The moon was exceptionally high and clear on Friday, the 22nd of June, and as the Southern Hemisphere was coming to terms with putting the longest night of the year, working week and shortest day of 2018 in the rear view mirror, we descended on the Beerfarm, with growling bellies and a taste for excitement. Their Winter Solstice Feast had been on everyone’s radar for over a month, with an eclectic poster circulating town that depicts West Australia’s own Abbe May as the second coming! Abbe is revered in her own right, and the poster lead us to believe that some serious farmhouse style winter roast dinners would be on offer, and the crew at the farm certainly did not disappoint. Friday night dinner and a show, here we go!
The alluring entry to the farm is always exaggerated on a cool and clear night, and as we passed exquisite, hand-forged, steel, animal sculptures by Cowaramup’s, Dan Fisher; we began to understand how a raw, natural, and somewhat pagan theme was overtaking the farm for the evening. The subtle elegance that is the dairy entry, and intricately detailed artworks were blown out of proportion once we entered the main room, which was gob-smackingly transformed into a classic farmhouse dining room, with warm, intimate and enticing food service area at its heart, all washed in a beckon of extravagant light.
We grabbed a few brown ales and pulled up a cue amongst pine thistle, silver tableware, candelabras and candles, to soak up this warm and welcoming atmosphere. As we sat back we watched others reactions on entering, which mimicked ours, and we couldn’t help but share their smiles which lit the room and dissipated any winter blues. Before long the head chef called everyone to attention Beerfarm style (clacking cowbell), thanking us all for coming along and commending his staff before putting out the call, ‘grubs up!’
With food included in the ticket price everyone was ready for a good feed and the chef and his constituents did not disappoint. Warm winter veggie soups, roast beef rump, roast chickens, cider washed pork: trays and trays of succulent roasted veggies and sides, and an Argentinean BBQ’d whole lamb(!) that had been roasting away on an open fire out the back, before being lusciously carved by the chef right in front of our eyes. There was plenty of food to indulge in seconds, and we did just that. Conversations were muted by the candlelight as everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner and you couldn’t help but think you had been invited around to a friends place for dinner, rather than venturing out to little Metricup in the dead of winter.
As the whole lamb came off the fire it was stocked up with wood and replaced with a burning effigy that was quickly engulfed by flames, and with the fire roaring we quickly remembered that the night was not done just yet…
Abbe May has been recording and touring nationally and internationally for the better part of a decade, has a slither of industry awards, massive successes numerous bands and acclaimed a solo artist. Along with all this she is also an avid human rights campaigner and dedicated member of the LGBTQIA+ community. The stage was set spectacularly for Abbe, and with a black velvet backdrop, and rustic farm props scattered around her, she delivered an awesome show that sounded like so much more than just a soloist with guitar.
You could tell that, with the help of her producers she had obviously spent some serious time on this performance, with loops, backing tracks, samples and layered vocals aiding the already captivating May on stage. The crowd received the performance with open arms and saluted schooners, with hoots, howls and hollers filling the barnyard before some serious moves got thrown down.
One punter in particular was feeling the moment deeply and pretty much gave Abbe a lap-dance before receiving a free t-shirt from May. The crowd was addicted to Abbe’s performance for over an hour before being warned that, ‘Encores are for pussys’, and hence forced to enjoy the final moments of a night that was a classic dinner and show scenario, in a warm and extraordinary setting that was defiantly above ordinary.
Well done Beerfarm
Keithy Bruce, Busselton LIA.
All photos courtesy of Gordon Becker Photography.