I was captivated as I approached the foyer at Finn’s Recreation Club in Bali. Visitors know they are in for a spectacular day/evening from the moment the efficient smiling staff greet them with warmth and sincerity that can only be found in Bali.
I was jittery with nerves, it’s not every day you have the opportunity to interview your teenage pop idol.
Daryl Braithwaite, an Australian musical icon who was inducted into the ARIA hall of fame in 2017. Daryl Braithwaite from Sherbet, later known as Sherbs, Daryl Braithwaite from a stellar solo career which includes performing in musical theatre productions, The Who’s rock opera, Tommy and the 1977 musical production of Chess, in our beloved Melbourne, Australia.
Daryl Braithwaite is an Aussie battler, at one point he was working building footpaths to make ends meet. His spectacular career revival is what dreams are made of. Mr Braithwaite is a legend, he is still performing to enthusiastic audiences of all ages, as he approaches his seventh decade.
Door’s opened at 2pm. History would be made, Bali’s First Ever International Show was about to begin. The line up was indeed phenomenal on a perfect day in Paradise.
Engaging fans (mostly Australian) bopped along to Jason Singh and then 1927 as they sung their hit single “That’s when I think of you”. Animated lead vocalist Eric Weideman confessed it was his first time to Bali. He was in the groove, wearing a sarong out of respect for our unique culture.
It felt like a typical Bali holiday vibe as the lawn area started to fill up. Patrons were relaxed and carefree. Dressed in beachwear, shorts and thongs. Bintang beer, wine and champagne flowing freely, the party had begun.
Good hearted locals, expats & visitors were pumped and ready to be entertained. The impressive Splash Water Park was open and provided a space for a refreshing dip.
Ross Wilson was up next. Dancing down memory lane, reminiscing of carefree fun days, we sang out loud to “Eagle Rock” with our tribe. Pseudo Echo followed as the music continued to ignite our nostalgic imaginations.
I was distracted, it was time for my interview with Daryl Braithwaite. Daryl is a gentleman. Daryl is also a Bali Lover, he is a Surfer and has visited our Paradise Island many times, he had already been out for a paddle three times since he had arrived.
His music appeals to a vast audience and seems to have no boundaries in genre and age. I asked him what his secret is?
Daryl told me a story about when he performed in front of a young crowd at the Falls Festival, in Victoria, Australia. He was completely blown away when the crowd sang, word for word, the lyrics to the 1976, US Billboard Hot 100 chart hit, Sherbet’s song Howzat.
Daryl told me he has tried to analyse the reason why his music has endured such longevity. He believes that it is the chemistry he gives and receives from the audience, that maybe the answer to my question.
He did tell me that he was grateful, this is a word I am familiar with. Being grateful maybe the simple answer to the success of the TV Week King of Pop winner for three consecutive years in 1975, 1976 and 1977.
Being on the The Island of the Gods with all it’s magic, I asked Daryl if he was spiritual. He told me that although he is not religious, he would consider himself spiritual to a certain extent. He explained to me that he tries to live his life the way his parents taught him. He quoted the Golden Rule my own Mother would also use,
“Do to others what you would have them do to you”
I left our interview feeling light, I felt rejuvenated and elated. The rest of the show did not disappoint. Shannon Noll was singing “Waltzing Matilda” as we walked back towards the lawn area. With Aussie pride, I marvelled at the magic of the evening. Shannon is also known as Nollsie, he is the ultimate showman.
Nollsie invited a couple up to the stage, a marriage proposal transpired in front of the crowd.
Melbourne celebrity, ex Aussie rules footballer and now radio star Brendan Fevola also known as “Fev”, who was in Bali celebrating his buck’s party climbed the stage and sang “April Sun in Cuba” in a duo with Nollsie. The crowd was joyous, it was almost time for Daryl.
Finally it was time for the Daryl and his band to perform. True to his gracious nature, he introduced the members of his band. I had pushed my way to the front of the stage, completely losing myself in time and place, I started carrying on like a teenager. I wasn’t alone.
There was a remarkable energy radiating from Daryl and his band, the crowd was ecstatic singing, dancing and jumping to the classic songs. A drone was snapping photos from above, while Daryl belted out favourites, “One Summer” “Howzat”, “Not too late” and more.
Fev was on someone’s shoulders, in the middle of the crowd shouting out “One more song” “One more song” after they left the stage, we were craving for more. I had paired up with a new Aussie friend, channeling my 13 year old self, in unison we screamed at the top of our lungs “I love you Daryl”, “I love you Daryl”.
And then he was back. He sang “Hound Dog”, “Summer Love” and finally what we had all been waiting for,“Horses”. The crowd waving their arms in the air sang out loud,
“That’s the way it’s gonna be, little darlin’
We’ll be riding on the horses, yeah
Way up in the sky, little darlin’
And if you fall I’ll pick you up, pick you up
It was then that the magic in Bali really happened, the fire works ignited the sky in a spectacular display above the stage. Daryl assured us he will be back next year…
“That’s the way it’s gotta be, little darling”.