04 August 2017
ROCK THE CLOCKby MATT CHARLESWORTH
Approaching Camperdown on Friday evening was like driving into a time machine. Cars, music, dancing, fashion and markets all inspired by the 1920s – 1960s; “Rock The Clock” celebrates all things vintage and retro. Thanks to the “back in my day” stories and compulsory rock and roll education from our parents & grandparents, my partner and I were familiar with the era. Rosie’s Dad even drives a 1957 Ford Fairlane but permission to take his prized possession was unfortunately denied. Camperdown is a small country town in the heart of dairy country. 19th century architecture and a grand old clock tower, the festival is a perfect fit.
A weekend-long program began at the Maddens Hotel on the Friday night. An open air drive-in cinema was tempting; but, the car trip had made us a little toey so we pulled on our best dancing shoes and hit the town. A Johnny Cash tribute show… perfect! We knew “Ring of Fire” and assumed we’d be the most agile of the bunch so it was time to boogie. Unknown to us, Camperdown residents had been taking organised dance lessons for 7 weeks prior. We were made to feel like we had two left feet! We couldn’t swing, jive nor stroll. These folks were twirling everywhere and even throwing one another in the air. We laughed off our inexperience and eventually found the rhythm. We called it a night and headed back to our luxury accommodation in Cobden.
A four post bed and spiral staircase, the “Heytesbury House” certainly didn’t lack character. Originally a private hospital in the early 1900s, our time travelling ways continued. From our first steps inside the “Shakespeare” inspired suite it felt majestic. Attention to detail and a rich history; the hosts Kathryn and Andrew Stubbings have created a divine experience. Rested and relaxed, a belly full of eggs benedict and a wave goodbye to the lorikeets in the garden and it was back to Camperdown.
Saturday was rocking and rolling all day long; the festival grounds were buzzing from 9am. We cruised through the collection of vintage cars and browsed the market stalls. One store in particular sold a dog calendar and even “kisses with poochie”. I couldn’t risk Rosie getting too attached to the dog, insisting we moved on quickly. We took in the spectacular view of town atop the clock tower before heading down to catch the fashion show. Pin-up girls paraded their finest frocks and hairdos competing for Miss Rock the Clock. The underlying message being body positive and just giving it a go.
The live music was a hit on Saturday too. Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” sang out from the marquee beneath the clock, everyone was literally dancing in the streets! But, that’s just the norm here at Rock the Clock.
If two Gen Y’s can have a boogie and enjoy themselves, I can only imagine what this sort of event means to those who live and breathe rock and roll.