As I sat in my hotel room on Sunday morning at my makeshift work station, lap top open editing the previous night’s photography from the warm up party at The Monash Hotel, my mind wandered over the events of the evening. While there was a hive of activity in the venue itself thanks to the two great rockabilly bands scheduled to entertain the patrons throughout the evening, local heroes Itchy Fingers and the highly anticipated Queensland five piece, A Band Called Twang, the car park itself remained fairly quiet with a handful of dedicated cruisers braving the chilly night air to come on down for a look and a listen. Don’t get me wrong, the variety of rides spread amongst the tree-lined parking lot were pretty cool in their own rite, from a tough 67 Chevelle, a matt black custom 49 Merc through to a ground scraping Beetle and a traditional style flathead roadster contrasting against the big American classics glistening under the street lights just to paint a picture for you! Shining a like a beacon in the night was the distinctive red and white coffee van of Betty & Ruby, on hand for anyone looking to warm up their hands and hearts around a hot brew!
The laid back atmosphere in the car park was in direct contrast to energetic rockabilly dance fever stirred up by the two popular bands firing on all cylinders as the vigorous beat of their music resonated off the timber lined walls of the classic style function room with its centre piece bar, setting the perfect ambiance for a rocking great night out with friends! Itchy Fingers hit the stage first, doing what they do best and heated up the dance floor before A Band Called Twang came on and delivered in spades what the enthralled rockabilly dancers had anticipated! These two bands definitely set the stage for the coming attractions on Sunday at The Sandown Park Hotel, hence why they call it a warm up party!
My wandering mind was interrupted by low rumbling roar of the distinctive sound created by a hoard of Harleys, drawing my attention to window as I gazed upon a large group of leather clad riders cruising down Dandenong Rd before turning into the Sandown Park Hotel car park. “Shit” I thought, “I better get my butt into gear!” As I stepped outside into the warming sunshine, I gazed upon the huge parking area before me. The curvaceous shapes of rods, customs and classics glistened in the morning sun while off to my right, the arriving Harley Davidsons motored into the carnival area, settling in amongst the multitude of custom and chrome two wheelers which had already perused in earlier. This was looking like another huge Kingpin Kuztum event!
From this point on it was all systems go as the vast tared space filled up quick all manner of machinery, not just your old school rides but an eclectic array of all motoring walks of life from a Bathurst bred LJ Torana, an army born Hummer through to an elite Willys coupe and a wild 8 second EH Holden drag car hell bent on disturbing any remaining peace!
Inside the ALH owned venue, two band rooms had fired up with Itchy Fingers kicking off the function room while the Firebird Trio sounded out the Sports Bar with their fast paced three piece beat before we donned our long boards for the swinging sounds of surf band, Tijuanna Surf. Following Paul and the boys were the 59 Rockers before Dizzy and the boys brought The Strays to life in their anticipated wild stage antics! The Flying Saucers never leave an audience flat while The Detonators closed out the Sports Bar as crowd howled for more!
The function room continued to hold its own captive audience thanks to the previously mentioned Queensland quintet, A Band Called Twang followed by the popular New South Wales rockabilly entity, Pat Capocci before the audio-visual rockabilly stylings of the ever popular Rosie & The Mighty Kings kicked off the release of their new EP, Crazy with a stand-up performance that only seems to get better every time I hear them! Closing out the function room in grand tradition was the Elvis Show looking resplendent in a shiny gold leather suit as Elvis impersonator, Anthony Petrucci thrust his way through the classics to an applauding audience!
The whole venue rocked and rolled with an electrifying energy all of its own as the many vibrant trade stands catered for those looking to improve on their rockabilly wardrobes while Fabian’s barber shop and the Blend Bettyz kept you looking sharp and hip to the groove with their fifties fashion stylings!
Artistic integrity could be found throughout the festival thanks to a close knit group of friends, each exerting a high quality styling and finish in their field, from Luke at Airbrush Creations striping cool ass rides, Killa Courts from Cardinal Sin Airbrushing demonstrating her prowess in the art of creative drawing while Airbrush Effects owner, Jamos Cortorillo skilfully wielded his airbrush for a fine art finish as Steven Portelli of RAW custom art branded skateboards with own unique imagery!
DJ Dingo entertained the hoarding crowds of eager enthusiasts with his vast array of fifties rockabilly records blasting across the packed parking area with brief interludes by Kingpin Kuztum’s new compare, the stunning pinup model and well-spoken Miss Sandy De Deuce as she kept the masses up to date, both inside the band rooms and out with what was on, when and where! You’ll also find another new Kingpin Kuztum’s team member work on these pages as Jimmy from Jimmy Tee Photography joins our hard working team to bring you stunning imagery of the Rats, Tatts n Pinups festivals as they happen!
With the downing of the sun and as the air began to chill, it was heading to that time of the day where we dish out the Mothers Car Care sponsored trophies to the coolest rides seen on the day and thanks all the sponsors and behind the scene workers for their efforts and support because without them, Kingpin Kuztum couldn’t keep a show of this size running as smoothly as it does! It takes a whole team working together leading up and during the event to give you, the rockers, the cruisers, the riders, the fanatics and the general public the day out that you’ve come to expect from Rob and the gang!
Keep on rockin and cruisin and see you at the next one!