The Twilights, Ross Wilson, Doc Neeson
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Measham
Festival Theatre, Saturday 4 November 2000
Concert review by Steve Hogan
Well I couldn't resist. As hokey as a Beatles tribute show is, I had to go to check out The Twilights. Cheap nostalgia? Not at $50 a seat! Don't know if I've ever been to a matinee concert before ever. I
overheard two Festival Theatre staffers saying this show was really the final dress rehearsal for the real show tonight at 8.
Most of the stage was taken up by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (as you'd expect) with the band's gear set up in front. With a replacement for Laurie Pryor and augmented by a keyboard player/backup singer plus local guitar hero Rob Pippen, the four singers (l-r McCartney, Shorrock, Wilson & Neeson) lined the front of the stage three tenors style. After introducing the conductor, Wilson, Neeson and The Twilights, Shorrock remarked "and I'm Normie Rowe".
The first half of the show (before intermission) seemed like making my worst fears come true. There were some shakey moments with the sound balance on the vocals leaving Ross The Boss's great workout on Got To Get You Into My Life almost buried. Paddy's voice sounded very thin and he basically only took lead vocals on odd occasions. Shorrock mucked up the words more than a few times and Wilson sometimes seemed disinterested and took relatively few leads also.
Neeson's part was mostly reciting excerpts from Lennon's books as link pieces for the songs. He did a bit of singing but his voice sounds shot.
Don't know the exact set list but the first half included Magical Mystery Tour, Got To Get You Into My Life, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite, Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, Yesterday (instrumental by the orchestra) before the band finished with 2 songs on their own, Drive My Car and Eight Days A Week. Britten's solo in Drive got spontaneous appluase.
Second half had a piano solo of Here There And Everywhere, Sgt Peppers, A Day In The Life and I Am The Walrus before a complete runthrough of side 2 of Abbey Road - Here Comes The Sun to The End (no Her Majesty though). The band was really starting to find their feet by now and they even managed reasonable facsimiles of the Fabs harmony work on Because and Sun King.
First encore was Hey Jude and All You Need Is Love. A request for "Needle In A Haystack" was answered by Shorrock: "The Beatles never played that".
Coming out for the second encore Shorrock asked if the band could indulge themselves as they had some "spare songs". Then without the orchestra, they ripped through fantastic versions of 9:50 and What's Wrong With The Way I Live. Incredible - it was like they'd never been away. Britten was excellent on guitar for the whole show but his work on these songs was right out of their heyday. I'm tempted to say the emotion of this encore was worth the ticket price on its own. I wonder if they held back more of their own stuff for the later show. If I find out they played Needle In A Haystack I'll be spewing.
Bywaters joked that the band was available for weddings, parties and bar mitzvahs so maybe that's a hint that a further reunion is planned.
Certainly based on the reception they got for their own two hits, there's a market for them, nostalgia or not. If they do any more gigs in their own right I'll definitely be there and if they head over the border I'd recommend them to the rest of you as a very entertaining night out.
Shit, they gotta be better than the Delltones.