Get Set for the Premiership Party

An article about the upcoming Hunters performance at the AFL Grand Final.

Author:  Ben Guthrie, AFL.

Date: 24 September 2013.

Original URL:


Article Text

The AFL Grand Final entertainment has a distinctive Australian feel this year, with Hunters & Collectors and Birds Of Tokyo the headline acts.

Birds Of Tokyo will light up the MCG before the big game, while Hunters & Collectors will be on centre stage for the Virgin Australia half-time show.

Tina Arena will perform the national anthem before the opening bounce. And evergreen favourite Mike Brady will warm up the crowd pre-game with his two best-known footy anthems, Up There Cazaly and One Day In September.

Hunters & Collectors and Birds Of Tokyo will play at the Virgin Australia premiership party immediately after the big game.

The free post-match fan event is open to the public.

Click here for more information on the Virgin Australia premiership party

Hunters & Collectors frontman Mark Seymour told the AFL Record it was promising to see Australian bands returning to the limelight.

“It’s good the AFL is putting Aussie bands on,” Seymour said.

“I think it’s really important, on this day, that Australian talent gets a bit of oxygen.”

Seymour will break out the classic Holy Grail, which has become synonymous with Australian Football.

“I play that song quite regularly and it’s just become part of the Australian songbook, I suppose,” he said.

“People just know it and that’s a great privilege and honour that I can do that.

“I don’t take it lightly at all and people have really taken it in their hearts, so I give it the respect it deserves.”

The band will also belt out classics Throw Your Arms Around Me and When The River Runs Dry.

Birds Of Tokyo vocalist Ian Kenny has swapped emails with Seymour in the past, but is yet to meet the Australian music legend in the flesh.

“I think it’s very hard not to be aware of the songs that band has written,” Kenny told the Record.

“Mark Seymour has written some of the best Australian anthems over the last 15 years.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing them play and sharing the stage with them.”

Seymour will reunite with his fellow band members in front of an expected crowd of 100,000.

“It’ll be great to play with those guys again, so I’m looking forward to it,” Seymour said.

Birds Of Tokyo will play the award-winning single Plans and recent hit Lanterns.

“There are always a few nerves. They (the audience) keep you sharp and on your toes,” Kenny said.

“When you’re performing there’s two ways to look at it – you can kind of place yourself in a spot where you can overthink it or you can just get up there and kill it and take in the moment.”

Kenny said the sheer magnitude of the event was something that could not be underestimated.

“Ever since the offer came to play at the Grand Final, we became quite aware that it’s one of the biggest events on the calendar for the Australian public,” Kenny said.

“It’s going to be huge. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a ground, whether it’s sport-related or whatever, where there’s 100,000 people.”

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said having talented Australian musicians lead the Grand Final entertainment made sense.

“It’s Australia’s Game, and when we heard there was a possibility of Hunters & Collectors reforming just for us, we thought that was a great opportunity,” he said.

“They have probably got one of the great anthems that connects to our game, so that was an easy decision.

“Then once Birds Of Tokyo were available, given their popularity as well, we thought we’d go for two great eras of Australian rock and we’re just blessed that they said yes.”