Ever since Westfield overhauled Hornsby’s Shopping Mall with quality restaurants such as Blu Water Grill and an array of modern shops like David Jones, it has become a much more enticing place to visit. However, the Hornsby Inn has stayed steadfastly the same. An advertisement within the Hornsby Inn for karaoke night has the silhouette of a naked woman about to stuff the microphone down her opened mouth, head thrown back. The exposed brick is not retro chic, it has been there for decades and looks it. Dodgy cartoons adorn the room as if they’re art.
But on Wednesday it’s time for Open Mic Night and once in a while a gem comes along. The Vinyl Edge performs songs from the 1960s and 1970s originally made famous by Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Credence Clearwater Revival and many, many more. Tonight they played in honour of Carolyn’s birthday, entertaining a small crowd of 30 with a tight and polished set with the quality and passion the Hornsby Inn does not normally provide. Carolyn chose the play list which just had to include Neil Diamond’s classic ‘Sweet Caroline’ now known by a new generation courtesy of Glee.
Carolyn is the wife of the lead singer, Ryan. Ryan is a Drama Teacher by day but at night he morphs into a rock star. He provides the repartee between sets, he writes the blog posts between gigs and has years of professional experience singing across a number of countries. It is rumoured he has performed with The Wiggles.
Lead guitarist is Pete. He manages a science laboratory by day but at night the glasses come off as he creates music via the tips of his fingers and vibrates it through your entire body. He is the heart of the outfit with his love for the music he plays evident in every gesture and a boyish grin belying the fact he lived through the era of the music they play.
Yosip provides the feet that keep The Vinyl Edge grounded in the depth of his dulcet bass tones. This evening this career train driver relished the smooth feel of a brand new beast of bass in his hands and joyously led the singing in the Beatles’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’. His gentle nature added a personal touch to the song.
The drummer, Dave, wasn’t even born when the songs played by The Vinyl Edge were composed. His hands, gifted and toughened with the skills of a carpenter by day, manipulate the drum sticks at night. His fresh and innocent face belies the dirty beat that throbs and thrives through his small frame and his enthusiasm for ‘Wild Thing’ might reveal an otherwise hidden wicked streak. Dave is the spine holding the body together.
The energy exuded by The Vinyl Edge was contagious as Pete and Ryan jumped around the stage to ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and ‘Rebel Rebel’, demonstrating great camaraderie throughout the night. All songs paid homage to the original artists with a harsh critic in the audience exclaiming with respect, “Not one song ruined!”
Closing with ‘Comfortably Numb’, the Hornsby Inn regulars were also numb from their alcoholic excesses but those who had come to celebrate Carolyn’s birthday left with happy rhythmic hearts from the good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. Although the music comes from an earlier era, The Vinyl Edge has a sound that does the new and improved Hornsby proud.