Next Sunday, one of Lismore's favourite bands will return home to help lift the spirits of a community still reeling from catastrophic flooding.
Grinspoon guitarist Pat Davern says he and some friends were already planning an event to help the town when they got the call from promoter Michael Chugg to headline One From the Heart.
"It's almost like he was listening in to our conversations," Pat joked. "We were already saying, 'we should do something', and scoping venues when Chuggie called.
"It's a great lineup. We're really looking forward to it."
Pat, who still lives on the Northern Rivers and was "well aware" of the devastation in Lismore, said the band was more than happy to offer their time to the concert.
"You feel quite helpless. The idea is to give something back to the community. It will help alleviate problems that money wouldn't be able to straight away, and now is as good a time as any. We want people to enjoy themselves"
And to achieve that, Grinspoon will bring "all the bells and whistles" of their regular shows to the Lismore Showgrounds, as well as some old favourites.
"We'll throw in a couple of old songs we don't play anymore. They're Lismore-centric - we are really looking forward to it," Pat said.
Returning to their old stomping ground also gave cause to reflect on far they've come since 1995, when they were discovered by Triple Js Unearthed while studying at Southern Cross University.
The band went on to gain a legion of fans, produce platinum selling albums, and play gigs and festivals around the world.
Grinspoon's last gig at Lismore's City Hall in 2017 was a sell out, as was all of the other gigs on the 20th Anniversary tour, but that wasn't always the case when they came home.
Pat remembers returning in the early 2000s to play at the Workers Club in what the band thought would be a blaze of glory.
"We thought it was going to be amazing, but there was only 40 people there," Pat laughed.
Those days are long gone though and returning to Lismore now offers some memorable moments.
"Going back to City Hall was really great - seeing in the audience people we knew with their kids, and they are all mouthing the words of the songs. That was great."
On Sunday, the band will play to an audience of 13,000 people, and while the rain still lingers, Pat was sure it will be a great event.
"We're really pumped. We hope the weather holds out. We did a gig on the Gold Coast on the weekend and it rained a bit, but it didn't dampen anyone's spirits."
The generosity of artists contributing their time and skills to a community like Lismore during times of crisis was something the music industry just did, Pat said.
He said the music and arts industries were hard hit by COVID-19 restrictions, but musicians were quick to offer help when disaster hit.
"Artists were left out in the cold (during the pandemic)," Pat said." They are the first to put their hands up to help, but the last to receive."
He said Grinspoon were not hit too hard by the pandemic however and were busy playing gigs around the country.
They will be in Perth the night before they play in Lismore, and will make a 4000km trip across country on Sunday to be here.
Pat played down how momentus that was, saying, "we've had worse".
Either way, the people of Lismore will welcome Grinspoon home with open arms.
Joining them on the bill for One From the Heart on Sunday May 15 are; The Buckleys, Darlinghurst, Paul Kelly and Dan Kelly, Daryl Braithwaite. Sheppard, Lime Cordiale, and Jon Stevens.
Free tickets were snapped up by locals within hours, but paid tickets were still available for $102 from Moshtix.
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