Classic Albums Live - 'Brothers in Arms'

Good evening,

Last night Robin and I attended a 'Classic Albums Live' performance of the Dire Straits album, 'Brothers in Arms'. An Australian company has come up with a concept of pulling together Oz's best stage & session musos to re-create the great rock albums of our time. A pretty good concept if you can't hear the real thing I reckon.

The performance was held within the classy surounds and velour seats of the State Theatre in the Melbourne Arts Centre. We arrived early to enjoy a tasty and relaxing meal at the Curve Bar.

The first half of the show was, of course, a recreation of the 'Brothers in Arms' album end to end. Although we signed up for the concert because we love the band and the album, you don't often sit down and just focus on how great the songs are, the depth of the arrangements and the quality of musicianship required to re-produce the music. Awesome.

Update: A previous version of this blog said that the title track was left to last, rather than second last, as per the original track listing. A couple of weeks later, I received an email from the drummer from the show, Chris Whitten. Yes, THE Chris Whitten, the touring drummer for 'Dire Straits' from the early '90s, politely telling me that I was wrong re the track sequence. Just my luck that the only person who read my review had insider information!

After intermission, the band played a 'Best of the Rest' of Dire Straits including 'Sultans of Swing', 'Tunnel of Love', 'Private Investigations', 'Romeo & Juliet', 'The Bug', 'Calling Elvis' amongst others. The highlights? To my ears, 'Down to the Waterline', 'Lady Writer', 'Twisting by the Pool' and 'Going Home' were the best in a very polished, professional but energetic performance. While I thought Phil Emmanuel (brother of Tommy) was the standout player, the rhythm section laid the foundation enabling the entire 9 man, one woman outfit to shine.

Highly recommended!

Bye for now, BomberBoy

The Beatles Tribute Show - 'Rubber Soul'

We caught a show of the Beatles tribute band 'Rubber Soul' at the 'Cube Theatre' at the Frankston Cultural Centre on Saturday night. And extremely good it was too.
The musicianship was first class, great bass and drums (go Bongo!), and the two guitarists played particularly well. The vocals were perhaps the least best element but they carried off the performance with bags of personality. It was a show of two halves, the first being the early years with the band dressed in suits & ties, and the second half being the 'later years' with the band appearing in Sgt Peppers attire.

The assembled crowd really got into the music & show (no surprise there) and it was interesting that Robin and I knew all of the words to all of the songs played over the course of the two hour show. A tribute to: a) the quality of the music: b) our memory (!); and c) our wasted youth!

My favourite song of the night was a fantastic rendition of 'Birthday'. Robin's vote went to 'Back in the USSR' with a special mention for 'Get Back'. Really, really good stuff!

A fine night was had by all. And you can probably guess the demographic of the crowd...