Sunbury Rock Festival: 30th Anniversary Special Collector's Edition (1972)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Music Video-Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs (6)
Featurette-V.D. Documentary - Down in the Clinic with Billy & The Boys
Notes-History of Sunbury
Music Video-Aztecs Live - 26 minute feature from Melbourne Town Hall
Trailer-Bouncer; Malcolm; Secret Policeman's Ball
|Year Of Production||1972|
|Running Time||97:25 (Case: 95)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (85:21)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Ray Wagstaff|
Cambridge Films Melb
Ian 'Molly' Meldrum
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The 30th Anniversary Sunbury Rock Festival DVD features a 16mm film of the first outdoor concert, held in 1972. Unlike present day music docos, where the music is edited to bits and intrusive 'helpful' insights destroy enjoyment of the performance, this film largely concentrates on the music, with long, unedited and complete footage of the bands. Interspersed between a few of the sets are fascinating footage of the crowd and locals unobtrusively interviewed by Ian 'Molly' Meldrum. These were the days of audio cassette recorders, local policemen wearing Big Game Hunter helmets, wooden stretchers and army blankets, Rubenesque young girls without topless tans and the biggest collection of tombstone, buck and missing teeth I have ever seen - yep these were real people having a real good time!
Fans of Billy Thorpe (and the Aztecs, of course!) will like this DVD as it features 5 of his songs in the main feature together with an interview and in the extras are a further 10 tracks of his band recorded at other venues. Some songs are duplicate -, we get three versions of "Oop Poo Pa Doo" and a couple of "Some People I Know .." - but we do get an inside feature on the Aztecs filmed live in a Melbourne VD Clinic! The only other artist to feature prominently is Max Merritt (and the Meteors) who is also interviewed with Billy Thorpe by Molly Meldrum (no sexual health feature here thankfully). The music is termed Aussie Rock which is basically the classic 16-bar R 'n' B that was arising in Europe at that time delivered with the archetypal Aussie gutsiness and raw edge later typified by AC/DC. The real stars of this DVD, though, are the crowd - young bloods performing double back flips into the river, mud-fights, the stuffy high-handed dealings of officialdom, undercover cops in pink shirts and flared maroon cords and enough bare boobs and flesh exposure to wonder at the PG rating!
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (Full Frame) and is not 16x9 enhanced.
The film footage is reasonably sharp and in focus but there are lapses hastily corrected by jerky manual focus pulling. Some of the night-time telephoto close-ups are very grainy but in general the daytime panoramas of the crowd aren't too bad. Shadow detail is generally poor, limited by the ambient lighting, and low-level and chroma noise is present throughout the film.
The colours in the daylight footage have stayed impressively sharp and vivid but some of the edited-in footage of Billy Thorpe at 51:30 is extremely faded and washed out. Most of the extras footage is filmed in black and white.
The feature was shot on 16mm film and reflecting a decent transfer by Madman, film-to-video artefacts are absent. The film footage is a more-or-less complete encyclopaedia of film artefacts. Most of these are due to heavy wear of the archival footage with a snowstorm of black flecks and from 1 to 7 vertical lines evident throughout the film. There are reel change marks, one in Chinagraph pencil, at 53:10 and 53:16, a lamp burn at 47:03 and cracked emulsion at 47:21. There was also water damage in some of the Melbourne Town Hall footage included in the extras.
There are no subtitles.
The disc is dual layered (RSDL). The transition pause is brief and unobtrusive at 85:21.
There is one audio track, in Australian, and recorded in mono Dolby Digital 1.0. Yep, you don't even get stereo! Through your multi-channel setup, the centre speaker alone springs to life or if your DVD player is hooked up to your Hi-Fi you'll get passable 2-channel monophonic sound. This is actually quite a novelty in these days of surround-sound and is a commendably honest feature from the DVD authors rather than synthesising effects and then claiming it to be a true multi-channel recording. There is some background tape hiss when the volume is cranked up but this isn't evident during performances.
The dialogue was pretty clear although some of the performer's and interviewer's microphone techniques left a bit to be desired. Lip and audio synch was not a problem.
There was no surround nor subwoofer output.
|Surround Channel Use|
Interesting looking previews for Bouncer, Malcolm and The Secret Policeman's Ball.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video is of poor quality but adequately evokes the atmosphere of the day.
The soundtrack, whilst lacking the bells and whistles of today's technology, conveys the spit and sawdust atmosphere of the concert.
The extras are plentiful and worthwhile.
Recommended for Billy Thorpe fans or those with nostalgia for the times and music of the sunset of the hippy era.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-900E, using RGB output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon ACV-A1SE. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Theta Digital Intrepid|
|Speakers||ML Aeon front. B&W LRC6 Centre. ML Script rear. REL Strata III SW.|