Bee Gees tribute band re-creates the magic onstage
By Nina King
It must be very hard to re-create a band’s entire career in one night. But The Australian Bee Gees give it a very good try, six nights a week at The Excalibur. The tribute band, which covers the Bee Gees catalog from the ’60s through their peak in the early ’80s, gives fans of all ages a concert-style show. The three “brothers” in The Australian Bee Gees (Michael Clift, David Scott and Wayne Hosking) are joined onstage by other musicians (a bass guitarist and a drummer), as the originals were in many of their own concerts.
The group kicks it off with “You Should Be Dancing,” getting the crowd in the mood. (“Get some hands in the air now,” comes the exhortation from the stage.) They keep the songs coming in a somewhat chronological fashion, mixing up the order occasionally. Early on, you’ll hear “To Love Somebody,” and “I Started a Joke.” When “Massachusetts” begins, the fans get a little rowdy singing along (although most of the audience has been singing along from the start). Video and graphics enhance the songs, with a mix of both original Bee Gees footage and The Australian Bee Gees footage playing. Some of the songs seem sort of esoteric, such as “New York Mining Disaster 1941,” which (unless you are a die-hard fan) most may not remember at all.
Between songs, there’s plenty of banter, probably more than heard in an original concert. “Islands in the Stream,” a hit that the Bee Gees wrote for Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, comes out, then they move into “Guilty,” which Barry Gibb performed with Barbra Streisand. When the first strains of “Tragedy” emerge, the crowd gets into it again. It’s followed by “Lonely Days,” “Grease,” “Words,” “How Deep is Your Love” and “Night Fever.” By this time, the disco ball descends, turning the room into Mo’s Dance Club. Fittingly, it all ends with an energetic “Stayin’ Alive.”