Tex Perkins & The Fat Rubber Band - Rodeo Grounds

Tex Perkins has played a key role in Australian music

It’s understandably difficult to pull together a coherent picture of a man whose career has taken in everything from the groundbreaking experimental punktonica of Sydney mid-80s noiseniks Thug to the lilting, dark country of his recent material with the Dark Horses.


From the hard edged pub rock of the Beasts Of Bourbon’s, a snarling slice of filthy pub rock to the evocative soundscapes of The Cruel Sea, whose extraordinary 1991 single ‘This Is Not The Way Home’ placed Perkins’ world-weary growl in a new musical context and heralded the emergence of an entirely original yet archetypically Australian sound.


Then there’s the Tex, Don & Charlie albums, which saw Perkins joining forces with the legendary Don Walker, Cold Chisel’s pianist and master songwriter and son of the Clarence Valley, and Charlie Owen, previously Australia’s best kept musical secret.


Now is Tex’s exciting new (and long over due) band with Matt Walker (The Fat Rubber Band). It’s a blues swamp-groove kinda thing that’s a little reminiscent of some of the things in Tex’s back catalogue. Many new originals inhabit the setlist, but see them now while they still have to flesh out the set with a few Cruel Sea covers!


“Tex has the swagger, presence and indomitable attitude that comes from years of fronting some of Australia’s most intense and spirited rock’n’roll bands. His take-no-prisoners approach to performance comes with the sensibility of an artist committed to the subtle (and often unsubtle) nuances of his craft. Throw in an astonishing voice full of power and depth, mix it with a dry and sardonic sense of humour and what emerges is the reason there is only one Tex Perkins”. (Stuart Coupe.

Magic Dirt - Rodeo Grounds

Magic Dirt, the seminal female-fronted alternative rock band of the 90’s formed in 1991 out of the dust and noise of the industrial town of Geelong. It wasn’t long before the band was packing out pubs in Melbourne and supporting bands such as Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and Pavement. Their second EP, ‘Life Was Better’ (1994), debuted at number 1 on the alternative charts staying there for a staggering 75 weeks. As the band continued to grow a massive live following touring the country, their much anticipated first album arrived in the form of ‘Friends In Danger’ (1996), a dark, brooding and heavy as all hell slab of sludge/slacker rock released by Warner Brothers U.S. They then followed up with another blistering feedback drenched monster, ‘Young and Full of the Devil’ (1998), again reiterating their uncompromising musical stance, rocking between noise, pop, rock and whatever their guitars could dish out. The band was now recognised as a major live drawcard and played many festivals including the Big Day Out, Livid, Meredith Music Festival, Falls Festival and Splendour in the Grass.


In 2000, with a renewed emphasis on the melodic pop side of their songwriting, the band released ‘What Are Rockstars Doing Today’ which included the anthemic guitar pop smash, ‘Dirty Jeans’, and propelled the band again to tour the UK, Europe, New Zealand and Japan with the single reaching #12 on JJJ’s Hottest 100. In 2003, with their pop-edge firmly to the fore, the band released the multi-ARIA Award nominated album ‘Tough Love’ which hit #15 on the ARIA charts. Magic Dirt continued to blitz the national live music circuit cementing their status as one of Australia’s best-loved and highly respected bands with subsequent national tours, appearances on multiple TV and radio shows, as well as playing supports for acts such as The Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Swervedriver, The Beasts of Bourbon, Powderfinger and Jet.


In September 2006 they released their 5th critically acclaimed studio album, ‘Snow White’, again making a debut in the Top 40 and the band returned to the road. This album saw the return of some of the bands noisier elements fused with their hooky and more polished songwriting. Later that same year, after leaving Warner Australia, the band embarked on two separate projects – an experimental all noise album ‘Roky’s Room’ and a heavier dark as F**K mini-album, ‘Beast’, both to be released on the bands own label, ‘Emergency Music’. In 2008 with the release of their 6th full-length album, ‘Girl’, Magic Dirt embarked on their biggest national tour to date, a whopping 42 date run that saw them playing places as far flung as Coober Pedy, Kalgoorlie and Broken Hill.


In 2009 the band suffered the devastating loss of founding member and bassist, Dean Turner. On and off stage, Dean was highly respected and revered in the music community, he was devoted to his wife Linda and two girls, Charlie and Evie and to his band members he was not only the binding force and main counsel, but he was family and consequently after his passing, the band went on an indefinite hiatus. Nearly a decade later, after a chance reunion at their old stomping ground, the Barwon Club in Geelong, the band have decided to hit the road again, in honour of their bandmate and their long and extensive legacy. Magic Dirt are a significant and essential part of Australian rock history with an undeniable alchemy propelled by steadfast powerhouse drummer Adam Robertson, the cool and mighty driving bass of Dean Turner, the super hooky, supercharged rock and roll blitz of lead guitarist Raul Sanchez, and the ever compelling and distinct force of nature, lead singer and songwriter, Adalita. Apart from the bands vigorous work ethic and the tenacious devotion to their music the band have also, notably, recorded a John Peel session, appeared on multiple movie soundtracks, Dean co-designed his own effects pedal, the ‘Big Bottom’ with Tim Brennan of Tym Guitars, their song ‘Bodysnatcher’ was included in Toby Creswell’s ‘1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them’, headlined the infamous Wanda Beach Surf Club show in Cronulla in 1995 which has it’s own Facebook page and was attended by senior editor of Rolling Stone America, David Fricke who said he hadn’t seen anything like it since the start of punk and of course, the band were also featured on an Australian postage stamp.


With this inimitable chemistry, Magic Dirt have amassed a legion of loyal and devoted fans with whom they maintain a longstanding and important relationship. Their high energy live shows are the stuff of legend. Their enduring legacy will continue to influence and inspire generations to come but for now, the band are excited to be hitting the road again and are looking forward to turning it up loud and giving it their all.

Stonefield - Rodeo Grounds

From practising in their family shed as teenagers in rural Australia, to touring the world with Fleetwood Mac, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, King Tuff, and King Gizzard, it’s been a strange trip for the four Findlay sisters. As Stonefield, they’ve got three albums and thousands of miles under their belts, plus plenty of perspective on what it’s like to fight to make a place for themselves, and tell their own story.


Written largely on the road in America earlier this year, the songs on BENT are filled with reference and reflection–the kind that comes from months spent far from home, living on four wheels. The surreal isolation of trudging through white-out snow and snaking down deserted highways served as the perfect backdrop for the band to look inward, taking stock of the journey they’ve taken thus far as musicians, and as people. “It’s a culmination of experiences, emotions, and stories collected over time,” explains lead singer and drummer Amy Findlay, “A growth of honest, raw, energy that has been burning within us and waiting for its moment.”


Recorded in just five days with Joe Walker and Stu Mackenzie from King Gizzard at their studio in Melbourne, the album is almost 100% live. Besides being an impressive feat and the flexing of a confident band operating at the height of their powers, that immediacy lends the album a distinct, crackling energy–thunder, lightning, and muscle-bound horsepower. “Sleep” opens the album with guitars covered in five inches of sludge and distortion and something that sounds like a far-off siren, or the high-pitched howling of the wind. It serves as a warning, a call to arms, kicking things off with a next-level version of the massive, unholy racket the band has become known for over the course of their last three albums.


The sonic inspiration taken from listening to Black Sabbath, Beak, Deep Purple, The Alan Parsons Project, and Mike Oldfield inject BENT with its sternum-shaking heaviness and ever-present swagger, but also its exploratory fearlessness–letting the songs loose to twist and turn, sticking to no one’s rules but their own. Take the proggy, keyboard-soaked intro at the top of “People,” or the cheeky combination of tinnitus-inducing hard rock and hip-shaking boogie at the core of “Dead Alive.” “Don’t make me think I’ve lost control / I know exactly what you said / Don’t make me think it’s in my head,” Amy sings during the latter, keeping the lyrics as defiant as the music.


“The album is about our own experiences and stories,” explains Amy, “Songs about the fear of walking home alone at night, stories of what it’s like being an all-female band and the power of supporting one another.” With that being the lyrical subject, the music that came out is definitely our heaviest.” It’s clear that darker thoughts were on the Findlay sisters’ mind– “Route 29,” with its suspenseful synth intro was inspired by the creepy The Route 29 Stalker podcast the band was listening to as they drove the namesake road on their way to a gig with King Tuff, and the cascading synth line and slinky restraint of the hi-hat on “If I Die” can only distract so much from the song’s terror-stricken lyrics.


It’s on the album’s last two songs that the band makes their strongest statement, using “Shutdown” to explore the doubt and search for validation that comes from moving and working within an industry that often makes the band feel like outsiders, lacing lines like “Is it easy for you living / When you don’t have to prove your meaning” in between a battle-cry chorus and detonations of guitar and keyboard. And “Woman” takes it to the edge with a chorus of “I am enough / I am woman,” spelling it out for anyone that hasn’t been paying attention.


BENT has all the chills and spills you would expect from an album that mines inspiration from some of the darker experiences of being misrepresented, belittled, and underestimated. By taking control of the narrative, and pumping it up with stack-blowing, guitar hero riffs and razor-edged vocals, it becomes an album of power, control, and confidence–projected in the face of a world that too often forces the opposite.

The Songs of Captian Matchbox - Rodeo Grounds

Inspired by early jug band music and jazz recordings they heard on reel-to-reel tapes as teenagers, brothers Mic Conway and Jim Conway formed a raggle-taggle group which grew from an underground art school band to a national icon, with a cult following, film and television appearances, Top 10 hits and two Gold Records.   From 1970-1980, The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band toured the length and breadth of Australia, performing more than 2,000 shows, supported by the likes of Skyhooks, Cold Chisel, Split Endz and others along the way.

They were a very odd sock in the glam-rock world and Aussie pub scene. Their debut LP “Smoke Dreams” went to Gold in 1972 and was released in the USA. This year, “Smoke Dreams” has been listed among The 100 Best Australian Albums. Their second LP “Wangaratta Wahine” featured a classic cover design by Michael Leunig which won the award for Album Cover of the Year in 1974. Assisted by their memorable first appearance on Countdown performing “Wangaratta Wahine”, this album became their biggest success.

Especially for HITCH TO THE STICKS, Mic Conway and a hot 6-piece band return to Wangaratta to present the songs, silliness and satire from the Matchbox repertoire including “My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes”, “That Cat is High”, “Smoke Dreams”, “Hernando’s Hideaway”,  “Who Walks in When I Walk Out?” and many more.

Dallas Frasca - Rodeo Grounds

Dallas is the namesake front woman of the seven-piece, award-winning Australian rock outfit, Dallas Frasca. A stand-out of her class and an almighty presence on the mic. Frasca has not stopped for over a decade. She’s toured the world, clocking over 1000 shows with her band including 9 international tours and has managed to put a Top 30 Australian ARIA charting album under her belt, a #10 Aus album as well as many awards including ‘Artist of the year’ at the Independent Music Awards. In 2018, Dallas recently showcased her guitar skills in front of an estimated 1.5 billion viewers worldwide for the closing ceremony for the Commonwealth Games. Her song, ‘All My Love’ finished 3rd in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC – over 16,000 entries) which landed her band to sign with French label, Verycords.

Hat Fitz & Cara - Rodeo Grounds

High-energy duo Hat Fitz and Cara are among Australia’s most talented roots music artists. The husband and wife team have clocked up 10 years of worldwide touring, festival performances and album releases from their base of operations in the hinterland of South East Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and are showing no signs of slowing down.


Their festival touring circuit takes in Australia, the UK, North America and Europe where   their modern blend of old-timey-influenced sounds is equally at home in a variety of settings from folk or Americana main stages to blues and acoustic venues. While the singer/songwriters are both multi-instrumentalists, it’s Fitzy’s weathered vocals and soaring blues-soaked guitar combined with Cara’s pounding drums and soulful voice that show them at the peak of their creative power.


Fitzy served his musical apprenticeship in the 1980s touring around Western Queensland playing the show circuit with his father’s band alongside boxing tent shows and rodeos. Here he came upon a vinyl album of Bo Carter playing with the Mississippi Sheiks which was to be a turning point in the way he would hone his unique style of playing. He still holds the record for the most consecutive shows at Byron Bay Bluesfest.


Meanwhile Cara was growing up in a commune on the other side of the world, living a gypsy lifestyle around various parts of the Northern Ireland coast. Through a substitute teacher at school she was introduced to the folk-blues of Leadbelly, and, by way of a cassette she bought at the age of 13, got turned on to Atlantic soul. Cara’s soul music background has seen her tour Europe and the USA with singers such as Jamiroquai and the popular Corinne Bailey-Rae. She has co-written songs with Bailey-Rae, Jeff Lang, Alison Ferrier, Aine Tyrell, David Holmes, LTJ Bukem, and many others.


Winners of Blues Album Of The Year at the 2013 Australian Chain Awards and UK Spiral Earth, Hat Fitz & Cara also won Best Vocal Of The Year at the 2015 Chain Awards and were finalists in the 2015 Memphis International Blues Challenge in the USA.

Glitter Bitch Club - VIP BUS ONLY

Backing Vocal & Acapella badassery

  • Four part harmonies, 
  • Four parts bad, 
  • Four parts fashion, 
  • Four parts rad.


  • Dallas Frasca
  • Johnny Costin
  • Sheila Kumar
  • Melissa Caccamo

Liv Cartledge - VIP BUS ONLY

Born and bred in the historic gold-mining town of Beechworth in North-east Victoria, Liv Cartledge is a rare find. Liv’s husky tones, soul-filled lyrics and warm melodies will draw you in and leave you wondering how you got there. Since taking out the coveted 2015 Telstra Road To Discovery competition, 2017 saw Liv release the ‘TIMBER’ EP, play to sold out venues in Melbourne, and tour throughout VIC, NSW and SA. After some time on a minor hiatus to look after herself, 2019 see’s new music from Liv.  A reflection of time off and the importance of looking after your noggin.

“Love the voice, those guitar melodies and the sense of intimacy.” – Dom Alessio, Triple J

N/E Hitchers Winner - Rodeo Grounds

Watch This Space! The North East Hitchers Battle of the Bands Winner will be announced October!