Musicians and fans around the country have thrown their support behind fundraising efforts. Acts such as Tones and I, Luca Brasi, Hockey Dad and The Wiggles have organised charity gigs, while festivals such as Campbelltown’s Out of Bounds, featuring Illy and Mallrat, are donating proceeds from ticket sales to relief funds. Even indie labels are pledging their Bandcamp proceeds to the cause.
“It’s just one of those things – human populations get together in times of crisis, and sometimes it takes crisis to get them off their arses,” Yeomans says.
In a blistering post on the band’s Twitter page announcing the gig last week, Regurgitator slammed the “inept and pathetic” response to the crisis by the federal government and called its failure to plan for the threat of climate change in Australia an “act of treason”. “F— their ignorance and greed!” went the post. “They fail us, they fail the world, they fail themselves!”
“That was mostly Paul’s anger,” Yeomans says, of the band’s longtime manager Paul Curtis who “got the ball rolling” on Saturday’s charity gig. “Whenever something bad happens in the world, I have to talk him down a bit. But he’s right. The way [politicians] have reacted is really dumb to me. They’re just not doing their job.”
For the ‘90s rockers who shared bills on their way up from Brisbane to national attention, the gig also marks an odd reunion.
“We were never more than acquaintances. Those guys were always so f—ing loaded,” Yeomans says of Custard, drawing laughs from McCormack. “I was really straight. I think people might’ve been afraid of me because I didn’t drink or have fun and I always looked so serious and scary.”
Over two decades removed from their Triple J peaks (Yeomans is 47, McCormack is 51), their musical pathways have led them both to children’s entertainment. Regurgitator’s Pogogo project saw them nominated for a Best Childrens’ Album ARIA last year (“I’m never really performing for the kids, it’s always for the adults in the room. I can’t tell if kids are having a good time or not, anyway,” says Yeomans), while McCormack – whose Sonar Music studio has soundtracked TV shows including Rake, Redfern Now and Doctor Doctor – is, of course, Bluey’s dad on the ABC hit.
They’re both buoyed by the rapid support Saturday’s gig received.
“It’s fantastic,” says McCormack. “We should be able to raise a fair bit. The Metro holds, what, 1000 people? That’s at least $50,000 and then all the merch goes to the cause, too. You can’t really go wrong.”