Wanstock: The Black Sorrows era thriving in 2022
28.12.2021

Wanstock: The Black Sorrows era thriving in 2022

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Words by Benjamin Lamb

Melbourne’s music scene is well and truly back into the swing of things, and as we enter the festival season through these warmer months, there’s a bunch of awesome shows making their way to Melbourne grounds.

Wanstock is one of the many festivals on the horizon, a celebration of classic Aussie rock. It’s a toned down, Aussie version of the popular Woodstock festival.

Previous incarnations of the show have featured acts like the Ted Mulry Gang, the Kevin Borich Express and Get Rocked, with next year’s set to feature The Day Dreamers, Stonetrip, Kings of Oz, Models, and The Black Sorrows. After a number of covid-related delays, it’s set to go down at The Shoppingtown Hotel on January 8. There’ll be old classics, singalongs and maybe even your new favourite.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Headliners The Black Sorrows are truly the epitome of classic Aussie rock, the group a mainstay of the scene since 1983. Frontman Joe Camilleri has led the group since its inception and has seen the group through a number of line-up changes – the band featuring mammoth names like Linda and Vika Bull, Gary Young and Venetta Fields.

Their whopping 19 releases to date have received a great degree of critical acclaim, with their 1988 album Hold On To Me grabbing a number of nominations through Aussie awards, the group receiving a number of nominations throughout their number of albums since then, most recently getting a nomination for 2015’s Endless Sleep.

The Black Sorrows have arguably written some of the country’s most iconic songs; things like ‘Hold On To Me’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’, which they still perform as good as they did when they released it. The group have sustained their high status in the industry through featuring in a number of festivals over the years, and most recently appearing on the Vison Australia Carols a few days ago.

Wanstock is also set to feature music from Kings of Oz, who will scratch that nostalgic itch that The Black Sorrows might’ve missed, the group covering music from other classic rock bands like Cold Chisel, The Angels, and a heap more.

You’ll also get to hear music from Stonetrip, who have stylings of groups like Aerosmith and Alice in Chains, mixing the best of old school rock with modern hooks and catchy choruses.

Kicking off proceedings on the day is The Day Dreamers, who are up and comers that are definitely worth checking out. The group are hard to classify into a style of rock, they’ve named such mammoth performers like The Beatles as influences, as well as modern groups like Blink 182 and DZ Deathrays. A vast swathe of sounds each of which you can hear in their music.

It’s wall to wall rock on Jan 8, with it kicking off around 5pm with The Day Dreamers, with The Black Sorrows hitting the stage around 11 and playing until the early hours. It’ll truly be a great celebration of Aussie live music and classic rock.

These kinds of nostalgic festivals have increased in popularity over the last few years, for a number of reasons, but possibly due to a lack of international touring recently, old school Aussie music is making a resurgence.

Groups like The Black Sorrows have something that today’s artists don’t, which is what has helped them maintain a solid spot in the industry over the last 30+ years. Among some of their favourite up and comers, many young people love seeing bands their parents love on contemporary festival lineups, they’re a sure-fire way for a singalong and an enjoyable set.

The sense of nostalgia that these bands bring make them ideal headliners, it’s a testament to the groups, who are still as tight as they were back in the early days.

You can grab tickets and check out more info on Wanstock here. It’s happening at The Shoppingtown Hotel in Doncaster on January 8 2022.