[MUSIC/ROCK ~ WORLD PREMIERE ~ SA]
The GC – Grand Central Showroom Fri 22 Feb.
The show begins with a video of The Monkees’ Daydream Believer to note the passing of Peter Tork then it’s straight into some amazing harmony work featuring the voices of Beeb, Nanette Van Ruiten, Craig Holden and Dino Jag on LRB’s It’s A Long Way There. It may be LRB on the screen but on stage there is a cracking band led by Rob Pippan on guitar, featuring Beeb and Gary Isaacs also on guitars, Russell James on keys, Shaun Duncan on bass, and Matt MacNamee on drums.
Craig and Dino do a great job alternating lead vocals on a few LRB and Zoot songs, and for a while it seems as if Beeb will be content to stay in the background at his own show! But he’s clearly having a good time, and it’s not too long before he takes a step forward to talk to the audience, and take over lead vocals. There are clearly a number of Zoot fans in the audience, which might say something about the demographics, but there are also many younger LRB fans in the capacity audience, and they lap up the generous serving of LRB hits on offer – Happy Anniversary, Curiosity Killed The Cat, Help Is On Its Way, Home On Monday, Lady, et al. The Zoot material is well represented, from first single You’d Better Get Going, The Freak, and one Beeb professes not liking – One Times Two Times Three Times Four. There is only one song Will I from Mississippi.
But this performance is not so much a nostalgia fest as a showcase of the very significant work of a successful songwriter, although he does throw in songs by his friend Graeham Goble such as Reminiscing and Take It Easy On Me for good measure. There is one newer song Loving Should Be sung by Nanette.
We might think that a supercharged version of Zoot’s Eleanor Rigby is a fitting climax to the show but Beeb has one more surprise in store. For their 50th anniversary compilation in 2018 Zoot recorded a cover of The Dream Academy’s Life In A Northern Town using Darryl Cotton’s voice from an earlier recording. By the wonders of modern technology Beeb’s mate Darryl Cotton joins the band for a blistering version of the final song and the crowd leave very happy. Another triumph for Rob Pippan Productions!
Centre image courtesy of Adrian Miller