[MUSIC ~ SA]
The Grace Emily Hotel, Sun 3 Mar.
There are a plethora of tribute bands in this year’s Fringe and Trafalgar are not even the only BeeGees tribute. Named after the BeeGees’ ninth album, Trafalgar’s point of difference is to focus on the classic songwriting of the Gibb brothers before they became disco megastars. There were plenty of hits back then, but Trafalgar also explore more obscure album tracks from the early days. Instead of Jive Talking and Stayin’ Alive we get Cucumber Castle, Portrait Of Louise and Every Christian Lion Hearted Man.
The show begins with To Love Somebody, and the brilliant harmonies from Dave Thornhill, “Earl” Gray Packham and Luke Ashby show that Trafalgar are indeed up to the task, Backed by Vic Conrad on keys, Terry Aldridge on drums, Greg Blanch on pedal steel guitar, and Peter Flierl on bass, Trafalgar give us a version of the BeeGees perhaps from their era as a band with Colin Peterson and Vince Melouney. Not too many of us got to see the BeeGees play in a pub, but Trafalgar make us imagine what it would have been like.
Dave sings I Started A Joke with a gusto and edge that possibly exceeds the original. Luke Ashby sings How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? with incredible passion, supported by a guest appearance from trumpeter Triniti Canini. The hits just keep coming, with World, Spicks And Specks, Run To Me, Massachusetts, First Of May and Lonely Days. A deserved encore includes the much anticipated New York Mining Disaster 1941.
Some in the audience are hearing some songs for the first time since their childhood, but many are singing along with every word. While the nostalgia factor is high as you might expect, for me Trafalgar achieve in spades their aim of showing a grittier side of The BeeGees than their toothy smile public image, and remind us just what great songwriting talents the brothers Gibb possessed.
Seasons for Night Fever – The Ultimate Bee Gees Tribute and Trafalgar Plays Classic Bee Gees have both ended.
However, More Than A Woman, the story of the Bee Gees as told by their sister, plays at Union Hall on Fri Mar 15.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Adrian Miller