Unseen Colour Footage Of Daddy Cool, Ayers Rock, The (Keystone) Angels & More From 1974

Unseen Colour Footage Of Daddy Cool, Ayers Rock, The (Keystone) Angels & More From 1974

(Image via YouTube)

YouTube is a beautiful thing! Fans of '70s Australian rock will be blown away by this footage, from 1974's Ridgetop Festival, held in rural Upper Hermitage, outside of Adelaide on Sunday, October 13 1974.

Presented by the SYC (Services to Youth Council) – which is a national not-for-profit supporting disadvantaged youth – and backed by the Savings Bank of South Australia, the day-long festival was headlined by the recently reformed Daddy Cool and early Mushroom recording artists Ayers Rock, who were still a month or so away from releasing their classic debut album Big Red Rock.  

Cut from a similarly progressive cloth as Ayers Rock, the little-remembered Skylight, were also on the bill. Skylight, who included a version of Donny Hathaway's "The Ghetto" in their set, were based in Melbourne, having been formed by ex-members of Adelaide hitmakers, The Vibrants. They were good friends with Sydney band Mother Earth; unfortunately, Skylight's Bonnie Lever never got the same sort of attention as Mother Earth's singer, Renee Geyer. Having recently released their sole album at the time of their performance, the band would fold early in 1975.

Sydney glam up-and-comers Hush, still nine or so months way from cracking the national Top Ten with "Bony Maronie" and "Glad All Over," also featured, as did an up and coming local Adelaide group known as The Keystone Angels. With one foot in the oldies camp of Daddy Cool and one in the Glam/Hard-rock camp of Hush - and seen here performing Chuck Berry and Big Bopper hits – The Keystone Angels had until recently been known as the Moonshine Jug and String Band and played acoustic folk and blues. Three months after the Ridgetop Festival, the Keystone Angels would play the final Sunbury Festival outside of Melbourne, and then do a run of shows with AC/DC. AC/DC would subsequently recommend the group to Vanda & Young and Alberts. The group would shorten their name to The Angels, and the rest, of course, is history.

Check out the superbly shot thirty-minute highlight reel from the 1974 Ridgetop Festival, that was recently unearthed from the ABC archives, below!

If you want to immerse yourself a bit more in the Australian sounds of 1974, you can listen to Ayers Rock's Big Red Rock on Spotify:

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