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Hope Rocks with cavalcade of Oz music legends


A cavalcade of stars will align, including James Reyne, Baby Animals, Choirboys, Models and Boom Crash Opera, at Hope Estate later this year.

Hope Rocks, also featuring Rose Tattoo and Nick Barker and the Reptiles, returns to the Hunter Valley winery on Saturday 16 October with some of the best Aussie music legends all on the one stage.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Monday 24 May from, while pre-sales start from 10am on Wednesday 19 May.

Reyne, an Aussie icon, admitted he was looking forward to the show.

“I’m excited to get the band back on the road again and head out to Hope Estate – God’s own country,” he said.

“We’ll be playing a bunch of Australian Crawl songs, solo material and a few little gems.

“It’s a great line-up of bands too, good times.”

Baby Animals’ Suze DeMarchi agreed with Reyne.

“Wow, it’s been so long since we played live in the Hunter Valley,” she said.

“I can’t wait to hit the stage with the boys and rock.”

Choirboys’ lead singer Mark Gable simply stated “Hope Rocks”.

“I met Michael Hope sometime back and he showed me the stage that he had built specialty to do shows on his estate,” he said.

“That was before COVID-19 and now we will be back on that same stage.

“I do not have to hope it rocks, I know it will with all that talent.”

James Reyne. Photo: Kane Hibberd


His songs have provided the soundtrack to endless Australian summers.

Reyne is one of Australia’s finest singers and songwriters, responsible for iconic songs such as Reckless, The Boys Light Up, Beautiful People, Lakeside, Daughters Of The Northern Coast, Fall Of Rome, Hammerhead, Motor’s Too Fast and Slave.

Distinctly Australian – as legendary critic Ed Nimmervoll noted: “His voice is as familiar to us as the taste of Vegemite, as essentially Australian” – he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1996 and was honoured with the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2014.

Reyne boasts 19 Top 40 singles – including six Top 10 hits – and 11 Top 10 albums.

And, his songs have been covered by a range of artists, including Paul Kelly, John Farnham, Mick Thomas and Angie Hart.

His latest album, Toon Town Lullaby, is his 12th solo studio album.

Baby Animals


In 1989 lead singer Suze DeMarchi set about forming a new band.

Fellow Perth musician Frank Celenza recommended his best friend, bass player Eddie Parise, while DeMarchi approached guitarist Dave Leslie to join the outfit and, finally, Celenza signed up as the drummer.

The Angels were so impressed that they included one of the band’s demos Break My Heart on the B-side of their single Dogs Are Talking.

Baby Animals were signed to Imago Recording Company and flew to New York to record their debut album and, together with expatriate Mike Chapman (Sweet, Pat Benatar, Blondie) and Kevin “Caveman” Shirley (Aerosmith, Silverchair), produced a classic album.

The band’s debut single Early Warning was released April 1991 and immediately reached the Top 20 on the Australian Singles charts.

The second, Rush You, came out in August 1991.

The self-titled album debuted at No. 6 on the ARIA Charts and spent six weeks at No. 1, eventually going eight times platinum and becoming the highest-selling debut Australian rock album of all time (until the release of Jet’s album 12 years later), topping 800,000 sales worldwide.

Christmas 1991 saw the band back in Australia for more touring, and the release of two more singles from the album, Painless and One Word.

The incredibly successful Let Go Of My Ears tour saw them playing to sell-out crowds all over the country.

The band then toured in the opening slot for Van Halen’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge Tour across America from 28 January to 31 May, again playing to arena-size audiences.

Shaved and Dangerous was released in August 1993 to positive reviews that applauded the maturation of their music from their simpler, high-energy debut to their new-found emotional depth and daring.

In 2007, DeMarchi and Leslie got together in America and recorded an acoustic Baby Animals album with Justin Stanley producing.

Early 2008, Liberation re-released the two studio albums Baby Animals and Shaved and Dangerous.

A new offering, This is Not The End, was released in 2013.

Rose Tattoo


Rose Tattoo is an Australian r ‘n’ band, led by Angry Anderson, that was formed in Sydney in 1976.

Their sound is classified as hard rock mixed with blues rock influences, with songs including Bad Boy for Love, Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw, Nice Boys, We Can’t Be Beaten and Scarred for Life.

Their first four albums were produced by Harry Vanda and George Young who also worked with AC/DC.

They disbanded in 1987, subsequently reforming briefly in 1993 to support Guns N’ Roses on an Australian tour.

They reassembled again from 1998 and have since released two more studio albums.

According to Australian rock music historian Ian McFarlane, Rose Tattoo is: “one of the most revered bands of all time. The Tatts played peerless, street-level heavy blues with the emphasis on slide guitar and strident lyric statements”.

Guns N’ Roses, L.A. Guns, Keel, Nashville Pussy, Motosierra, Pud Spuke Helen Schneider, and the Uruguayan band The Knight’s Night have covered Rose Tattoo songs.

On 16 August 2006, they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.



CHOIRBOYS are still doing what they have always done best, play great Australian pub rock.

From where they first started in 1978 to where they are now, so much has happened.

Hit records, full houses, travelling all over the world and living the r ‘n’ roll dream.

There have been times when the lights have burned so very bright and there have been times when it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The band has been around for a long, long time and makes a big difference.

They love to play and love to turn it up and give it everything.

Back around 2014, Lindsay Tebbutt, Mark Gable, Ian Hulme and Brett Williams decided to embark on a collaboration of their old stable mates AC/DC’s ground-breaking albums High Voltage and Highway To Hell

Focusing entirely on the Bon Scott era, they performed the very first album and the last album cover-to-cover.

Between 2017 and 2019, the Choirboys recorded and release two new six packs – one encapsulating the Creedence Clearwater Revival influence of their early years and another drawing inspiration from the lyric and melody of Tom Petty. 

When COVID-19 changes hit, the band was coerced into a different way of working: into the world of online streaming.

Feels Good is a combination of Easy Beats and Choirboys tunes recorded on 26 September.



When they formed, MODELS were hailed as one of the most innovative and imaginative Australian bands.

Four decades later, nothing has changed.

Well, that’s not quite right – a lot of things have changed, but not the band’s approach to making music.

Models have always done things their own way.

As the authors of The 100 Best Australian Albums (which featured Models’ The Pleasure Of Your Company) stated: “Melbourne electronic outfit Models followed a distinctly perverse and disjointed course from the outset.”

The band actually had a “no singles” policy when they started – which annoyed Molly Meldrum.

In 1980, Molly stopped his car on busy Chapel Street in Melbourne when he spotted a couple of Models.

“He blocked traffic for several minutes to berate us,” singer Sean Kelly chuckles, “telling us that we were doing no one any favours and that our song Happy Birthday IBM could’ve been a hit!”

Molly didn’t hold a grudge, later calling Models “one of my favourite bands from the Countdown era”.

They rescinded their “no singles” policy with their second album, Local &/or General, and their chart-topping run of hits includes I Hear Motion, Big On Love, Barbados and Out Of Mind Out Of Sight.

Models are that rare breed of bands – one that has successfully straddled critical acclaim, cult appeal and commercial success.

“Alongside The Boys Next Door/The Birthday Party, Models were one of the first Melbourne bands to rise out of the ashes of that city’s hothouse punk/new wave explosion of the late 1970s with a clear vision and wider appeal,” says Ian McFarlane, author of The Encyclopedia Of Australian Rock And Pop.

Models were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2010.

“We might go into hibernation occasionally – actually, quite a lot,” Kelly says, “but we have never broken up.”

Models have continued to record, recently releasing two EPs, GTK and MEMO.

And live, the band pays tribute to the pop genius of James Freud, who died in 2010.

Boom Crash Opera


Australian musicologist Ian MacFarlane once described the BOOM CRASH OPERA sound as: “the tight, funky rock of the music, the boom-like crack of the drums and the work song chant of the vocals”.

Formed in 1985 and tipped as the “next big thing” by a bunch of well-respected music journalists, Boom Crash Opera’s extensive catalogue of up-tempo melodic rock songs and engaging performances have ensured their 35+ year career as a band has endured and continues to go from strength to strength right to the present day.

Boom Crash Opera set the scene early with their knack for writing catchy songs that radio and fans still love.

With repeated Top 20 chart success for songs like Get Out Of the House, Great Wall, Hands Up In The Air, Onion Skin, Best Thing, Dancing In The Storm, Talk About It and Bettadaze, these guys are no “one hit wonders”.

Recognised for their song-writing talents with numerous ARIA accolades, Boom Crash Opera spent much of their first 15 years touring and recording both locally and internationally on the back of the successful releases of their first three albums Boom Crash Opera, These Here Are Crazy Times and Fabulous Beast.


Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist Nick Barker formed Nick Barker And The Reptiles in March 1988.

Their cover version of Cockney Rebel’s Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) reached the top 30 on the ARIA Singles Chart in November 1989.

The albums Goin’ to Pieces (1989) and After the Show(1991) both reached the Top 40 ARIA Albums chart.

Barker went on to form another group, Barker, in 1993, and their single, Time Bomb was #20 on Triple J Hottest 100 for 1994.

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