Hitting the Green on Halloween

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By Andrea Baker

“Justgot some exciting news, the Brisbane band, Hits are headlining A Day at the Green”, Nick Haines said when we met to chat about the fifteenth reincarnation of this event, slated for Halloween on Saturday, 31 October at the iconic St Kilda Sports Club.

“The Hits are one of the most exciting alternative rock bands in Australia at the moment. It will be their only Melbourne show this visit. Fans will see the band perform a full set, which is rare because in the past they have generally been a support act when they come to Melbourne, Haines added.

In 2014 the Hits’ second album (Hikikomori) with European label Beast Records received a 4/5 star review from The Age. In 2013 their song Take Your Pills which was the first single after their critically acclaimed first album, Living With You Is Killing Me (Merenoise Records) was voted one of the top 50 best Queensland songs ever written, putting them up amongst Brisbane greats like seminal punk band, The Saints.

This is the second time a Brisbane band has played at A Day at the Green. “Six Foot Hick, another great band from Brisbane played in October 2014 and killed it”, Haines said.

A Day at the Green is usually dedicated to distinctively original St Kilda bands. All the gigs have taken place at the 150 year old St Kilda Sports Club, affectionately named the Bowlo, because it is a traditional bowling green and the second oldest bowls club in Australia.

The Bowlo is opposite the infamous Seaview Ballroom (aka Crystal Ballroom) another iconic venue, which between 1978 and 1984 became a launching pad for the Australian post punk scene.

For the past five years Haines has been co organising A Day at the Green with members of the St Kilda band, Cold Harbour (Rusty Teluk, Colin Holst, Vincent Kramer and Evan Richards) who Haines managed until the band went their separate ways about 18 months back. Teluk and Holst formed Marilyn and the Thorns, another St Kilda band who has a regular spot at this music event, and decided to keep the day going.

“In 2010 The Prince was doing nothing in the public bar. The Espy was hot and cold and The Greyhound hotel stopped doing gigs”, Haines said.

Cold Harbour came to Haines “with a brilliant idea, have a gig at the bowlo and get some local St Kilda bands, ones that use to play at the Greyhound”. “It was Do It Yourself (DIY), it was very punk”, he added.

The first A Day at the Green in May 2010 was an “outstanding success”. Smoke Machine headlined and the line up included eight other St Kilda bands, such as Cold Habour, Burn in Hell, and young up and comers, The Vice Grip Pussies played their first gig together. The cover charge was $10 and more than three hundred people turned up.

“There is so much support for live music in St Kilda”, Haines said, which defeats the argument that live music had moved north of the river.

A Day at the Green became a triennial St Kilda event (January, May and then either September or October) but when numbers at the autumn gig dwindled, the organisers stuck with a summer and spring event.

As a founding member of the advocacy group, the St Kilda Live Community, Haines said this now biannual event “brings together likeminded people with similar interests. It’s a hub of the St Kilda subculture. It is a community building day”.

“We have a mix of emerging and established alternative rock bands with a tinge of progressive folk. We run strict to time. Bands expand fan base and get exposed to new audiences, while punters can discover new music”, he added.



Local St Kilda legend, Fred Negro has played at the Day At The Green; and other known acts such as Harry Howard, Ron S Peno, Spencer P Jones and the Escape Committee; Kim Salmon and The Surrealists; Brian Hooper from Beasts of Bourbon, Penny Ikinger and Jack Howard from Hunters and Collectors. There have been international guests also, such as duo, German guitarist Tex Naplam and French drummer Dimi Dero.

This year’s A Day at the Green on Halloween will be a haunting attraction of a musical kind. Hosted by Triple R’s Tony Biggs there will be no blood or gore, just the horror of missing out. Neo burlesque dancer Betty Blood will tease the audience “with her unique brand of vaudevillian mischief, upbeat theatricality and black comedy”. You may even see a few zombies at the end of the night, but that’s some local punters having a lot of fun.

#15 A Day at the Green (Halloween” by the Green) on Saturday, 31 October 2015 from 4pm, St Kilda Sports Club, 66 Fitzroy St, St Kilda.


Tickets $20, for booking details: https://www.facebook.com/ADayByTheGreen?fref=ts

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