Belle Hollness photographed by Matt Black Photography
GreazeFest, Australia's All Killer-No Filler Kustom Kulture Weekender, is held every August in Brisbane and Melbourne. Regular contributor and all round vintage queen, Lady Kittyhawk, headed over to the Brisbane leg of the tour and filled us in on all the details just in time for those of you heading to Melbourne's event this weekend.
Thousands of Rockabilly and Hot Rod fans turn up for a rockin' good time at GreazeFest each year. There is something for everyone whether it be hot cars and bikes, screamin' Rockabilly bands, DJ's, fashion parades, dancing, Kustom art, workshops, or just enjoying the warm weather!
Each year thousands converge on the Rocklea Showgrounds in Brisbane (including some of us Kiwis!). It's the annual pilgrimage into total Rockabilly immersion. Outifts are carefully planned out for the Friday night opening shin dig, starting with welcoming tunes from one of the GreazeFest DJ's 'DJ Leapin' Lawrie. Music fills the air of the indoor Rockhouse stage, you start looking around and waving hello's to the friendly faces you see each year, There are plenty of hugs, hellos and admiring looks for slick greased hair, and finely coiffured do's.
7.30pm the first band kicked off. This was my kinda Friday night listening to fine live Rockabilly music. Will & The Hi-Rollers, one of the many 'WILD Record' artists that were playing the festival, rounded up Friday evening.
Saturday we were up early for the 10am start at the Rocklea Showgrounds, the skies were brilliant blue and it was perfect promenading weather. I wore a special custom GreazeFest outfit designed by Judy Dee Couture which was a tribute to the great Wanda Jackson.
You could take your pick of the indoor or outdoor stages to watch and listen to a brilliant lineup of Australia's hard working Rockabilly bands. We went to the outdoor stage to check out the gorgeous Miss Teresa and her band, then strolled around the Hot Rod, Classic custom and bikes on display and nipped in and out of the market stalls, fueling ourselves with delicious organic coffee from the Kombi coffee team.
The markets were fun, vibrant and full of so many different products. There's candy, lots and lots of clothing, both well known labels and locally made garments, shoes, jewellery, repro, accessories, vintage delights, you name it! I stop in at Western Wac and catch up with my insta gal pals, Kimmie and Mikaila. Western Wac sell a range of Freddie of Pinewood jeans and tops as well as cowboy boots and other great Mexicana gear. Next door are the gorgeous couple from Cowpunkabilly, Bernie and Kerryn. I drool over all the vintage western gear, and beautiful Western shirts and cowboy boots they have. They are the best dressed couple at GreazeFest!
There are also plenty of hair and makeup styling stalls that cater for the hoards of ladies wanting a makeover and there is a fashion parade on the outdoor stage that showcases whats on offer in the market.
On Saturday alone there were 14 bands on the roster, and they all put on a high energy, enthusiastic show. We got to see our favourites, Miss Teresa, The Hi-Boys (also signed to WILD Records USA), Regular Gonzales, The Koffin Rockers, Kieron McDonald, DJ Swingabilly Ray during the day, then we made a quick change into our evening outfits for Benny & The Flybynighters, Doubleblack, and the awesome Rusty Pinto followed by headliners, The Go Getters, from Sweden. It was non stop boppin' and jivin' with Bal and Swing thrown in for good measure as well as getting up the front of the stage taking in the vibes - it was bliss and sore feet all rolled into one!
DJ Jimmy D kicks things off on Sunday morning, and the outdoors stage is rockin' with the Koffin Rockers. Old favourites Hank's Jalopy Demons, Pat Capocci and The Hi-Boys playing all the old classic and not so well known Rockabilly favourites, with more dancing and strollin done. At 1.30pm we run to the front of stage proud as punch to support NZ's very own Labretta Suede and the Motel 6...what a show! I also loved seeing the GreazeFest Super group on Sunday. This was a genius idea, which had a mixed lineup of all the key people from different bands playing a few songs together.
GreazeFest is a brilliant festival for Rockabilly fans, and there really is something for everyone. The whole event had a relaxed vibe and the weekend pass is excellent value for money, considering all the incredible talent that's performing. Australia is lucky enough to have a vast range of Rockabilly bands and musicians to chose from, many of whom tour in the States and Europe and are signed to the iconic WILD Records in the USA.
Australia is also extremely lucky to have Lori Lee, the owner and organiser of GreazeFest. Lori and her team put on a well oiled, slick, highly professional festival across two cities which takes a huge amount of work behind the scenes to put on. Now in its 16th year the festival goes from strength to strength.
Roll on 2016, and if you're going, have fun at GreazeFest Melbourne this weekend!