Apokries weekend with Stelios Vamvakas

On Thursday the 14th of March the Cretan Brotherhood welcomed Στέλιο Βαμβακά and his παρέα, Βαγγέλης Πελοπονήσιος, Δημήτριος Παπουτσάκης and Αντώνης Φυλλαδιτάκης to Melbourne, and what an honour it was!

The boys only spent a short five days in Melbourne but they were determined to see and experience as much of Melbourne as possible. They shared their love and talent for Cretan music on 3XY radio station, before being officially welcomed to the Cretan Brotherhood on Thursday night with a late night coffee on Lygon St, even though they just couldn’t understand why anyone would drink coffee at 11 o’clock at night! They toured the suburbs of Melbourne visiting shopping centres, Greek cafes and learning how to use chopsticks at the local Japanese restaurant. Our youth members introduced them to Melbourne’s nightlife, bar hopping and concluding the night with a souv in hand at the only and only, Stalactites. Continuing with the Greek theme, Oakleigh is always a must when Greeks visit Melbourne. They couldn’t miss out on trying some greasy fish n chips on a sunny afternoon, followed by a cold gelato and of course a visit to the Eureka Skydeck and Luna Park was also a must!

However, the highlight of their trip, at least for us here in Melbourne, was definitely the Apokries Dinner Dance hosted by the Cretan Brotherhood on Saturday night. For a whole eight hours straight, the Cretan Brotherhood echoed the sounds of Βαμβακά and his band with Στέλιο on lyra and vocals, Βαγγέλη on lute, Δημήτρη on guitar and Αντώνη on drums. The night opened with an incredible performance by our two youngest dance groups, which set the tone for the remainder of the evening. These talented musicians had everyone on their feet the whole night, dancing, singing and relishing every moment. However, it wasn’t just their musical talent that was admirable; the four boys are true performers, engaging everyone present, particularly the youth. As expected no one wanted the night to end and the band reluctantly finished up at 5am.

We cannot thank Στέλιο, Βαγγέλη, Δημήτρη and Αντώνη enough for making the trip down under! They brought one of the best night’s the Greek Community in Melbourne has ever seen filled with kefi and many unforgettable memories. The boys have also created some lifelong friendships with our youth during their time here and we cannot wait to see them on our visits to Χανιά in the next few years!

By Connie Papandreou (Youth Member)