lynton’s rock ‘n’ roll dream is about to come through with more than 40 bands reuniting for a musical party this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“I knew straight away this was something I couldn’t pull off by myself and I was fortunate enough to link up with a lot of talented people who were able to help the event evolve into what it is today,” Lynton said.
“I was happy to have 10 or 12 bands but with the internet and facebook it’s ended up with something like 45 acts.”
Artists returning for the festival include 60s rockers The Draculas and Ferdy Van Der Reit from The Sonamatics, a Horsham band who scored a top 40 hit with 16 Tons.
One band gaining a lot of pre-event buzz is bush band Shades Of Troopers Creek, an immensely popular act on the folk music circuit in the 80s that hasn’t performed since 1998.
Musician and former Horsham businessman Rick Stephens has flown from Germany just to take part in the Shades Of Troopers Creek reunion.
He has even written and recorded a song paying tribute to “Lynton and the Reunion Gang” for their work on the event. The song asks fans of ‘Shades’ to “smile if we make a blue”.
“It’s been a while between drinks for us and there won’t be a lot of rehearsal time before Friday night,” Rick told The Weekly Advertiser.
“I don’t know what we’ll sound like, but I do know we can’t wait to get into it,” he said.
“It’ll be a treat.”
But it’s not all about the “old breed” with many of the Wimmera’s current acts taking to the stage on weekend. Bands like Von Stich, The 1999’s and Coniption Fit will no doubt be out to upstage the “old timers”.
The 50 Years of Wimmera Rock festival kicks off at Kannamaroo in Roberts Place on Friday from 5.30pm with The Draculas, Shades Of Troopers Creek and Rift before a private function for band members and invited guests at Horsham Town Hall.
The closed event will feature the return of another Wimmera music icon – Herb’s Disco, the region’s first mobile disco.
Bands will take to the stage at the Sawyer Park sound shell in Horsham on Saturday and Sunday with most performing again at pubs and clubs in Horsham and Dooen on Saturday night.

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Posted on Nov 26 2009

Posted by on Nov 26 2009. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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