Wine Machine – Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley – Live Review

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Wine Machine

Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley

06 / 04 / 19

Words by India Weaver

Tickets provided by publicists

Wine Machine (formally known as Hot Dub Wine Machine), returned to the Yarra Valley for its third consecutive run- full of good times and even better music. With a range of local food vendors, activity stations and plenty of space, Rochford Wines was the perfect setting for the blissful day of dancing, relaxing and making the most of the autumn sun.

Mitch Bain soundtracked festival goer’s entry into the festival, setting the tone with a remix of the Pingu theme song– a fun and playful nostalgic moment. Bain had already impressed the crowd so much that he received non-stop ‘woos’ and claps throughout the remainder of his set.

Happiness is Wealth’s sparkly silver set up sparkled in the sunlight, along with the typical Australian festival glitter make-up looks as the clouds separated over Rochford Wines.

The theme of television-related nostalgia touched on by Mitch Bain earlier in the day was quickly reinvigorated when Alex Dyson kicked off his set with the classic theme from The Saddle Club, ‘Hello World’. The rolling hills surrounding the venue had us all imagine we were riding off into the distance on our well trained, actor horses. The audience had been tentative to hit the dusty dance floor that stood before the stage, but as soon as Dyson in his purple ‘Dad at Sports Day’ get-up appeared, the mosh quickly filled up.  Dyson had the audience in the palm of his hands as he moved from hit to hit- reigniting the crowd’s desire to have him back on the 6-9am Triple J breakfast radio slot.

Graace was up next to treat the crowd to her dreamy electronic pop, whilst also slipping some new tracks into her setlist. Festival-goers were singing along to her lyrics from gate to gate, even in the line to the toilet. Whilst she is already gaining a lot of attention for her relatable and well-crafted songs, she locked herself in as one to watch in 2019 with her shining performance.

Sunshine & Disco Faith Choir were both in their element as the sun was at its brightest. Many took the time to bask in the sun and let the disco tunes charge them up for the electronic goodness that was yet to come. The acts and their wholesome talent exceeded all expectations and really put my shower singing into perspective (I will not be releasing an album nor performing in public any time soon)

Sister-duo, Kinder, kept the good times rolling with their energetic vibe. But their set was sadly overlooked by a large number of festival-goers, as the main acts set-times grew closer. The crowd cleared the dance floor to fill up on the offerings from local food trucks and stop by the loo (note: the toilet queues were some of the shortest I have seen and 1000% deserve a massive shoutout), boogying along to Kinder’s tunes as they moved from location to location.

The stellar Confidence Man took the crowd through golden-hour, kicking off their set with the slower paced track ‘Fascination’ and moving into party pleasers ‘COOL Party’ and ‘Don’t You Know I’m in a Band’. Known for their incredible dance moves and costumes, the band tested out some new routines (that were of course SUPER easy to follow for those dancing along), plus some new costumes and hair cuts to match. The 4-piece drew the biggest crowd of the day thus far.

Hayden James was up next, and just like a (wine) machine, churned out hit after hit after hit. There were more people dancing up on someone else’s shoulders than on the ground (do the maths on that one) and arms were waving in all directions. James had the audience in the palms of his hands, and for someone that barely moves from one spot on the stage, it speaks volumes of his musical talent. Graace joined Hayden James on stage to perform their collaboration ‘Numb’, which you could barely hear over the crowd who were singing along.

The audience continued to grow as the iconic opening to The Presets ‘Talk Like That’ built. Festival-goers united to scream UH OH and then proceeded to fling their arms in every which way for the remainder of the set. The Presets, AKA the fathers of Australian electronic music, moved right through their discography from hit to hit. ‘Martini’ was a particularly fun moment. The track’s music video jokes at fans singing the wrong words and the crowd at Wine Machine definitely carried on that theme. I even found myself questioning my interpretation of the lyrics…

The Presets were definitely the highlight of the day- they not only impressed the crowd with the execution of their tracks but captured the underlying essence of Wine Machine and Hot Dub Time Machine– nostalgia. Nothing screams 2007 more than ‘My People’.

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To cap off the day, Hot Dub Time Machine wound back the clock (in collaboration with daylight savings) and dished out the best hits from decades past. Expertly showing the Yarra Valley how to have a good time, Hot Dub and his accompanying full brass band mixed and mashed an array of music genres from 60s surf rock to pop hits of the 00s. If the music wasn’t enough fun for you, Hot Dub brought literal fireworks and flames to his closing set that can be described as simply, all hype. A highlight of the set was when Owl Eyes joined Hot Dub on the stage to perform back to back Fleetwood Mac songs. It was a coincidental nod to Stevie Nicks who stood in the same spot on that stage only 12 or so months before.

It’s very rare that a festival gets the formula right- a balance of new and old, electronica and groove, prayers answered by the weather gods and attracting a fun yet sensible crowd. However, Wine Machine hit the nail on the head. Count me in for next year!