SYN REVIEWS: Cherry Rock Festival 2018


Photos by Ellen Rosie

Words by Dean Matthews 

Cherry Rock

AC/DC Lane Melbourne


In its 12th instalment Cherry Rock boasted a slew of great local acts. Having never been to the festival before I was immediately impressed by its boutique layout. You could clearly tell it was well planned with the locals, neighbouring business the Bullrun café acted as the food hall offering up a great feed all day, you even saw one of the local residents from the neighbouring apartment blocks getting involved…an elderly woman seemed to be enjoying herself by dancing to every band she saw all day.


The first band of the day was WÜRST NÜRSE, fronted my Georgia Maq of Camp Cope, the all female group instantly asserted their presence on stage with a loud distorted bang, there set was shrouded in feedback as the band delivered an in your face punk rock experience. WÜRST NÜRSE were one of many female fronted acts on the day, it was a refreshing sight to see that there is a new wave of female fronted acts coming up in the Melbourne rock scene proving that rock music is more than just a ‘boys club’.


Tasmanian band A SWAYZE AND THE GHOSTS were one of a few interstate acts.  Hailing from Hobart, the garage rock outfit powered through their set giving fans a reason to pay attention, not only were the songs immediately catchy but lead singer Andrews Swayze had an immediate presence, swaying his limbs about dancing in way that that was a reminiscent hybrid of Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil and Ian Curtis of Joy Division. If you haven’t heard of these guys before make sure you keep tabs on them here are big things to come for sure.

Melbourne hard rock outfit FLUFF are relatively new on the scene having only formed last year it did not stop them from drawing a big crowd on the cherry bar stage, with their cosmic fuzz rock riffs churned out by guitarist and front man Neil Wilkinson they had the crowd in a head nodding trance. They certainly went over well with the crowd winning them a lot of new fans in the process.
One common theme I found across the day was the age of the acts. Most of the bands would have had been in there late teens – mid twenties including,  THE CHATS. The gold coast trio are most well known for their viral internet hit ‘smoko’ but they are anything but a one hit wonder. With songs like ‘Left Right” and ‘4573’ the chats proved that there is a lot more to them than a viral internet hit.

The night was rounded of by legendary Aussie punk band COSMIC PSYCHOS. Starting their set with the anthem ‘Pub’ it whipped the crowd into a frenzy, following it up with new songs ‘Feeling Average’ and ‘Better in the Shed’ before ripping into their classic back catalogue such as ‘Custom Credit’, ‘Nice Day to go to the Pub’ before they closed with ‘Lost Cause’ and ‘David Lee Roth’. It was really nothing out of the ordinary it was just another truly great Cosmic Psychos set.


I took several things away from Cherry Rock. Firstly, great young bands are still coming through the woodwork and it looks like it won’t be stopping anytime soon. Secondly, rock  is not a ‘boys club’ anymore with more and more female musicians using the genre to voice their concerns and opinions. Most importantly it reassures that rock music has a future because with a festival like this ensuring its viability and fanbase.

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