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Australian Made

Australian Made

My parents didn’t know…but I attended the 1987 concert headlined by INXS and Jimmy Barnes alongside an array of local rock royalty captured on film and screening exclusively at Event Cinemas.

The Australian Made Concert initiative derived to counteract the sell-out shows of international acts such as Elton John to showcase homegrown music. My girlfriend at the time somehow knew then young front woman singer of band I’m Talking, Kate Ceberano, and we were her guests. It was Australia Day 1987 at Endevour Field, now known as Shark Park in Cronulla, the final show which had toured around the country since Boxing Day 1986. Whatever I told my parents of my whereabouts I cannot remember but they never found out that we caught the train from Gosford to Cronulla walking the short distance to the field.

Over the period of the day, the crowd grew, temperatures rose, pyramids were made, hoses were fired as an audience cooling system and most of the day I was close to the stage in awe of these Aussie bands on the brink of live perfection.

Going backstage was a highlight of course, memory is sketchy but Kate came out to greet us at a side gate to usher us past secruity, we got photos together (I have no idea what happened to them) and at one point as I was sitting talking with the director of the concert movie, Richard Lowenstein, as i was a fan of his excellent film Dogs in Space (1986), suddenly out of the corner of my eye a man in head-to-toe white attire was approaching us flapping his hands about joyously, it happened to be the one and only front man of INXS (and star of Dogs in Space), Michael Hutchence.

Wide-eyed, I probably stared as he spoke with Richard until Hutcho introduced himself to me and shook my hand, with that he said ‘something’ to me (I have no recollection what) while I complimented him on his acting in Dogs in Space. Then after a pat on the shoulder, he was off into the party atmosphere that was looming as the sun fell backstage.

Kate was gorgeous, an awesome host and interviewing her a couple of years back for her book, I reminded her of our meeting when I was a kid. INXS and Jimmy Barnes had a hit duet, a remake of The Easybeats song ‘Good Times’, roaring up the charts and a song which appeared on the Lost Boys soundtrack, so they were the focus but on the bill featuring sets in the film was The Saints, The Models, The Triffids, The Divinyls and the aforementioned, I’m Talking.

Also playing the travelling gig, however not in the movie due to reported management differences at the time, were Mental As Anything. In a stroke of weird coincidence, Mental As Anything are live at ‘Beresfield Bowling Club’ ironically the same night as the screening at local Newcastle Event Cinema complexes.

The day was massive, remarkably a non alcohol event which I can assure you was not practiced back stage. The movie was actually cinema released briefly back in 1987 on a 35mm print in the early version of Dolby stereo sound followed by a VHS release.

Among the many highlights was seeing all the band members who had played sets earlier join Jimmy and Michael in a roaring singalong of good-times, watching controversial singer of The Divinyls seduce the crowd with sexual perversity and James Freud of The Models do the same thing just by stalking the stage wearing purple velvet.

Including the on stage performances, the filmmakers had access all areas backstage so interspersed among the trip down sweaty rock and roll memory lane, previously unseen footage and interviews with the acts will be a highlight for this one-off experience presented in crisp updated digital format.

Shane A. Bassett

Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.