- REVIEW Cool Boys and the Frontman University of Newcastle’s School of Nursing Grad Ball 4 ½ stars
“We hear that nobody rocks as hard as nurses,” drummer Hamish Blake says from behind his kit, wild screams drowning out his words. His band mate, birthday boy Andy Lee, stands nearby, clutching a set of bagpipes, a white moustache adorning his top lip that looks like a glow worm has crawled out of his mouth.
Nearby is Cacklin’ Jack, perhaps the most talented of the bunch, despite his obvious ocular impairment.
These are the Cool Boys and the Frontman. This is the sound sweeping across regional Australia. They may only know one song, but they perform it adequately.
And they are here at Queens Wharf to rock the University of Newcastle’s School of Nursing Grad Ball as part of a “for one song only” regional tour of Australia.
That song, borrowed and made famous by a little outfit known as AC/DC a few years back, is Long Way to the Top.
And their frontman, or frontmen, tonight are original blue Wiggle Anthony Field, also on bagpipes, and current Wiggle Lachy Gillespie on vocals.
The set is over quickly, but the band don’t disappoint. The graduating nurses love every minute of it. They want more, if only the boys knew another tune.
The band, who do a bit of radio work on the side, are seasoned road trippers, having been living the tour life for three or four days now. First, they did a Year 10 formal at Wodonga. Then they performed at pub re-opening at Rankins Springs, in the Riverina, before landing on Newcastle’s doorstep for the grad ball.
After a well-earned break on Thursday, it was off to the Byron Bay Beach Hotel on Friday for the final show.
Disclaimer: We weren’t allowed in to this private event, and thus our review was gleaned from social media and noises we could hear from outside.
CHRISTMAS BUS JINGLES ALL THE WAY
TOPICS was waiting for a bus in Newcastle the other day when we spotted it.
The 235 to Maryland cruising along Hunter Street all decked out in tinsel, festive stickers and decorations.
We took a sharp breath in. It was the Christmas Bus.
Now we weren’t headed to Maryland.
But we got on that bus all the same.
We were greeted by a smiling Judy (we know her name because we checked the roster at The Christmas Bus Facebook page), who wished us a Merry Christmas and welcomed us aboard.
We’d heard stories about the inside of the Christmas bus, but none of them did it justice. It was incredible on there, literally impossible to be in a bad mood.
As Judy played Christmas carols on the radio, we swung around a corner, tinsel and decorations rattling and swaying.
It’s been running for 20 years, but the Christmas Bus is still as charming as ever.
We recommend you take a ride this festive season.
ROAMING ART GALLERY TOUR
Here’s one. Those looking for a bit of culture ahead of the festive season can start their Christmas shopping with a Roaming Art Tour through Newcastle.
The tour will be visiting five local galleries starting at 2pm on December 11.
Travelling aboard Newcastle’s famous tram, you’ll stop at Art Systems Wickham, Timeless Textiles, Cstudios Art Gallery, Back to Back Galleries and Acrux Art Gallery
Tickets are $30.
Bookings at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0434 886 450.