River Rocks featuring the Ox Menzies Cocktail Hour

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River Rocks featuring the Ox Menzies Cocktail Hour

Geelong’s own self-funded music festival, River Rocks, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. After ten years of sharing and celebrating music, the team at River Rocks is quite exceptional at what they do, and in order to celebrate the milestone that is ten years, they have put together what can be considered the biggest and best lineup yet.

With a number of bands set to play the celebration, including USA bands; Supersuckers and Dead Milkmen, the night will be one to remember. Some other names to look out for include Cosmic Psychos, Tumbleweed, Hits and Warped, among many others.

“It’s a very Geelong thing,” says Poppin’ Mommas Russell ‘Ox’ Menzies. “It’s a great opportunity to catch up with a lot of old friends, the boys put on a great lineup every year, it just keeps getting better and better every year. People are coming from all over Australia too. They come over from Adelaide, down from Queensland, and Sydney, and it’s just a good weekend to catch up with old friends and listen to some great bands.”

Hosted by the Barwon Club Hotel, it is a chance to spend the night surrounded by the best music possible, and enjoy specially made drinks from Ox himself with the Ox Menzies Cocktail Hour.

“A couple of years ago, Al gave me a call and said it would be a good idea to have a cocktail bar in the middle of the afternoon, just to liven things up a little bit,” he says. “I was a bit concerned to be honest. I didn’t really know what was involved, I don’t even know how to make cocktails, so I was worried with how it was going to work out, but they came up with some concoctions that were reasonably easy to make, even for me, and I just add that extra dash of booze that makes it just that right taste. It seems to just take the afternoon and the evening very nicely. Although, I have been blamed for some people not seeing the main acts, they’re all too fucked up on booze.”

Unfortunately if you haven’t already grabbed tickets for Saturday November 11, you are out of luck as they sold out within a week. However due to the momentous occasion of a tenth anniversary, and in order to keep the peace on the streets the River Rocks team are presenting a second day, River Rocks Rehab. River Rocks Rehab will be more than just a consolation prize for those who missed out and will include a mix of bands from the night before as well as some new ones – some names; Exploding White Mice, Cosmic Psychos, Hits and Batpiss. Rehab will also include a BBQ breakfast and Bloody Mary’s.

“The recovery party is going to be amazing, I’m looking forward to seeing what these people look like in the light of day,” Ox laughs. “They reckon carpet squares at The Barwon Club on Saturday night at about four o’clock are going to be at some sort of premium because everyone collapses, and I think the Meatbeaters are on BBQ duties on Sunday morning, so they will be in charge of cooking up egg and bacon for everyone, and I’m in charge of making Bloody Mary’s, so we’ll get everyone off to a flying start to the Sunday,” he says.

“The Exploding White Mice will finish it off on Sunday night, which will be great because I haven’t seen the guys in 15 or even 20 years now. They’re coming over from Adelaide, so that will make Sunday just that little bit more special. The only downside to the whole weekend is you all have to see us play at some stage,” he laughs.

Alongside his band The Poppin’ Mommas, Ox has performed at River Rocks five times out of ten, and this one is set to be the best one yet.

“We’ve been together since about 1988, it’s a bit like mould, it just won’t go away. You can scrub it and put bleach on it, but it just keeps coming back,” Ox says. “Normally we get put on very late on a Saturday because we seem to have the ability to clear the room out, security and management are quite happy to get rid of everyone,” he jokes.

“It’s a great time to be involved in the music scene, especially here in Geelong. We all came through early ’90s in Geelong, when down at The Barwon Club was basically a Thursday to Sunday thing, and a lot of the people who were involved during that time now get back together again on River Rocks, once a year, and check each other out and make sure we’re all still breathing,” Ox explains.

“We’re not getting any younger, and certainly not any better so we’re still having fun. As long as there’s older bands than us out there doing it, we’re going to keep trying ourselves.”

Both days will be well worth the time, as all festivals are, and a memorable occasion – better than most tenth birthday parties. Oh, and make sure you make a beeline to ‘Ox’s Tikibar’ – you won’t want to miss that.

When & Where: Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong – November 11 & 12