Gig Scene: Mandy’s 10 favourite gigs of 2015

Benefit for Hanna, 18th July

ross-hannaford-2015-hpThe Mebourne music scene comes together like no other when someone needs a hand. When it became knwon that Ross Hannaford was ill a benefit was put together to help him with his bills. An amazing lineup sappned two nights at Memo Music Hall in St Kilda, including the old members of Daddy Cool, Emma Donovan, Kerryn Tolhurst, The Black Sorrows, Mike Rudd and heaps more.

Skyhooks at the Rockwiz Aria Hall of Fame, 8th October

skyhooks-live-hpThe guest artists for RoKwiz shows are usually a well kept secret, but this one was far too big to be contained. While it seen became common knowledge that Skyhooks would reform for the night, speculation turned to the lead singer. Popular choice Ross Wilson won out in the end.

Hanna cd launch, 15th December

IMG_7085After a delay due to Ross’ illness the launch was underway on a Tuesday night in early December. Eveyone who was anyone in the Melbourne music scene was there. The love in the room was obvious for the big man and he was inspired and touched by the reaction.

The Backsliders – Caravan Music Club, 7th February

Backsliders_ByMaryBoukouvalas-hp-2Rob Hirst must be the hardest working drummer in Australia. This was no exception. Despite slicing his finger open during a percussion solo he soldiered on, spattering blood all over his snare. Dom Turner and Broderick Smith were fabulous as ever. What a gig.

Rob Snarski –  Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, 31st July

Rob Snarski with Shane O'Mara perform at the Caravan Music Club,Rob’s tour for his analogue CD, just him and guitarist Shane O’Mara doing a wonderful, intimate show with a combination of covers and originals. His rendition of Whichita Lineman will standout as one of the most delicate and haunting moments of my year.

Mental As Anything, Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh 9th August

mentals-caravan-hpThe Mentals have really hit their stride this year with a new bass player and new songs released. This gig stood out as one of the most fun gigs of the year. The boys had the sold out Caravan Club on their feet and dancing along to every one of their hits.

Fender Jam – The Gympie Muster – Fender Jam, QLD 29th August

gympie-borich-hpThe Gympie Muster is primarily a country music festival, but certain stages, such as the Crow Bar, hosted the some departures from the genre. The Fender jam brought together some of Australia’s best Strat players to showcase their best songs. The lineup included Kevin Borich, Ian Moss, Tim Gaze (Rose Tattoo, Khavas Jute), Martin Cilia (The Atlantics, Mental As Anything), Ross Wilson and more.

Hillbilly Goats –  The Gympie Muster, QLD 29th August

gympie-hillbilly-goats-hpGreedy Smith from the Mentals had been telling me about this band for some time, but I hadn’t had a chance to see them in person. It started with meeting their (plastic) goat in the dressing room. This 4 piece has to be seen live to be properly appreciated.

Peter Hook and the Light, Testing Grounds Melbourne 24th Feb

PeterHook&TheLightByMaryBoukouvalas_29-hpThere’s always the one gig in a year that you’re interested in, but not overly excited about, that turns out to be amazing. This was mine for 2015. I’ve always liked Joy Division and New Order, but not taken much interest in them. This show blew me away. The advertised show was for the band to do a Joy Division album for the first set and a New Order one for the second, but Hook threw out the set list and did a show of the classics instead. Amazing.

Elton John – Rod Laver Arena – Melbourne, 11th December

IMG_0288The tour was called “All the Hits” and it didn’t disappoint. Every song was familiar. John and his band worked hard from start to finish to deliver my pick of the best show of the year.


About Mandy Hall 833 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.

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