Some invisible barrier seems to prevent punters from encroaching closer than five metres from where local Jud Campbell is punching out a solid set of folk-punk. Maybe he has cooties, because a little later everyone is crowding the stage’s edge as if to hear every muted note and whispered vocal in Wollard and Burns‘ back-porch set.
Stage’s edge is still too distant for Tim Barry. Early on, the American drops the lead from his acoustic and plays unplugged amidst the crowd, harnessing their enthusiasm for a sing-along full of roaring voices and grinning faces.
Then a mid-set (and, as it proves, false) fire alarm forces the evacuation of Rosies. Rather than finishing early, Barry leads everyone down a nearby alley for a remarkable finale.
By the service entrance to one of Australia’s Big Four banks, surrounded by no-parking signs, with people perched on rubbish skips, Barry becomes the catalyst for one of those moments where heart trumps the system. He understands it. And he embraces it as he tells everyone: “Stop looking at me and start looking at each other!” Read more