Relive the hits during The Australian Bee Gees Show
For evidence of the enduring popularity of the music of Brothers Gibb look no further than The Australian Bee Gees Show, primarily starring Michael Clift as Barry, Wayne Hosking as Maurice and David Scott as Robin (there’s a rotating cast). The tribute to the hitmakers of the ’60s and disco kings of the ’70s has been staying alive in Las Vegas since 2011, benefiting from the performers’ ongoing reverence for the music and the endless enthusiasm audiences have for the Bee Gees’ songs.
Scott, to his advantage, was playing in bands shortly after the Bee Gees, who scored ’60s pop hits such as “Massachusetts” and “To Love Somebody,” returned to the charts in the mid-’70s with a disco sound. “When I was 18 in 1978, Saturday Night Fever came out,” he says. Scott recalls he didn’t know much about their early material at the time. “I was playing guitar in heavy rock bands at that time, like Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Foghat. All of that kind of stuff. When the Bee Gees came out it was such a transformation sound. No one had heard that before, and it even turned our heads as hard rock guys.”
The Australian Bee Gees grew out of an Eagles tribute band, and toured the world for 15 years before settling in Las Vegas. The show is based on One Night Only, a 1997 Bee Gees comeback concert filmed at the MGM Grand. Scott says he caught the subsequent tour in Australia, where shows benefitted from Gibbs having more comeback performances under their belt. The concerts were crucial to the creation of tribute Robin.
“I see that picture in my head,” says Scott. “I see Robin Gibb performing, and I’m just kind of being him. He’s got a goofy way of dancing and stuff. Well, I’ll goofy dance. His clapping is kind of out of time and he sings out of time … well, I should say he has his own timing, that’s what I should say. And the vibrato, his mannerisms, his hands moving backwards and forwards, the hand on the ear, the tapping with the knee, not the foot. Looking everywhere but the audience. All that stuff.”
Still, he says, the beautiful thing about the show is that he and his stage brothers emphasize capturing and creating the emotions of the songs rather than performing in character. The audiences react in kind. “The thing that a lot of people find when they come to shows, is that they didn’t realize all the songs the Bee Gees did,” says Scott. “So every song, they recognize it, because everybody knows them. They were amazing songwriters.”
Scott personally thinks the Bee Gees, because of their music, are the best band to pay tribute to in the world. “We’ve seen ABBA tributes. We’ve seen Neil Diamond tributes. We’ve seen Elvis tributes, Led Zeppelin tributes. We’ve seen all of those. Eagles tributes. But none of them have the hits that this show has, and I think that’s the real key to it.”
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