ARC: Live review | The STAR | Saturday 17 August 2019

‘Abbey Road’ is one of those albums that pretty much every household has owned or played at some stage. Released in 1969, it was the last recorded session The Beatles ever did together and given some of the magisterial tracks, has been heralded as the pinnacle of the band’s achievements. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of ‘Abbey Road’ and perhaps to remind us all of just how good The Beatles were, Saturday night at the Star Casino brought this quintessential album to life with an all-star Australian lineup.

With musicians including Kram (Spiderbait), Ash Naylor (Paul Kelly, Even), Linda Bull (The Black Sorrows), Mark Wilson (Jet), Darren Middleton (Powderfinger) and Davey Lane (You Am I), the group blew the audience away with their renditions of songs off the album, as well as a plethora of chronological Beatles tracks, spanning across their extensive collection.

Given the infectious fun the guys were having up on stage, there was little doubt they were all Beatles fans, particularly the brain child behind the project, Davey Lane – with Kram proclaiming that if he was the ‘Pope’ of the Beatles, then Davey was the ‘Fucking Cardinal’. In between songs, there was playful banter from the band as they reminisced as to how their Beatles obsessions came about.

Linda Bull, who was integral to the show, pretty much raised the roof of the Star Casino with her impassioned rendition of ‘Oh Darling’ and ‘Carry That Weight’ and special guest, Brett Wolfenden aka Ringo Star, stole the show with his goofy-like rendition of ‘Octopus’ Garden.’ In fact, the synchronised drumming by Kram and Brett on the majority of tracks, as well as the impressive, tight guitars between Darren, Ash and Davey, really highlighted the musical prowess of ARC, a supergroup in its in own right.

Throughout the show, the band successfully executed complicated nine-part vocal harmonies and trippy guitar melodies, playing the songs as you hear them on the album, a mean feat in itself – particularly given the fact it was an album the Beatles never actually played live.

Following a much-needed interval, with Kram quipping, ‘We need to take a break as ‘Abbey Road’ is a headfuck to play’ the band regrouped and belted out other Beatles songs such as ‘Help’, ‘Helter-Skelter’ and ‘Hard Day’s Night’, bringing their vibrancy and edge to the songs in such an authentic manner, you could almost convince yourself they actually were The Beatles.

With the adoring crowd eating out the palm of their hands and not wanting the show to end, the magical evening was filled with were sing-a-longs, rapturous applause and even a tear or two.

Given the performance on the weekend, let’s hope ARC decide to stay together and bring to life another iconic album, as given their combined energy and musical talent, these guys are capable of reproducing absolutely anything.

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