Before we get into 2020, we thought we better close out 2019 with our last ‘Around the Grounds’ – Brown Brothers in the King Valley.
What a hell of a day! The perfect way for Grapes of Mirth to wrap 2019. Thanks so much for coming, it was awesome. It was a warm one but thankfully Brown Brothers opened up a space with ample tree shade which only made the whole experience that much more betterer (bettterer is a word that’s better than better isn’t it?).
Anyway – the laughs started on board the Kirkhope charter plane as Keith our pilot made several attempts to get us to listen to the safety briefing, but every member of the comedy troupe was far too engrossed in the discussion about where the toilet was on the plane. Then we landed. Beautiful blue skies, manicured lawns and plenty of food and wine set the perfect scene.
Mez kicked off and quickly introduced Cal Wilson to the stage to start the day. Cal is a brilliant performer and a lovely person to be around. She explained to the audience that she sometimes struggles hearing things, but as was made evident, she does not struggle with saying things! Cal wove a brilliant story that ended with a killer punchline at the end. All class. Lehmo was up next sporting the sort of moustache that could land a plane on its own if required. Lehmo was straight off the stage and onto the grass area at punters feet to the delight of the crowd. Giving a quick explanation/reminder of some of the finer elements of life as a child in the 80s – Lehmo had people eating out of his hands, which he could have done literally had he wanted to, given his proximity to the audience.
We had a short break for refreshments then it was the incredible Denise Scott. I bloody love “Scotty”. Not only does Denise split my sides with her humour but she is also one of the loveliest and sharpest people I know. Denise ran a timeline from birth to death and shared some hilarious family stories along the way. Adored by all on the day. Ivan Aristigueta (whose name I practised in front of a mirror for 3 days prior to the gig and still massacred) closed out the second bracket and the Venezuelan charmer was in full flight. Ivan’s observations about Australians and the way we think and operate is a mirror to just how completely rooted we are as a people. The very fact that as we were made aware of our many failings, we were not just laughing but also harbouring a sense of utter pride. It says as much about us as it does for Ivan’s acute observations. Rapt to have him back.
A small break for refreshments – the ice-cold cocktails Brown Brothers made were a massive hit with fans btw. Recipe? To finish off the day – Rhys Nicholson. Rhys had been sheltering one of the world’s largest hangovers all day. At one point he went to sleep on the grass, and we thought it was a wombat that had been injured so we through a blanket on him and called WIRES. Turns out Rhys was in fact playing mind games and was preparing to demonstrate career-best form on stage. Rapid-fire, surgical delivery with relatable content (The “Special” Arms… for people who were there! LOL. Wink!). Rhys blew some minds and made some friends. Amazing to watch.
A massive thank you to The Brown Family for having us to their winery. They are truly an iconic family and their care for their customers, staff and guests is genuine and unparalleled.
Enormous thanks to the wonderful crowd of people who came from all around. Your spirit and generosity made the day what it was. On behalf of all the comedians who LOVED you, thanks again, you’re awesome!
Also, many thanks to Georgia and Darren from the team at Brown Brothers who have now made this event possible two years running. So Bad Seeds, that’s another year done for Grapes of Mirth. Have an amazing New Year and thank you again you wonderful people. Mez.