Finally, Abbey Road Live hit the iconic Thebarton Theatre for a fun night and to celebrate fifty years of the highly acclaimed Beatles album Abbey Road as well as giving fans a healthy selection of Beatles hits to enjoy. The show featured some of Australia’s finest and brightest talents featuring the Antipodean Rock Collective (ARC) comprising of Kram (Spiderbait), Davey Lane (You Am I), Darren Middleton (Powderfinger), Mark Wilson (Jet) and special guests Ash Naylor (Even), Linda Bull, James Fleming and Brett “Wolfie” Wolfenden.
The beauty of this show is its broad appeal whether you are a diehard or casual Beatles fan or a follower of the bands that Kram, Davey, Darren and Mark have been associated with. It was a low key build up and Kram assumed the role of front man and MC saying that he had a nervous epiphany as he is usually sitting and everyone else is standing but tonight the role’s were reversed. Kram went on to comment how beautiful The Thebarton Theatre is and that we should be doing everything we can save this venue from being pulled down for “a road”. Then the chants for “Thebbie, Thebbie” started. With that the show started with Come Together sung by Kram. There were no real surprises following the track listing of the album from start to end but it was the arrangements and the spin ARC had given them.
It was interesting to see two drummers, Kram and Wolfie, which added a different dynamic to these songs. Despite being a track that most would skip Middleton did a top notch job on Maxwells Silver Hammer. It was the over to Linda Bull for Oh! Darling and Wolfie stepped down from drums to take on Octopuss Garden. Kram was in his element saying how fucking amazing it was to be doing this but then apologising to the front row for the f-bombs and then suggesting they come to a Spiderbait show cause they’ll love it.
Davey Lane’s influence on Here Comes The Sun was masterstroke and one of many highlights for the evening. Seeing this talented bunch combine for Because brought the smiles to the crowd. Middleton says “Damn those Beatles doing things no one else can” before singing Sun King. It was Davey Lane again on Golden Slumbers with Linda Bull, magnificent. Lane is no doubt the “best dressed guitarist in town” and his influence on this collective is undeniable.
With a short intermission the second set was about the Beatles hits and favourites. Kram said to the crowd that if you have any drugs now was the time to take them as he sung Helter Skelter even asking for any joints to be thrown up on stage. Middleton sung a McCartney gem in I Will slowing the tempo of the show down a bit. Holy smokes Davey Lane! My Guitars Gently Weeps was the stand out moment of the night for me. Linda Bull was all over Hey Jude and was a perfect opportunity to the crowd to get involved singing along.
It was funny when Kram came to the front of the stage with a lyrics sheet to I Am The Walrus suggesting it was easier to read them than trying to remember them. There was great coverage of the Beatles back catalogue with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Linda Bull), Strawberry Fields (Davey Lane), Kram’s favourite song and break up tune For No One, In My Life (Ash Naylor) and Yesterday (Darren Middleton). With the end nearing there were still plenty of big moments with Help! followed by Hard Day’s Night. As Kram said we can keep playing all night because they were having such a blast but like all good things must come to an end. The show came to a close end with Please Please Me and the encore hit Love Me Do.
Live Review By Rob Lyon