In September, 1969, the Beatles released their iconic and groundbreaking record, ‘Abbey Road’. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the album, one of the most influential releases in modern music, will be faithfully and lovingly brought to life by some of Australia’s respected musicians. Collectively known as ARC and comprising of Kram from Spiderbait, Mark Wilson from Jet, Davey Lane from You Am I and Darren Middleton from Powderfinger, this group of self-confessed Beatles diehards will perform ‘Abbey Road’ from start to finish. And if that wasn’t enough, they’ll even follow-up with a second set, which will incorporate a selection of hits from the entire catalogue of Beatles songs.
Earlier this week, Prudence from Blank had a chat with Kram about the inspiration behind ARC, long-lasting friendships and of course, the Beatles.
What was the inspiration behind the ARC tour?
We’ve wanted to do a project like this for a while as we saw it as a chance to celebrate great songs we all love that inspired us to become musicians. Earlier this year, Davey mentioned that it was actually 50 years since the release of ‘Abbey Road’, so we got talking about it and on a wonderful whim, decided that this album would be that first Beatles-inspired project. Oh and given the fact we’re all massive Beatles fans, it seemed the perfect place to start.
How did you guys get together and decide to embark on this project?
The first ARC show was actually at the World Cup ️in Brazil. Darren had been asked to put a band together for it and asked the three of us if we’d be keen to do it. We said fuck yeah! (I’m a massive football fan too for the record, so it was a win-win situation). To be honest it just made sense,we’d all been friends for so long and played a myriad of shows with each other’s bands over the years, so I guess that World Cup was when the ‘supergroup’ was unofficially formed. It was an awesome trip by the way.
What is in store for the audience at the upcoming shows?
‘Abbey Road’ will be played in order, as it is on the record, from start to finish. It’s weird as someone told me the other day that we’ll get to do something the Beatles never did – as believe it or not, this record was actually never played live. So, it’s a once in a lifetime chance for people to experience it in full!
In a musical sense, how is the show a unique take on ‘Abbey Road’? Any particular tracks you’ve really enjoyed playing together?
We’re trying our best to do justice to the album , and are playing it the we think they’d like us to be playing it. To be honest, this is one of those shows where I’d actually be just as keen to be in the audience as on stage, as I truly love listening to the songs as much as I love playing them.
If you could be a Beatle, which one would you be and why?
I’ve always loved Ringo, but feel more like John.
What do you think the Beatles did for the way we listen to music?
The Beatles influenced everyone, whether you think you’re into them or not, their sound will have, in some way, infiltrated your life. Their musical repertoire is unparalleled and incomparable and their effect on pop culture is equally significant. However, my favourite thing about them is they showed that a group of friends can change the world and remain themselves. I think we can all learn something from that.
Can you remember the first time you heard Abbey Road?
I remember that Janet (from Spiderbait) gave me a tape when I was in high school and although I was more of an ACDC fan at this stage, I loved it! She hated ‘Maxwells Silver Hammer’ and ‘Octopus Garden’ though and unbeknownst to me, left those songs off the tape. It wasn’t until years afterwards that I heard those songs for the first time -I had no idea they were even on ‘Abbey Road’!
Anything else you’d like to mention about the ARC show?
We can’t wait for this tour to start -wherever I go people keep asking me about it. It’s really exciting and no doubt will be a special event for all of us.
So if you fancy ‘coming together’ for a trip down memory lane, don your flares and be sure to catch ARC on their Abbey Road Live shows in August.
ARC will be playing at The Star, August 17 and Fortitude Music Hall August 18.