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Today we entered the land of trucks and country music and there was plenty of both on offer!

As you walked in the gate, there was one immediate improvement from the 2014 show – the weather!  It was a warm, sunny day which was better than the constant rain of 2014 and the place was buzzing.

The endless rows of trucks was impressive, with the odd crane thrown in for good measure.  I was in awe of how spotless these big rigs were.  You would not have been able to see an ounce of dirt or mud on any of them such was the serious nature of their display and the competition.  Whilst I’m not a truck enthusiast, I couldn’t help but be impressed by some of the artwork and condition of these machines.

This reviewer was even lucky enough to have a look inside one of those rigs to see what creature comforts they have and I was impressed that this one had a double bed and microwave!

Throw in the children’s rides, the various displays and you have the makings of a great family day out but a lot people just turn up for what the Best in Country music has to offer and this year was no different.

With a new marquee structure in place to keep the weather out, the music program was hosted by funny man Darren Carr who was on the 2013 version of Australia’s Got Talent. Whilst the bands were preparing, Darren kept us all entertained with his hilarious jokes and one liners and his puppet characters.  He had an extremely quick wit and kept the crowd laughing throughout his act, eliminating the boredom that can be experienced between the changeover of artists.  He was a great addition to the lineup and we would happily see him perform again.

With great support acts such as Christie Lamb, Mark Shay, and Jared Porter, there was plenty of music on offer from start to finish.  As the day wore on, the acts were getting bigger with “Kaylens Rain” playing a mixture of their own songs such as their first song they ever wrote “ Waiting on a Bus” as well as some covers, for which they received a great reception.

Then came “The Wolfe Brothers” who were on Australia’s Got Talent in 2012. These guys know how to seriously entertain and their infectious enthusiasm shone through. They played some of their own songs such as “Hi Viz Anthem” and “That Kind of Night” to covers of AC/DC’s “Long way to the Top” and The Dingoes “Way Out West”. These guys are so good it is hard to believe that they were only part timers prior to appearing on AGT.

For the final act, McAlister Kemp, it was party central.  Anyone who has seen these guys perform knows they give every performance 110% and today’s was no exception.  As it was their last land based performance prior to taking an indefinite break, they were on fire and they didn’t disappoint.  Playing such well known songs as  “Harder to Tame” and “Cold Beer, Hot Women” through to newer songs like “Fight Me” and “100 years – The Anzac’s”, it seems such a shame that they are now on a break as they had everyone up and dancing right from the start.

One thing that these guys do is engage a crowd better than most.  They did this by giving out T-shirts and stickers, spinning the odd yarn and thanking fans for their support and then posing for a group photo with the punters in the background as a memento of this last gig.

One of the highlights of the day was when McAlister Kemp invited The Wolfe Brothers to join them for “Sweet Home Alabama”.  The stage exploded with music and chaos ensued!  The antics on stage rubbed off on the crowd who were loving every minute of it.  The mutual respect the two bands have for each other was obvious from this performance and the fun evident on their smiling faces.

The day ended as McAlister Kemp introduced their families and invited them on stage for “Country Proud” which was their last song. There were plenty of tears shed once the song had finished and the duo said their final goodbyes.  They then headed to the long line at the merchandise tent to sign anything and everything.  This duo has amassed quite a loyal following and whilst we will miss seeing them perform together again, we wish them well in their solo pursuits.

The music was followed by a charity auction of signed memorabilia.   We left knowing a great day was had by all and if you get a chance to go to the 2016 show, we can highly recommend it.  Not only are you helping a charitable organisation raise much needed funds, you will have an enjoyable day out with the family.  We know we’ll be back!


© Paul Bartle 2015.  All Right Reserved.

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