I went to see Tame Impala!

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Tame Impala.

On Thursday the 19th, I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favourite bands live: Tame Impala! The Western Australian psychedelic rock band have been touring their home country in support of their latest album, Currents, and I managed to catch the second gig they played in my city, Adelaide, at one of my favourite venues, the Thebarton Theatre. In short, it was an absolutely amazing night!

Tame Impala are an anomaly in the current music industry: their albums are created by just one member (Kevin Parker), the rest of the band only joining for the tours; they play a unique brand of psychedelia that sounds somewhere between an early Pink Floyd album and a modern dance record; their popularity appears only to continue to rise, despite their alternative credentials. They’ve been a staple on the Australian music scene since their debut EP was released in 2008, and each of their three albums – 2010’s Innerspeaker, 2012’s Lonerism, July’s Currents – have garnered mass acclaim, from fans and critics alike. They’ve been one of my favourite bands for about a year, and I’ve wanted to see them almost since then, after reading a number of rave reviews of their live shows.

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More Tame Impala.

I arrived at the theatre about an hour before the show began, and bought a poster beforehand, but it didn’t seem take long for the support act to take the stage for their half-hour set. The support band were named Mini Mansions, and are perhaps most famous for being the side-project of Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman. Their music was similarly psychedelic to that of Tame Impala’s, but bass-ier and more catchy – I really enjoyed it! I had not heard of the band before the gig, but I have since enjoyed listening to some of their stuff.

A little while later, the sold-out theatre finally filled up  and Tame Impala took to the stage! Parker and his band played most of Currents, plus many tracks from Lonerism and a couple from Innerspeaker. I found it mesmerising to see a band I admire so much playing their music live, and it was amazing to hear songs I have listened to dozens of times over played in person!

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As mentioned before, I had read masses of reviews lauding Tame Impala’s live show – not only for their musical chops, but also for their impressive lighting – so I had particularly high expectations. These were well exceeded – certainly, in part, due to their light show! Throughout the gig, lights in shades of every bright colour imaginable flew, throbbed and flashed across the stage and over the crowd, illuminating suitably psychedelic backgrounds projected onto a screen behind the band. The pictures throughout this post are among my attempts to capture their beauty, but I feel they are something that needs to be seen in person to experience their true impressiveness.

Musically, among the highlights of Tame Impala’s show was a version of one of their better-known songs, ‘Elephant’. A stomping, fuzzed-up blues track, the song’s electrifying atmosphere seemed to project onto the audience, the entire moshpit seemingly swaying to the beat. But I felt every song was played well – it is clear that the band consists of incredibly good musicians, and this was perhaps even more obvious live than on their records. One thing I noticed was how close each song sounded to its studio counterpart, a feat all the more impressive due to the lack of 4/5ths of the touring band on each cut’s official version… Both musically and visually, the band were amazing.

It was wonderful to see Tame Impala live – their shows are definitely more than worthy of the accolade they receive! You can visit their website here.

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I went to see Courtney Barnett!

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Courtney Barnett

Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to see one of my favourite artists live; Courtney Barnett! She was playing a venue called The Gov, which is a bit famous in Adelaide. My parents bought me a ticket just under a day before the show, so thank you so much!

Me before the show

Me before the show

Courtney Barnett is an Australian indie singer, songwriter + guitarist. Her lyrics are marvelously witty and honest and funny, and she sings with her Australian accent. A lot of her songs are a little bit grungy, but a lot of them are softer, too. She and her partner Jen Cloher run an indie record label called Milk! Records. Courtney designs all her album art, too. She released her debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit in March this year.

The Gov opened its doors at 7:30 and Mum + I arrived not long after. But as we were waiting, somebody walks past us and into the beer garden. And that somebody was Courtney! So after a few minutes, I plucked up my courage and went up to her. I introduced myself and told her that I’m a huge fan. She introduced me to her drummer, Dave, shook my hand, and asked if I was from Adelaide. Dave then took a picture of Courtney and me! They both said they hoped I would enjoy the show. Both Courtney and Dave were really nice, and it was amazing to meet someone I really look up to as an aspiring musician! A memorable start to a memorable night! Courtney actually watched the supports in the audience, which I thought was cool.

Courtney and me!

Courtney and me!

Soon after, the first support band started. They were called The Yabbies, and they were okay, but I thought the second support band were really good! They were called Teeth and Tongue, and played a certain style of half-synth-y, half-guitar-y indie pop which is just pleasing to the ears. Their frontwoman — Jessica Cornelius — also had great stage presence, which is always a plus. I loved dancing to their beats, and got some good photos of them, too.

Teeth and Tongue

Teeth and Tongue

Finally, at around 9:45, Courtney and her band came on! She launched into ‘Elevator Operator’, the first song on her new album, and sung the words in her signature Aussie voice. Everyone stood up, and I took prime position on top of a booth seat so I could see!

Courtney

Courtney!

Courtney and her band then played ‘Lance Jr’, a song from her first EP. ‘Lance Jr’ was in fact the first song of hers that I heard. Courtney then talked to the audience for a bit and played a few more songs from her latest album, like ‘Aqua Profunda!’, ‘Dead Fox’, ‘Small Poppies’ and ‘Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party’.

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A lot of people who go and see Courtney live comment on how her live performances are a bit heavier than the studio versions of her songs. And they’re right. Courtney, Dave and her bassist (a dude called Bones!) absolutely rocked The Gov! The walls and floors were quite literally vibrating! Her voice was a little bit sweeter live than it is on her studio songs — but then, she almost screamed a few of the songs live, too. There was such an air of excitement and energy buzzing throughout The Gov that night…

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Courtney then played a few more songs. One of these was the B-side of her latest single, ‘Depreston’, which is all about house-hunting in a suburb in Melbourne called Preston. (Courtney, who lives in Melbourne, often references the city in her songs.) She also played a song called ‘Kim’s Caravan’, which is about the decline of the Great Barrier Reef and climate change in general. ‘Kim’s Caravan’ is one of the softer songs on Sometimes I Sit…, but it certainly wasn’t live. Courtney’s guitar was feeding like mad during the outro, and it sounded awesome! After a bit over an hour, Courtney, Dave and Bones finished the set with the gritty A-side of her latest single, ‘Pedestrian at Best’, left the stage…

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…And then came back! Courtney announced that she would play a cover of The Lemonheads’ ‘Bein’ Around’. She then dedicated a song to her Adelaide audience — one called ‘Pickles From The Jar’! The song mentions Adelaide a few times, hence the dedication… Finally, Courtney and her band finished off the encore with a heavy version of ‘I’ll Make You Happy’ by The Easybeats. And so she and her band finished her show a little bit after 11:00.

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I really, really enjoyed seeing Courtney Barnett live! Though I couldn’t see very well, and my ears rang for a while, I had an awesome night! Courtney really is amazing live, and is definitely a must-see. (And meeting her and Dave was a huge plus!) You can listen to Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit here, and you can buy it here.

I didn't take this picture. All credit goes to The Gov!

I didn’t take this picture. All credit goes to The Gov!

My Favourite Beatles Live Performances

You might be finding a few gems from this gig today...

You might be finding a few gems from this gig today…

PLEASE NOTE: I meant to publish this post before I published ‘I Think I’m Gonna Be Sad…’, but I didn’t finish the draft in time. Sorry ’bout that. But as you can see, I have finished the draft — voila!

Yay! Finally finished school for the year — meaning nearly two whole months of holidays! I saw Ben Folds live last Friday, which was amazing. Very funny/clever man… Ben actually used to live in Adelaide, which is cool. But anyway…

Reading the title of this post, you might be thinking, ‘What? You can barely even hear The Beatles live on some of the recordings!’ Not strictly true… There are some really, really amazing versions of their songs played live. And you can actually hear them (sometimes)! I stay away from 1964 live recordings, though — the screams are slightly overpowering, then. A lot of my favourite recordings come from 1966, when you could actually hear them. (Some from mid-late ’65, as well.) But anyway, let the list begin…

Yesterday: Munich, 1966

BACKGROUND: ‘Yesterday’ was included in The Beatles ’66 set list, but it was not played live like it was in ’65 (i.e. Paul solo with his acoustic-electric guitar plus a pre-recorded string quartet). As can be heard in this video, The Beatles had clearly created a two-electric-guitars/bass/drums arrangement for live purposes. As far as I know, the song was played at each concert in the US, plus Munich (where this version originates).

WHY I LIKE IT: Call me sacrilegious, but I count ‘Yesterday’ as one of my least favourite Beatles songs. But I love this version! I think it sounds way better with the electric guitars and drums than it did with that string quartet. (The string makes the song too schmaltzy, in my opinion.) Not a live version, but my other favourite version of this song can be found on Anthology 2.

I Saw Her Standing There: Drop In — Sweden, 1963

BACKGROUND: In October 1963, The Beatles semi-toured Sweden. (Beatlemania hadn’t quite hit Sweden, so it’s wonderful to actually be able to hear the songs minus any sort of scream.) One of the performances done on this tour was for a TV show called Drop In. The setlist for this night was ‘She Loves You’, ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Long Tall Sally’.

WHY I LIKE IT: Listen to that rhythm guitar. Need I say more?

I’m Down: Blackpool Night Out — Blackpool, 1965

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2rjt0 (the stupid Dailymotion embed code refuses to work)

BACKGROUND: In August 1965, The Beatles performed on another show, called Blackpool Night Out (thus we don’t know where the performance was situated AT ALL. Not.). The BNO performance is slightly better known than the above, though, due to inclusion of much of the show on Anthology 2. The set list was comprised of ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘I’m Down’ (obviously), ‘Act Naturally’, ‘Ticket To Ride’, ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Help!. (I highly recommend watching the entire performance on YouTube, by the way. There are some very funny quips from John, and the dancers that perform during the end credits made me laugh. The dancer weren’t actually provided for comic relief — as far as I know — though…)

WHY I LIKE IT: Interestingly, the organ in this performance is much more evident than in the studio version. And it’s amazing! I attempted to compare this version with Shea Stadium, but got irritated with the screams and gave up.

Day Tripper, Paperback Writer, She’s A Woman: Candlestick Park, 1966

BACKGROUND: As I assume most (if not all) of the people reading this know, The Beatles’ only performance at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park was their final live performance (sans the Apple Rooftop). The group (especially John and George) were fed up with the treatment they received on their tours, not to mention the screaming girls (attention which they enjoyed at first, but grew to dislike). Luckily for us obsessive Beatlemaniacs who will quite happily sit through hours of Beatles live tapes (or is that only me…), Paul asked Tony Barrow to record the entire concert on tape. Unfortunately the tape ran out halfway through ‘Long Tall Sally’ (the last song in the gig — excluding the opening bars of ‘In My Life’ that John played on his Casino as he walked offstage), but anyway… The Beatles also took photos onstage that would now be called ‘selfies’… (Haha — The Beatles were the first to use artificial double tracking, popularised longer haircuts for men and invented the selfie! 😉 ) Not coincidentally, Paul was the last person to play at Candlestick Park before its demolition.

WHY I LIKE IT: I’m not sure if it’s just the bad sound quality (I think not), but The Beatles’ guitars sound as if they’re on overdrive. And not just that — John/Paul are really screaming those rockers with passion! They seem to be having a rocking good time. Which I find very groovy! The Beatles really sound like they’re letting loose (someone in the YouTube comments compared the gig to those of The Who!) here, and they are rocking dead hard. Perhaps this is because they know that after that particular gig, they will not be performing together live in the near future… But anyway, really worth listening to. I will post the entire concert below — really, utterly and definitely worth listening to if you have a half an hour to spare.

 

(And of course…) The Rooftop Concert!

BACKGROUND: The Beatles hadn’t toured for nearly three years. In that time, the band created the masterpieces known by the general public as Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beatles/White Album. (Not to mention Magical Mystery Tour — not that I’d exactly call the film a masterpiece… 😉 ) John had gotten together with Yoko, and Paul with Linda. And the infamous split-up of The Beatles had begun. By early 1969, Paul was desperate to save his band, as the members (especially him and John) began to drift further and further apart. His attempt to save the band — the Get Back Sessions! (Of course, we now know that his attempt wasn’t particularly successful…) The original intent of this project was to basically have a giant jam and end up holding a gig in some exotic location, but arguments between John and Paul led them to have the concert on the Apple Rooftop. This set up a trend still continuing today — rooftop concerts!

WHY I LIKE IT: C’mon… Late-era Beatles performing some fab yet-to-be-released songs — what’s not to like? If I could have been at any Beatles live performance, I would actually choose the rooftop concert. I think it would be utterly magical walking around in one’s lunchbreak, only to find The Beatles playing an impromptu gig. And you could probably hear them, too! Not to mention that ‘Get Back’, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ are some of my favourite Beatles songs…

And there we go! My shortlist of The Beatles’ live versions! Hope you enjoy listening to the various versions of songs you (probably) already know.

Hope you’re having a fab day — wherever you are in the world — and good day sunshine until the weekend! 🙂

As mentioned above...

As mentioned above…

Rodriguez Report

Look carefully - he's there! My favourite picture that I took of Rodriguez at the show.

Look carefully – he’s there! My favourite picture that I took of Rodriguez at the show.

Me before the gig

Me before the gig

I know every time I go and see a concert, I refer to its respective night as ‘one of the best nights of my life’. But Wednesday night genuinely was one of the best nights in my life. Why? I was lucky enough to see Sixto Rodriguez live! Rodriguez was my first big concert (I have, of course, seen many Beatles tributes before. And I’ve been to WOMAD and the Adelaide Fringe), and let me tell you now, it was a first concert to be very proud of! The atmosphere was amazing, and I swear the live versions of his songs are even better than the versions found on his albums, Cold Fact and Coming From Reality!

For those of you who don’t know who Rodriguez is, you may have heard of a documentary about him called Searching for Sugarman. Searching For Sugarman tells the incredible story of Rodriguez’s career. The basic story is that Rodriguez releases an album called Cold Fact in 1970. It sells something like six copies in the US. But somehow a bootleg of this album found itself in South Africa. Rodriguez quickly became ‘bigger than Elvis’ there, but nobody had a clue about who he really was. In fact, he was assumed to have committed suicide on stage in the 1970s. However, some South Africans found him anything but dead in his Detroit home, and ever since Rodriguez has been a cult hit across the world. But what Searching for Sugarman fails to show is that Rodriguez was also really popular here, in Australia! Not only did Cold Fact and Coming From Reality both make numbers 23 and 24 respectively on the Australian Albums chart on original release, Rodriguez also did two Australian tours in 1979 and 1981. Cold Fact reached number 11 on this year’s charts, too.

My mum and I became Rodriguez fans after our osteopath told us about Searching For Sugarman. Mum watched it (on a plane to Singapore in January) a few months before I did. I must have watched it in around March or April, and I was hooked! So as you will imagine, Mum and I got excited when — a couple of months ago — we discovered that Rodriguez was touring Australia this month…

…But we soon found that the tickets were nearly impossible to get! Scalpers had seemingly bought up big, and there had been no limit on presale tickets. And the ticketing website wouldn’t really work. So we nearly didn’t go. However — exactly two weeks before the concert — I found out that Mum had managed to get tickets! In Gold Reserve! Row M, to be exact. Perfect seats — we could see the stage really well. Rodriguez played the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, which is huge and — as my parents would describe it — ‘a big barn’, so these seats were really precious. Especially for last minute tickets.

Finally, we drove to the the Entertainment Centre. About 45 minutes after we first arrived through the gates (at just after 7:30 pm), the support act began her set. The support act was Jen Cloher, an Australian alt-folk muso who runs independent label Milk! Records with her partner, Courtney Barnett. I listen to a lot of alternative music and watch a music show called RocKwiz on which Cloher has been (and Milk! Records had been featured in an article in my favourite magazine, Frankie), so I had vaguely heard of her, though I assume most of the audience hadn’t. Cloher is in fact too from Adelaide (she now lives in Melbourne), and became a muso after moving to a suburb called Henley Beach when she was fourteen. Apparently she was also a major Doors fan during this period, but she also mentioned The Stones, Jimi Hendrix and a certain Liverpudlian foursome that completely and utterly changed the face of the world (hmm…we don’t know who they are, do we? 😉 ) as some of her favourite artists. I really, really enjoyed her set — almost as much as the actual gig! I liked her voice, probably ‘cos it reminded me a bit of mine — low and a bit different. And she played her acoustic-electric dead hard, which I thought was cool. I must buy some of her stuff at some point. She releases on vinyl, too, which I also think is cool.

There was half an hour between Jen Cloher and Rodriguez, so my parents and I sat ’round talking, and I may or may not have photobombed the person in front of us’s selfie, which may or may not have been found on Instagram the next morning… But then finally, the lights dimmed and Rodriguez’s band walked onstage. And I noticed something. A female bassist! It saddens me that one rarely sees female guitarists/bassists/drummers in the music industry, and as a female guitarist myself, the fact that a female bassist had been chosen for Rodriguez’s (Australian tour) band made me really happy. But not as happy as I was within a few minutes… Soon enough, the crowd went absolutely ballistic, and I could just see Rodriguez being led onstage (he now suffers from glaucoma). His management team (I assume) introduced him, and the crowd went nuts again. Rodriguez started playing a song — which I think is on his second album Coming From Reality (which I haven’t listened to in its entirety) — that I didn’t know. But I certainly knew the song he played third — ‘Only Good For Conversation’ (my favourite of his songs)! (He played ‘Crucify Your Mind’ second.) He obviously performed ‘Sugarman’ and ‘I Wonder’ (after which he said, ‘Well, I wonder — but I really don’t want to know.’), but he played so many other gems too. Other songs of his he performed included ‘Like Janis’ and ‘The Establishment Blues’, ‘Street Boy’ and ‘Forget It’, ‘I Think Of You’ and ‘Rich Folks’ Hoax’ — he even played a cover of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’! His voice sounds just as amazing as it does on record, and he played a really interesting technique of guitar. His actual instrument was interesting, too. The drummer and bassist were both fabulous, and I was particularly blown away by the dude who played lead guitar. He played an overdriven Fender the entire night (occasionally with a wah-wah pedal) and wow, was he good! He played a lead guitar line in place of the orchestrated bits on Rodriguez’s songs, which I think made the tunes sound even better than they do on record. My favourite example would have been the added solo in ‘Sugarman’. Flawlessly stunning work, in my opinion. I don’t think I stopped smiling and stomping my feet the entire night. And if I were to sum the night up in one word? Amazing. Completely, utterly, mind-blowing amazing. After about an hour of performing, Rodriguez was lead off-stage.

But there was an encore set! Rodriguez played ‘Can’t Get Away’ and some different (and better takes) of ‘Fever’ (not The Black Keys’ song!) and ‘I’m Gonna Live Till I Die’ (I usually dislike Frank Sinatra, but I liked this version very much). The crowd (including myself) all stood up and danced and sang. And then, somewhere between 10:30 and 11:00 pm, my amazing night was over. It was somewhat of a difficulty actually getting out of the Entertainment Centre (and through the post-gig traffic), but it was definitely worth it. I took plenty of pictures, so here they are:

Me before the show (again)

Me before the show (again)

The stage before the show

The stage before the show

Rodriguez!

Rodriguez!

Rodriguez again

Rodriguez again

And to conclude, my experience of seeing Rodriguez live was absolutely amazing. I don’t think I’ll ever forget my experiences that night. Thank you, Rodriguez, for providing me with a wonderful night out.

40th post! Hurrah! What a journey these past 5 months have been.. Stay tuned for a post on my favourite Beatles quotes and possibly a post on seeing A Hard Day’s Night at the cinema (only a week ’till I get to see it on the big screen!). Right now, I’m listening to the White Album. ‘Till next week, though, good day sunshine 🙂

Beatles Song of the Post (and a few other tidbits)

I don't know if I've posted this image before (I think it's one of my headers), but I love these pictures so much! Reminds me of the album they are used to promote, '1' -- the first Fabs album I ever bought, and my key to the wonderful world of The Beatles...

I don’t know if I’ve posted this image before (I think it’s one of my headers), but I love these pictures so much! Reminds me of the album they are used to promote, ‘1’ — the first Fabs album I ever bought, and my key to the wonderful world of The Beatles…

Well, the final school term of 2014 has begun, and 7 weeks left of this school year! Yay! I have a really big History assignment impending, so I apologise if I don’t get to post as much as I’d like. I also have my Grade 3 violin exam coming in two weeks. These next couple of months are going to be very busy. But The Beatles (and this blog) will not be neglected! I also have another exciting event coming up in a couple of weeks, too, which I’ll write more about at the bottom of this post. The weather is really, really hot here in Adelaide today, but it’ll get to a good 15 or so degrees above this in January, so I guess I’d better get used to it. But to sum up this paragraph, everything finally seems peaceful and round in my mind, and to quote The Beatles, “It’s getting better all the time!” For once, my pessimistic nature seems to be taking a back seat… 😉

So today, I was going to do a relatively detailed post, but I’ve got some other stuff to write about too so I decided just to write about a featured Beatles song. And because it’s so hot today, I’ve decided to feature (drum roll please, Ringo)…’Rain’! (Yeah, I know — it is obviously not raining here, but there are lines in this song that refer to the sun…)

‘Rain’ isn’t even remotely well known, yet it’s still one of the most influential songs ever released (IMO). Only The Beatles could do that! It was, in fact, the B-side to ‘Paperback Writer’ (both gorgeous songs), though some say it was actually a double-A-sided single. It was (slightly obviously) written by John (HE’S SINGING IT), and he, er, rather obviously, is singing it. I read somewhere that he sang much of the backing vocals as well, though according to Wikipedia Paul and George also sang a track each. Apparently (again according to Wikipedia), it has been often hailed “The Beatles’ finest B-side”. Well, The Beatles’ B-sides are actually a lot of their best songs (‘This Boy’ is, in my opinion, a far superior song to ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’. I considerably prefer ‘You Can’t Do That’ to ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’. ‘Yes It Is’ is a B-side, and whilst I love ‘Ticket To Ride’ about equally to it, it is still absolutely exquisite. Not to even mention ‘I Am The Walrus’, ‘Revolution’, ‘Old Brown Shoe’….), so I really do not know how one could choose a finest B-side. So let’s just say its one of their finest…

Some claim that the song was about LSD, and others claim it is about the horrible weather that John saw when he was touring Australia. I — being Australian — obviously think it would be cool if one of my favourite songs is written about my country, but I honestly don’t care if it’s about acid or not. I guess we’ll never know what is the right story, as John never commented on what the song was about. But anyway… The song is notable for being the first exhibition of BACKMASKING! And I guarantee you that no satanic messages were involved 😉 … Both John and George Martin have claimed that they created it. John claims to have accidentally discovered it whilst listening to a tape of the song whilst he was “stoned out of his mind”, and George Martin also claims that he discovered it whilst playing around with the tapes and thinking it would be fun to do something with John’s voice. Geoff Emerick backs up John, but who knows? John played his 1965 Gretsch Nashville (rhythm) guitar, Paul used his Rickenbacker bass for the first time, George used his Gibson SG and Ringo played, well, his Ludwig drums. Talking of Ringo’s drumming, ‘Rain’ often cited as Ringo’s best drumming performance (including Ringo himself). Quote Ringo: “I think it’s the best out of all the records I’ve ever made. ‘Rain’ blows me away…I know me and I know my playing…and then there’s ‘Rain'” The song just has an amazing rhythm track, full stop. Be sure to listen to it with good-quality speakers and/or headphones!

This song was also one of the earliest examples of the music clip. As you may or may not remember from my earlier post Six Ways The Beatles Changed The World, The Beatles basically invented the music clip, and were using promo films as early as late 1965, but at that point were really just miming their stuff in black-and-white. Though you could technically say that ‘Penny Lane’/’Strawberry Fields Forever’ were the first true music videos (they are truly amazing — look them up), ‘Rain’ and ‘Paperback Writer’ were the first songs that had proper music clips. The Beatles are filmed wandering around the grounds of a British mansion called Chiswick House IN COLOUR, and yeah, they mime, but there you have it! To quote George, “So I suppose, in a way, we invented MTV.”

So there you have it — a profile of one of The Beatles’ finest songs, from my favourite Beatles era. (The music from that era is — excuse cliche — too completely and utterly beautiful for words.) Hope you learnt something!

And my news… I’M GOING TO SEE RODRIGUEZ LIVE IN TWO WEEKS! Some of you may have heard of a guy called Rodriguez (or Sixto Rodriguez) and/or a documentary called Searching For Sugarman. Story cut short, Rodriguez was an American folk singer (slightly Dylanesque) who sold about six records in the US, but was “bigger than Elvis” in South Africa. (He also sold quite well here.) He was actually thought dead by most of his fans until he was found by some South African fans in the ’90s. And next month he is touring Australia! We only managed to finally get tickets a couple of days ago, as most of them had been bought by stupid scalpers. But anyway, I’m really excited, and you’ll be sure to get a post on the gig! I’ll leave you with my favourite Rodriguez song now, so good day sunshine until next week! 🙂

Looking Through A Glass Onion

The promo picture for the John tribute I went to last night...

The promo picture for the John tribute I went to last night…

...and me before the show.

…and me before the show.

Well, it’s a lovely day today! It’s meant to get to nearly 30 degrees (Celsius) here in Adelaide, which isn’t so nice (there are northerly winds), but the sun is warm in a good way if you soak it up from the safety of your house. We’ve also been painting our house lately, and my room is next! Yay – no more disgusting salmon and baby-pink walls (yes, there is a mix. The house was renovated in the ’80s last)! Oh, and I listened to Sgt. Pepper earlier today – I forget how hypnotic that album is. It may not possess the same magic as I feel Revolver does, but I still am completely and utterly mind-blown by it. I am actually not listening to The Fab Four right now – I’m listening to Tame Impala’s debut EP. ‘ Half Full Glass of Wine’ is the song currently playing, to be exact. I’ve been really digging Tame Impala lately – for those of you who don’t know, Tame Impala are an Aussie modern-day psych rock band, and I think their lead singer sounds a bit like John. But anyway…

Last night – thanks to my godparents buying me a ticket for my birthday a couple of weeks ago – my mum, godparents and I went to see ‘Looking Through A Glass Onion’! ‘Looking Through A Glass Onion’ is a John tribute performed by actor/performer John Waters, with a guy called Stewart D’Arrietta on piano. And yes, for those of you who are too Offspring nuts (like me), it was the same John Waters who played Darcy, Nina’s dad-then-not-dad. (And for those of you who have no clue whatsoever as to what the hell I’m talking about, Offspring is a quirky, popular Australian drama that documents the life of Nina Proudman and her slightly-eccentric family. In fact, I think my mum is watching Offspring re-runs right now.) Yes, yes – now I’ll get on with it, and tell you all about the show! Apologies for the lack of pictures, as — quote — “use of cameras and recording devices is [was] strictly prohibited.” We were lucky enough to be sitting in the second row, though, which was fab!

(And now I’m listening to a playlist of the Black Keys’ new album Turn Blue! I have also been digging the Black Keys lately.)

So, we (obviously) arrived at the Dunstan Playhouse – where it was being held – and bought programs/CDs (thank you to my godparents for buying me the CD!) and stood ’round for a bit whilst the doors were not open. And soon enough, we were in our seats, and the lights were dimmed. D’Arrietta walked on stage and started tinkering out a tune called ‘Scouser’s Lament’. And then finally, John [Waters] appears on stage, and starts talking – in the most accurate John impersonation I’ve ever heard! It was almost as if the magical man was in the room (I wish!)… We soon find out that Waters is acting as John [Lennon] — without the dress-ups, though — and that the monologue is set on the night of December 8th, 1980, when comments such as, “That fan’s been waiting there for five hours,” and, “Ooh, he’s got a book – wonder what it is? Looks like the Catcher In The Rye,” are made.  I think we all know what happened later that night. If you don’t, Google it. I don’t really feel like writing about what happened. But the show soon became less sad, when ‘A Day In The Life’ began (just John’s bit, obviously).

The show was basically “John” recounting his life in a sort of monologue manner, with some of his most famous songs inserted when needed. There were two acts (despite the fact there was no interval – not that I care 🙂 ), presumably split up by the Beatle years and the solo years. The monologue (much of which was comprised of actual John quotes) touched on everything from his friendship with Paul to losing his mother, the groupies to being a star from Liverpool, and the songs played ranged from ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ (after talking about Dylan’s influence on him) to ‘Nowhere Man’ (before discussing the racial discrimination Yoko was subject to in the British press), ‘Norwegian Wood’ (groupies) to a medley of ‘Julia’ and ‘Mother’ (well, the loss of his mother), Come Together (the break-up) to ‘How Do You Sleep’ (his friendship with Paul), and ‘Beautiful Boy’ (Sean) to ‘Jealous Guy’ (the Lost Weekend). Seriously impressive lighting was used throughout the show, ranging from a green background during the ‘cellophane flowers of yellow and green’ of ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ to a pinkish-red background during ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and shadowing in ‘Working Class Hero’.

Soon enough, ‘Isolation’ from John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (the second-to-last number) was played – with the most impressive lighting of the show (i.e. blacking out the entire stage except for one horizontal strip show Waters’ head – it was amazingly effective). And after that, we returned to the subject of that night. John notes that the fan is still there, and makes a comment about him looking upset at John. John then talks about how he’s probably lived in the man’s living room half his life, but that doesn’t mean he knows him or anything. Then the final chilling speech is made – John hopes that the man won’t do anything bad, ‘cos “dogs can bite, y’know.” And then the room went black. Stewart D’Arrietta tapped out gunshots on his stompbox. And it was obvious what had happened. I must admit I got a little misty-eyed.

But despite the tragedy, there was still one number left. Waters sung the obligatory ‘Imagine’ with minimal lighting, perhaps indicating that John is safe now. I don’t know – that’s how I interpreted it, though. Waters and D’Arrietta then took a bow, and then made their way outside for an artist signing! I got my CD, ticket and program signed, which I’ll show below.

To conclude, I really enjoyed ‘Looking Through A Glass Onion’. Really. Enjoyed. It. As with the others, it can’t be compared with the WAC or the Beatle Boys (‘cos they’re all so different), but I loved it equally. It was fab to be surrounded by a group of fellow Lennonites (or maybe even people who’ve just discovered the kind of magic that is John Lennon), and both Waters and D’Arrietta were very talented. Once again, thank you to my godparents for buying me tickets!

Here is my signed program, CD and ticket!

Here is my signed program, CD and ticket!

(And just a couple of other things…)

I have a new song on SoundCloud! Well, in reality, I recorded it last Monday and Tuesday and uploaded it on the net on the Wednesday, but I haven’t put it on here ’till now! Please like/comment on/repost it, follow me and/or share it with your friends. If you’re on SoundCloud, feel free to drop me a PM – I’d love to hear from you! The track is a cover of The Beatles ‘The Word’ (Rubber Soul), and I recorded all the instruments myself on GarageBand (and no, I did NOT use the Smart Instruments – I played actual guitars/actually sang myself). Here it is, and enjoy!

Oh, and I finally finished my own song! I’ve finally got a complete set of chords, melody AND lyrics! Yay! As soon as it’s finished (the recording, rather) and up on SoundCloud, I will upload it here.

That’s all for now, but I’ll post again on either Tuesday or Wednesday, ‘cos it’s now holidays! Woo-hoo! Good day sunshine 🙂

My Beatles Record Collection Pt. 2 – ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

My 'A Hard Day's Night' LP. Also my LP of the album which has the cover that serves as the background for this blog.

My ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ LP. Also my LP of the album which has the cover that serves as the background for this blog.

Hey Bulldog (well, it has to go first sometimes)/Jude/all who care to read,

Only one more week of Term 3 left (then just one more term ’till the end of the year)! And yet more beautiful weather in good ol’ Adelaide! After being out and about, and then making considerable progress on my song (more on that later), I haven’t gotten around to posting on here until 5:00 on a Sunday night. Sorry.

But anyway, it’s ‘My Beatles Record Collection’ time again! And yes, I have noticed that a lot of my posts lately have been slightly self-centred, and I will try and un-self-centre them in the holidays. But anyway, it’s a month since I did With The Beatles (the earliest record in my collection), so now it’s time for the next record (as far as The Beatles’ chronology goes) – A Hard Day’s Night.

Unlike my With The Beatles, my A Hard Day’s Night is not some first-edition foreign-pressed mono LP. My A Hard Day’s Night is only an Australian stereo re-pressing (like two other of my records – my first-pressings and re-pressings roughly split about half-and-half). But here’s some background info:

In Australia, The Beatles were (obviously) released on Parlophone until Apple Corps. entered the picture. But (I’m not sure if this is the case elsewhere) re-pressings of Parlophone-released Beatles albums were still released on Parlophone after 1968. But they weren’t released on the black-and-yellow label (or even the special Australian black-and-silver label) – they were released on something known as the ‘orange label’.

Dun dun DUNNNN....

Dun dun DUNNNN….

The ‘orange label’ was used for re-pressings from 1969 to the early 1980s, and is featured on several records in my collection (including my Beatles Box – yes, mine is released on Parlophone, not Readers’ Digest. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go Google it). As far as I know, it was used in Australia only. After studying this website (The Beatles’ Australian Records Labelography), the above appears to have been pressed in either 1969 or 1979.

‘Orange label’ records are okay, but I am on the definite look-out for first-edition versions (excepting the Box – that is first edition) of all the ‘orange labels’ I have. Why? The ‘orange labels’ are very flimsy, as Australian records from the ’70s became of a lesser quality than their ’60s counterparts. Apparently this is because many of the record factories went across the ditch to New Zealand, so all the LPs produced locally are thin and sensitive and don’t work too well. Fortunately, there are barely any scratches on this one, so it actually plays better than I thought (though it still crackles more than my thicker ones). But I’ll shut up now and upload some pictures so you can all see for yourselves (please excuse the quality – lighting isn’t too fab):

The back - complete with the original sleeve notes! But alas, no backflaps...

The back – complete with the original sleeve notes! But alas, no backflaps…

Yes, it's in stereo. You may notice that the number that tells you what number in the pressing it is is not there. This is true for all Australian Beatles records - they are seemingly set out differently to their British counterparts.

Yes, it’s in stereo. You may notice that the number that tells you what number in the pressing it is is not there. This is true for all Australian Beatles records – they are seemingly set out differently to their British counterparts.

Told ya' it was Aussie! Well, to be exact, it's New South Welsh... Considerably up north from here.

Told ya’ it was Aussie! Well, to be exact, it’s New South Welsh… Considerably up north from here.

The cover without the plastic slip over the top. You probably can't see it in this picture, but the cover is actually made from a different kind of cardboard to the original pressings.

The cover without the plastic slip over the top. You probably can’t see it in this picture, but the cover is actually made from a different kind of cardboard to the original pressings.

This was taken in an attempt to show you how flimsy the record is, but it doesn't really work unless I compare it with one of my first pressings (and I can't be bothered). But you get the picture. And you can go behind the scenes of 'AYNITB' if you look extra carefully at the laptop screen.

This was taken in an attempt to show you how flimsy the record is, but it doesn’t really work unless I compare it with one of my first pressings (and I can’t be bothered). But you get the picture. And you can go behind the scenes of ‘AYNITB’ if you look extra carefully at the laptop screen.

Side 2 of the record, top view.

Side 2 of the record, top view.

So there you go – my A Hard Day’s Night in a…cardboard box! 😉

I updated my iPad to iOS8 on Friday! And yes – those of you who know me IRL will know I completely avoided updating to iOS7, so I’m being slightly hypocritical by liking it so much, but stuff that! My favourite bit of iOS7/8 (it was a 7 feature, but I only got it with 8) is iTunes Radio. I’ve been listening to The Beatles channel all weekend! Did you know that The Beatles are the only artist to have their own proper channel, as compared to an ‘artist’ channel?

And I’ve made some more progress with a song I’ve been trying to write! As you may or may not know, I’m an aspiring alt. rock singer/songwriter/muso, under the alter-ego name of Sadie of Kirkcaldy (‘Sexy Sadie’ and ‘Cry Baby Cry’ mashup). Up until now, I’ve only done Beatles covers, and now I’ve made some progress with my own song! I can’t upload it on here now – a) it’s not finished; and b) it’s not on Soundcloud, which is the only way I can upload it here – but I’m fairly sure the song’ll be called ‘Whimsy’, and it uses a children’s xylophone (yes, you read right – but it actually sounds really good) and an acoustic capo-ed guitar (played in E with D-major chords), and I will eventually add melody/harmony vocals, a lead guitar and some kind of percussion. I wish I could upload the template for it that I made earlier today, but sadly I can’t; I promise ‘All You Need Is The Beatles’ will be the first place I’ll share it, though!

As I said above, only one more week until holidays! Then you’ll get posts every three – or even two, if I can be bothered – days! Yay – maybe then I’ll get some of my ideas down before I forget them! And this time next week I’ll have seen ‘Looking Through A Glass Onion’, which I am really looking forward to (thank you to my godparents for buying me a ticket for my birthday!) But until then, good day sunshine 🙂

 

My Twelve Favourite Beatles Lead Guitar Parts (and some other stuff)

The band in question with the instrument in question...

The band in question with the instrument in question…

 

Oh, and you know you're a guitar-playing Beatlemaniac when you own one of these! I actually do...

Oh, and you know you’re a guitar-playing Beatlemaniac when you own one of these! I actually do…

 

I play guitar. (Well, you probably already knew that, but anyway.) And despite what a few 70’s insert-rock-god-of-your-choice fans like to believe, The Beatles were incredibly good guitarists. And so I decided to make a list of their best lead guitar moments! This won’t include rhythm/finger-picked parts, ‘cos they will get their own post at some point, along with bass and drums. And by the way, Eric Clapton on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ doesn’t count.

As I said above, The Beatles were much better at their craft than they are given credit for. Some of the most famous riffs have come from the Casinos/Rickenbackers/Gretschs at Studio Two (or Studio One…or Studio Three), Abbey Road Studios (or Trident Studios…or Twickenham), and there are actually a few soaring rock-god moments in the catalogue. Whether it be their incredible use of overdrive, or the clever use of slides and pulloffs and hammerons, there is something special about The Beatles’ playing that no-one else can re-create. (Yeah, I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true.) So here’s my list – too small to fit in all my favourite moments, but just big enough for this lovely blog! Oh, and if you’re not a guitarist (or not familiar with some of the terminology), you might like to skim over the guitar dictionary below, which’ll give you an idea of what things such as ‘pulloffs’ and ‘hammerons’ are (if you don’t already know): http://www.guitarscholar.co.uk/dictionary/. And the number in brackets (if required) refers to when the part in question begins, so you can skip to that point to hear what I’m talking about if you want. And now let the list begin!

12. ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey’ (particularly the double-stops at the beginning, but also the fills in between the “c’mon, c’mon” bit)

This song has a few records set around it. It’s the longest Beatles song title. It contains John’s highest note (a C6, or two Cs above middle C – in other words, incredibly high!). It also probably has The Beatles’ largest use of cowbell. But finally, in my opinion, it’s one of their rockiest songs. I have a small obsession with the double-stops at the beginning – a lick that I must learn! But today, I also noticed the actual lead guitar bit once the song (and the cowbell!) has kicked in – and they are damn impressive! George’s fingers must have been very nimble…

11. ‘Let It Be’ – album version (1:57)

What a pity this isn’t the single version/the version that everyone knows – I’d choose the above over it any day! The solo in this is something else – unlike the slightly sappy solo on the single, this one is gutsy and overdriven and crunchy and very, very groovy! I particularly love the slide/bends in it. And for those of you who think The Beatles can’t do a soaring rock-god thing, listen to this – you’re wrong! Oh, and I dig the organ…

10. ‘Old Brown Shoe’ (1:37)

Wikipedia describes George’s solo in this unfairly-underrated blues-rocker as “highly [Eric] Claptonesque”, and rightly so! The lead guitar in this is just stunning – rocky and cool in every way! Slightly reminiscent of ‘Savoy Truffle’ and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, in my opinion… People say The Beatles didn’t do the blues well, but I beg to differ – George (if you think about it) was actually a very bluesy guitarist in the late-’60s, his skills in such genres on full show in songs such as the above and ‘For You Blue’ (which he wrote – John played the slide lead). And I don’t want to imagine life without ‘Yer Blues’!

9. ‘Taxman’ (1:12)

Paul plays the wonderfully acidic solo here, despite the fact George wrote the song in protest of the amount of money he and his bandmates lost to taxes (you tell them, George!)! Even those of you who aren’t guitarists probably can hear how intricate it is. The entire solo (plus the fills in other bits of the song) are comprised of a number of excruciatingly-difficult pulloffs and position-changes, so Paul was clearly damn good at the guitar to be able to pull this off (pun may or may not be intended)! I love this song in general – the accented rhythm guitar, the whimsical harmonies, and (of course) the political message it carries! And a fun-fact for you – a different take of this solo was reversed and used in the psychedelic tape-looped masterpiece ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’.

8. ‘I’m Only Sleeping’ (1:32)

One word: backmasking. This is, in fact, the second or third (depends whether you go on the track-listing of Revolver or on the recording dates) song ever to use it. EVER. No satanic messages involved.

In fact, this song is just amazing. I was listening to my Revolver vinyl the other day, and felt some kind of intense euphoric wash of love about halfway through this song. It completely and utterly blew my mind. But more on that strange experience and The Beatles’ effect on me another day…

7. ‘Nowhere Man’ (0:48)

Rubber Soul is a beautiful album. My second favourite, to be exact – only behind Revolver. And this is possibly one of the top three most beautiful songs on the album! John and George played the solo on matching “sonic blue” Fender Strats, and god, it sounds good! I don’t know what I like so much about it, but I just do, and that is all. And by the way, you have to watch the clip above – it is just the cutest thing ever! And a bit sad too – but then, so is the song…

6. ‘Octopus’s Garden’ (the beginning + 1:33)

This was the first Beatles song I ever heard. Must have been about four – I certainly remember asking my godfather (hello!) to put it on a compilation CD when I was about six. But now I’m over double that age, I still love this song. And I love it – apart from sentimental reasons – especially for the lead guitar (and the harmonies, but that’s a different story). I believe George played it through a Leslie speaker, and then had it multi-tracked (like ‘Old Brown Shoe’, and so many other Beatles songs of the time). People dismiss this song ‘cos it’s Ringo’s, but it’s beautiful, incredibly complex, and it turned so many people (myself included) onto that magic world that is The Beatles.

5. ‘Hey Bulldog’ (1:42)

Back to the 1968 overdrive that I appear to be so obsessed with! I reckon 1968 was The Beatles best year for their lead guitar… There has been some debate as to whether John or George plays the solo, but it has generally been said that George played it on his black-and-red Gibson SG (as can be seen in the music clip above). But then there’s that riff. Possibly my favourite riff ever. So I guess it’s here for both of it’s lead guitar parts.

4. ‘Get Back’ (0:43 + 2:00)

If you seriously thought this list wouldn’t contain any John solos, you clearly haven’t been reading this blog! Despite popular opinion, John was a stellar guitarist – and I’m not just saying that. Listen to the rhythm part in ‘All My Loving’, or the Esher demo of ‘Revolution’ – only a stellar guitarist could play that! But this isn’t about rhythm, it’s about lead. And John had a number of groovy lead moments, but this is my favourite. The crunchy bending and intricate picking of this song were played on John’s famed Epiphone Casino, and it’s far more complicated than it sounds! Trust me – I tried it, and probably shouldn’t have… And sorry about the subtitles – it was the only clip I could find that uses the original Let It Be footage.

3. ‘Not Guilty’ – Beatles version (entire song, but the solo is at 1:33)

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I do know this is on Anthology 3, but it deserves to be on here. In fact, in that case ‘Watching Rainbows’ (an obscure Get Back bootleg THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN RELEASED) should be on here, too, but that’s a different story. I have never heard George’s solo rendition of this, but I have heard it is acoustic – I personally love it as a prime example of acid rock, as displayed above. Like a few of the songs on here, I don’t know why I love the lead so much on this – maybe the overdrive (as you will have gathered, it is my favourite effect), the volume pedal (I think), just the fact it is so hard-rocking? But who cares – it’s groovy, so it deserves a spot on here! Oh, and I dig the harpsichord…

2. ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ (0:44)

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve really badly sung this riff whilst miming air guitar in front of my mirror. Lost count. Someone on a Beatles forum described it as ‘[Led] Zeppelin-esque, yet heavier’, and I agree. I’d go so far to say that it is proto-metal. I don’t think there is much I can say about this one, so I’ll let it (and my love for it) speak for itself. And finally…

1. ‘Dear Prudence’ (1:50)

This, my friends, is possibly the best Beatles lead guitar part, and definitely the most underrated. BUT IT’S LOST IN THE MIX!! WHY?! (Sorry…) And that’s why I put the isolated guitar above. But anyway, I. Love. This. Part. The bending, the crunch, the bluesy bits– oh, just everything! Listen to it yourself, and you’ll see what I mean. I’m trying to play it on my own guitar at the moment, and it’s almost impossible! I officially proclaim George a guitar genius.

So there you go! My favourite Beatles lead guitar parts, with bass/rhythm guitar/percussion/insert other random instrument a Beatle played more than once on more than one Beatle record editions coming soon!

 

And it was birthday on Thursday! Thank you to all those who helped me celebrate. I was serenaded with ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by my class (who supposedly ‘hate’ The Beatles!), and had a lovely tea with my parents (and later with my grandfather and godparents respectively!)! I got lots of beautiful Beatles stuff, including my own copy of LIFE’s collection of Robert Whitaker’s photographs of The Beatles (I’ve wanted that book since December!), a rare World Record Club pressing of Magical Mystery Tour and Other Splendid Hits (Australian pressing), some first-edition Beatles 7″ singles/EPs, a beautiful hardback copy of John’s books In His Own Write and A Spaniard In The Works and a ticket to John Waters’ infamous John Lennon tribute ‘Looking Through A Glass Onion’ (which you’ll – undoubtedly – be getting a post on)! Here’s a picture:

Once again, thank you! I've been well and truly spoilt... :-)

Once again, thank you! I’ve been well and truly spoilt… 🙂

Oh, and Big W in Australia (I don’t know if they exist elsewhere) are selling official Beatles shirts for $13AUD, in two styles (Abbey Road and a 1963 photo-shoot)! I’ve already got my two (thanks to a lovely friend who told me about them), so make sure you go and check your local store out!

Good day sunshine 🙂

 

Another fab Friday night in my life (pun, again, intended)!

The stage display of the Beatles tribute I went to last night - taken during interval.

The stage display of the Beatles tribute I went to last night – taken during interval.

Last night, my parents and I attended a slightly-impromptu Beatles tribute (not that I’m complaining)! As you might remember (or know – depends if you’re an Adelaidean or not), there is a lift-out in the Saturday edition of The Advertiser called the SA Weekend, the set-out of which got a bit of a makeover a few months ago. One of the changes made at that time was a page named something to the effect of ‘Go Out, Stay In’. The ‘Go Out’ bit includes a list of concerts, exhibitions and events in general, and the ‘Stay In’ bit includes a list of books, movies and albums of the week (yes – The White Album was once the Vintage Album of the Week). I don’t normally look at the ‘Go Out’ bit (too busy looking for more Beatles albums on the ‘Stay In’ side!), but luckily my mum did! A day after I posted on here last, Mum came into my room with the ‘Go Out’ page, indicating at a part advertising a Beatles tribute involving Glenn Shorrock of The Twilights/Little River Band, and Doug Parkinson of The Questions – two very important figures in Australian music. There was a catch, though – it was a school concert! The performance was held in the auditorium of Westminster School, and the orchestra/bands/choirs/etc. that performed were all students. Though, as I learnt last night, that if you didn’t know that they were my age, you might have thought they were professionals! The groups were almost surprisingly good, and I think they did The Fabs justice.

The gig started with one of the big bands doing a ‘Sgt. Pepper Medley’, though in reality, the songs involved were ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ (Revolver), ‘Come Together’ – with some groovy improv. from the resident guitarist and a couple of saxophonists – (Abbey Road), and, well, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (okay, I could have just typed ‘Sgt. Pepper’), though it seemed more like the reprise than the actual song. On the big screen at the back, a picture was projected for each song – which I liked a lot. For this, the gatefold of Pepper was put up.

The next song was an acapella version of ‘I Feel Fine’, which was very cool! This was probably my one of my equal-favourite performances. ‘I Feel Fine’ is from their utterly-gorgeous folk-rock era (yes, I admit I would probably use ‘utterly-gorgeous’ to describe any of their eras, but still…) – one of my favourite parts of The Beatles’ career – thus I really liked hearing its ‘vocal jazz’ arrangement. The other school-exclusive performance that I liked very much was the other ‘vocal jazz’ arrangement of ‘Drive My Car’, which – too – is folk-rock Beatles (it’s on Rubber Soul), and sounded cool with the harmonies added for acapella’s sake.

The Beatles weren’t the only band to have their songs played that night – Glenn Shorrock played some of his Little River Band songs, too! Before interval, he played ‘Emma’ (which I didn’t realise was LRB until last night) and ‘Curiosity Killed The Cat’ (ditto). And then, in the second half, he sang ‘Reminiscing’ (interestingly was one of John’s [Lennon – though I assume you know who I mean when I write ‘John’!] favourite songs during the last years of his life – I can see why! ‘Reminiscing’ is also my fave LRB song), ‘Help Is On It’s Way’ and ‘Cool Change’ (ditto with ‘Emma’ and ‘Curiosity Killed The Cat). It was quite amazing, really, seeing that!

In the second half, plenty of The Fab Four’s stuff was played, too, but with either Glenn or Doug Parkinson (or both!) on vocals. ‘In My Life’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ were played with full string arrangements; ‘Let It Be’, ‘Dear Prudence’ (yes, I was surprised, too – but very happy!), ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ (the Joe Cocker version, though) and ‘Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End’ (complete with the solos), however, were played with full orchestra, band AND choir arrangements! I was very happy to hear ‘Dear Prudence’ – not particularly well-known when compared with ‘Hey Jude’ – and, of course, the latter part of the Abbey Road medley! In fact, I was incredibly surprised to hear ‘Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End’, ‘cos they make up a bit of an obscure gem that only Beatles fans are aware of!

It was slightly inappropriate to take pictures – due to the fact much of the audience was there to see their kids perform – but I did manage to get a picture in interval, so that is what the stage looks like! I have actually performed on that stage, before – each year, there is a string/concert-band competition called ABODA, in which my string ensemble performs in each year (usually the concert band I’m in does too, but this year we can’t). In fact, ABODA is next week, and I’ll be heading Violin Two!!

And so to sum it all up, the concert wasn’t the WAC or The Beatle Boys, but it was a fabulous night! The school groups acted really professional and were really good, and it was a delight to see Glenn Shorrock and Doug Parkinson perform, too. If only my school did Beatles tributes…

I hope you’re having a fabulous day/night/whatever time it is wherever you are on this vast globe, and good day sunshine! 🙂

A ‘Good Night’ (pun intended) at The White Album Concert!

 

The promotional poster for the gig.

The promotional poster for the gig.

And me before the show, in my White Album shirt (which was my only Beatles shirt until last month!). Yes, and I do wear things other than Beatles shirts...

And me before the show, in my White Album shirt (which was my only Beatles shirt until last month!). Yes, and I do wear things other than Beatles shirts…

 

Hey Bulldog/Jude/all,

Well, as you have probably gathered, I went to a gig last night. And that gig was none other than the critically-acclaimed White Album Concert! As I explained in my previous post, The White Album Concert is made up of four well-known Australian musicians (Tim Rodgers of You Am I, Chris Cheney of The Living End, Phil Jamieson of Grinspoon and Josh Pyke, an ARIA-Award-winning singer/songwriter – a soloist, too, unlike the other three) singing/playing the entirety of The Beatles (better known as The White Album), along with a 17-piece band. The show was toured once before – in 2009 – and has been travelling around Australia since the 13th of this month. As you can probably guess, Adelaide had one of their last shows – the second-to-last, to be exact. The show was held in the Festival Centre – our fancy theatre where a lot of shows are held (also the second-biggest venue in SA).

After being forced to park on the other side of town (the CBD isn’t particularly big, though – one could probably drive from one side to the other in ten minutes) due to the premiere of a play in the Dunstan Playhouse and some soccer match, we finally came to the Festival Centre. We (or more specifically, my Dad – thanks!) bought a program, which can be seen in the picture above, and, soon enough, we had entered the theatre and the lights were dimmed.

The show was begun with the band playing ‘Can You Take Me Back’ (the unrelated coda at the end of ‘Cry Baby Cry’, if you are not familiar with the title), before Chris Cheney ran onto the stage, and began playing ‘Back In The USSR’! This was followed by the entire contents of the first disc, each song being covered by either Cheney, Jamieson, Rodgers or Pyke. And then, twenty minutes after the last strum of ‘Julia’, the second half again started with Cheney – this time, though, playing ‘Birthday’. After the end of ‘Good Night’, however, the show did not finish – all four musicians came together (pun intended) to cover ‘A Day In The Life’ and a reprise of ‘Revolution’ (and most of the audience stood up and danced/sang at this point – including me)! And I should probably add that by the entirety of the White Album, I mean the entirety – this means their repertoire included ‘Wild Honey Pie’ and ‘Revolution No. 9’ (which didn’t sound much like the real thing – thankfully… But then, I listened to the entire track for the first time yesterday, and it was nowhere near as bad as I thought. I found John and George’s (non-edited) voices quite comforting, though – not sure I would have listened to the whole thing otherwise…)!

I don’t have a stand-out favourite performance, as all the covers were so darn good! I was, however, incredibly impressed by the fact that the White Album version of ‘Revolution’ was performed specifically as ‘Revolution No. 1’, and that the single version of ‘Revolution’ was kept for the encore. If I did have to choose a favourite bit, though, it would probably be ‘Cry Baby Cry’ (sang by Josh Pyke), ‘Rocky Racoon’ (Pyke, again – I don’t normally like this song too much, but it sounded like a ‘Oh! Yoko’ and ‘Racoon’ mash up!), ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey’ (Tim Rodgers), ‘Long, Long, Long’ (Pyke, again), ‘Yer Blues’ (Phil Jamieson) and Chris Cheney’s guitar-god moment, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’! Other favourites included their versions of ‘Martha My Dear’, ‘I’m So Tired’ and ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’, but to be honest, I really didn’t do too much favouring!

And did I prefer The Beatle Boys to the WAC? As with above, I really cannot choose, as they were both so different. (On a random note, I’m listening to Anthology 3 at the moment, and the acoustic version of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ has just come on – I forgot how beautiful the demo is! I prefer it to the real thing…) As we all know, The Beatle Boys dressed up in the suits and boots and had their hair cut in moptops and put on Scouse accents – and what a great job of their tribute they did! The WAC was completely different, though – no dressing up, no accents (though Tim Rodgers did make a ‘rattle your jewellery’ joke in a Liverpudlian accent), no haircuts – just a night of electrifyingly-good music, sung by four relatively-famous musos. So again, I have no preference – let’s just say that they were both two of the best nights of my life! But this time, however, I took a lot of pictures, and only one video (0f ‘Cry Baby Cry’), so I will have something to show you of my own, for once – we were sitting in Row E of the dress circle, so I was in the perfect position to get some full stage shots! See below for my pictures and some YouTube clips of the concert in other states:

white album one

white album two

white album three

Note all the psychedelic lighting - I couldn't quite capture the beauty of them in single shots, but I tried! The acoustics were also amazing - it was so loud, but God, did it sound good!

Note all the psychedelic lighting – I couldn’t quite capture the beauty of them in single shots, but I tried! The acoustics were also amazing – it was so loud, but God, did it sound good!

white album five

The whole band!

The whole band!

 

The promo.

‘Birthday’

‘Revolution No. 1’ (gives you a good idea of the atmosphere – everyone singing!)

 

So there you – a review of my lovely night! I think I posted this last time, but here is the link to their website, so please check it out! Hope you’re all having a great day, wherever you are, and good day sunshine! 🙂