The air is cool on Pining’s morn,
And damp with daybreak’s fallen rain,
The trailing of a gentle storm,
A gale-wind playing in the dawn
A day like that when ‘Pines was born
But twenty years between the twain

Down the hill, by Winthrop’s clock
Where river meets the fecund loam
And swans drift by the levee rock
and old apartments skirt the block
and peacock-birds are apt to flock
The festival affirms its home

As I approach, BANK HOLIDAYS
in duo form, a pared-back mode
Their strains exposed, like solar rays
Of harmony and ambling phrase
and La’s and ahhs and skips and sways
To charm the crowd that meanwhile growed

SIMONE & GIRLFUNKLE dunk us in rivers
Of cool misty sound trickling down from the mountains,
Mythical moods in folky song-slivers
Three-part a capella to send you the shivers,
A band I’d recalled as twee, truly delivers
A half-hour of splendour that’s flowing like fountains

And now, it’s USURPERS – since months mostly quiet –
the medicine men back with typical zeal,
Like pure electricity made up their diet
(at least, were it possible, these three would try it)
Aligning in grooves that erupt like a riot
With classics and new tunes to sweeten the deal.

6s &7s emerge from the shade,
Pop-rock serenades, all riffing and brass,
Josh Fontaine’s songwriting envelops the glade
With heavier sounds, I think, than he’s made
at past In The Pineses, and plenty he’s played
To beaming onlookers reposed on the grass

GATA NEGRA are stormy and sleek,
Melodious squalls all of strings, drums and vocals
Dynamically flowing through valleys and peaks
Cat Hope’s dulcet singing awash with mystique
The songs are superb and the textures unique
I’m stoked to’ve at last heard these spellbinding locals.

And now, THE FERGUSONS fire up their tones,
With early-noughties rock bouquet,
Pop-punk laced with testosterone – And here’s a throng which does condone
Or else endorse, and sing and moan
The strains of this band’s glory days.

VOLCANICS roar through, grizzly loud,
Though don’t command my ear,
then SCHVENDES in an art-rock cloud
ensnare the wonder of the crowd,
beshadowed hooks all slinking proud
Through crafty tunes resounding clear.

bring lavish towers of classic pop
replete with all the whistles, bells
and strings, which all together gels
the whole into a sound which swells
and twists and blooms like Nelson’s mop

A wave of complex noise begins
6-string discourse, to and fro
Stop-start rhythms heave below
Vocal melodies that glow
Casting caution to the wind

THE TIGERS from the forest leap
Springing forth with pop attack
Spinning tales of city streets
Wistful words intoned and steeped
in jocularity, vibes run deep
It’s swell to see these veterans back

I turn around and promptly – O!
(That’s the band’s name, by the by)
Another troupe from years ago
Eccentric snaking lines they throw
Against odd timings, and forego
most all conventions, freak flag high.

The sky is darkened, now slate grey,
The moon intense beyond the trees
A band called SPANK begins to play,
A smoky brew of loud and fey
Their name is hardly apt, I’d say
They’re less a quick slap, more a tease.

Now droplets form and kiss our hair,
FELICITY GROOM takes to the fore,
And though a laptop splutters there,
Flick and gang do not despair
They sail through finely-crafted airs
“Better Days,” a new song, drops my jaw.

THE PANICS rise, the crowd is dense,
the shirts are paisley, voices hushed.
These songs disperse like sweet incense
And softly in our ears condense
A band that’s simple, yet immense
From whence great vision surely gushed

Above the silhouetted shapes,
come TUCKER Bs, and true to form
Arrive in jumpsuits, headlamps, capes
Then wild cacophonous sound escapes
Screeches, drones, explosions, scrapes
Amassing in a noble swarm.

RED JEZEBEL are less enthralling,
Opting for the tried and aged,
Power chords and drums are brawling
‘Neath rock vocals fiercely calling
But soon enough my mind is sprawling
Elsewhere – it’s not so engaged

CIRCUS MURDERS now appear,
Led by old hand Roly Skender,
Rock and roll is central here,
Perth-based lyrics help them steer
Towards a sound that must endear
them ‘midst this local music bender.

TURNSTYLE are in style returning
More muscular than in the past,
Beefed up, perhaps, by years’ adjourning
Adem K’s voice, just slightly yearning
For comparable gusto: still, no spurning
This fine pop act that’s built to last.

At last it’s BEAVERLOOP, back from the grave
Rock/hip-hop party composers
It’s a sort of wild and novel rave,
Inspiring all to misbehave,
Then final beats, a final wave,
And that’s all from the evening’s closers.

The day is ended, none too late
I could have rode the mood for hours
Every Pines is truly great
But this perhaps my favourite fête
I’ve been at yet, at any rate
No spattering of clouds or showers

Could sour this yearly music fair
The mighty RTR’s created
Which brings such sundry acts to bear
A wholesome, joyous love affair
With tunes – and here, a word I spare
For Adam Trainer, who curated

This lineup – acts of yore and now,
Bound by one devout fixation
Underneath the needly boughs,
With their presence they avow
Their love for those who do allow
The existence of our dearest station.