It’s March, so it’s Banyule Festival time again and down to Sills Bend we went last night for Twilight Sounds, just like we did in 2011 and 2010. I’m nothing if not a creature of habit. This year it was Mental As Anything.
I suspect that the person or committee that chooses the acts for Twilight Sounds has a baby-boomer streak, because they tend to be acts from at least twenty years ago who are still performing -or perhaps it reflects the budget provision for the event? Certainly the age of the audience is much younger than that, with lots of young families with kids in strollers, as well as the baby-boomers you’d expect to be attracted and still spry enough to negotiate the crowd with their fold-up chairs and picnic sets (that’s us).
They were good and the crowd responded accordingly. When I think back, there’s no way that I would have known or listened to the music that was popular when my parents were young. But with the ubiquity of broadcast sound in public places, radio stations that have a 30-year music list, remixes and re-recordings, and exposure to music in films that now have an extended life in DVDs after their cinema and television life is over, it’s quite likely that songs from 25 years ago are part of the aural wallpaper of people not even born when they were released.
In fact, I’d forgotten just how many hits the Mentals had. They just kept them coming, one after the other. The crowd was a-jigging, too- in fact, I had just as much fun watching them as what was going on onstage. And if the voices were a little strained, the music itself was essentially unchanged and you were able to mentally singalong with the original soundtrack in your head anyway.
But, in case you want to here one of the originals- here it is, courtesy of Countdown. Strange track (as many Countdown clips are) – no one actually seems to be singing! I could never work out what the song was about at the time- in fact, I thought it was somewhat racist!!