A day in late April, a silvery sky
A buzz down at Yu-Dub, I think you know why.
A calendar highlight, the loved In The Pines
Bundle the picnic, follow the signs.

A Welcome to Country, from Barry McGuire
Speaking of history, nature – and kaya
to all of us gathered near riverbank sand
on the Derbal Yerrigan, Whadjuk Noongar land

The MERINDAS girls start – all green-sequin spangled,
Slow drifting moods with voices entangled
Harmonies floating, a soulful admixture
Guy Ghouse’s guitar strum an anchoring fixture

HUSSY up soon, with purple threads vaunted,
A Prince homage? Maybe. The band is undaunted
By their early time-slot; they rock with great zeal
Sporadic rap vocals, big riffs, earnest feel.

Peel back the brightness and find the PISSEDCOLAS,
Sludgey punk darkness in wild parabolas
With bonus synth noisework and riffs thick as mud
They glide like a hawk, hit your chest with a thud

Then off to the see the Wheelers – the numerous WHEELERS OF OZ
Where jangling riffs go round like wheels, if ever a wheel there was
Deft flower-psych retro, tight tambo’ at the helm
Though the lack of innovation, at times underwhelms

That flak can’t be levelled at young JACOB DIAMOND
Whose sheer creativity astounds me – time and
again. It’s curious – heavy, soft, knotted
A deluge of sounds in the half-hour allotted

From Diamond’s guitar webs, to hefty brass crowing
out loud through the treetops. FAT SPARROW are showing
Their chops and inventions; jazzy but riled
Like pop-punk thoughts channelled in golden-horn style

Speaking of loud: now SKULLCAVE appear
With a monolith amp stack to crack off your ear
You wouldn’t call their doomy riff onslaught unique
But it does what it oughta: knocks you into next week

From primal brute force, we switch to finesse
With BEN WITT and band; their tones coalesce
Into spiriting sculptures. Nimble twang, sax, percussion
Melodies weaving, adrenaline rushin’

HEEBIEJEEBIES are next – and I’d been contacted
To play double bass so this bit’s [redacted]
These dark songs are [bleep], delivered [redacted]
With strings, beats, trombone, Hayley’s voice and [redacted]

And bristling forth, in our general direction
Perth’s fresh mate-wave darlings, they’re called VERGE COLLECTION
These wild-catchy songs, feels they’ve always existed
Universal pop moods, parochially twisted

DAVEY CRADDOCK w/ SPECTACLES, always a pleasure
Troubadour Davey’s a gem of a treasure
Earnest folk rocking’s the name of their sport
It soothes and enlivens the thriving cohort

But guitar-song-band rocking’s a pretty broad church
As proved by the next punks, who jitter and lurch
HELTA SKELTA, the name like onomatopoeia;
Pelting like a steam train along a battered pier (bit of a stretch???)

Sun’s certified set, so next we get lunar
It’s JONI IN THE MOON’s lush art-pop; no sooner
Do they begin than the dense crowd’s transfixed
Ambitious, political, so much heart in the mix

TURNSTYLE return to the Somerville Stage,
An RTR fave, from the mid-90s age
But their casio-rock isn’t sounding too dated
In their spritely midst, much of the crowd is elated

Want radars made? You’re in luck, RADARMAKER
Are here with their nimble post-rock cortex-quaker
variety of sound. And don’t it sound sweet?
Dynamic, rich textures. Good enough to eat.

Meet some wild upstarts: here comes the TIRED LION
90’s-inspired (get grunge or die tryin’)
They write a mean hook, and dispatch with precision
To snag these ascendants: clever decision

But humans and lions, we all came from fish*
and in grunge, KIM SALMON’s the original dish
The punk icon skids along sizzling tuna
And includes creamy ballads, the roughly-hewn crooner!

K, Can you kick it? I’m talking bout BUCKET
More 90’s indie – from Perth (not Nantucket)
It’s folky, electric, emotive and large
The wall of sound sails like a resonant barge

Up now, PETER BIBBY, Midland’s favourite son;
Nick Allbrook, James Ireland, Pete Strawb join the fun
The heavens splash open as Bibs spins his tales
Of life, love and lewdness. The good vibe prevails.

And here in the mud, we meet GRACE BARBÉ
Lithe AFRO-KREOL jams, to send us away
The polyrhythmic party – ecstatic, united
We conclude: warm fires in our hearts ignited

What is In The Pines? It’s more than a gig
It’s more than a showcase. It’s something quite big
A discourse, a thread that runs through our lives
Across generations, where good music thrives
It’s a genuine cultural group congregation
Ties forged on airwaves, granted location
It’s what RTR’s for, and it’s for RTR
A long mellow daydream, a bright party-star

The more I tune in, the more I am sold
Our community station’s more precious than gold
And few days express it more purely than this’n
To live and listen, blissin’, as the pine needles glisten.

*apologies to all geneticists / evolution buffs reading

Photo credit: Sebastian Photography

Lyndon Blue