It’s Monday night/Tuesday morning and I’ve just been to see “A Long Way To The Top”, with Kate, Frank and Joan, at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
Based on the ABC-TV show, the concert featured the likes of Lucky Starr, Col Joye, Judy Stone, Little Pattie, The Atlantics, Normie Rowe, The La De Da’s, Ross Wilson, Marcia Hines, Spectrum, Axiom, and Billy Thorpe performing only their hit songs. It was somewhat surreal to see some artists, one hit wonders, come on stage, sing their song and disappear.
There were several personal highlights:
Marcia Hines sang three songs, including “Fire & Rain” shown on “the big screen”, and it was highly reminiscent of actually watching an episode of “Countdown”. Marcia has put on a few kilograms, but otherwise looked fantastic and sounded great.
Stevie Wright, who has had poor health, due to drug and alcohol abuse sang “Evie”. As he struggled through the number the crowd watched both in horror and adoration at someone who was once a great performer and for whom they still seem to have a great deal of affection.
John Paul Young gave strong performances of “Love Is In The Air”, “I Hate The Music” and “Yesterday’s Hero”, while Little Patti gave only competent versions of her songs.
Judy Stone sang “4,003,221 Tears From Now” (one of my favourite childhood songs) and her uptempo version of “Hasta Manana”. I was disappointed she didn’t sing another favourite of mine, “Would You Lay With Me In A Field Of Stone”, which was a hit for her in the 1970s.
Dinah Lee sang a couple of songs. There was something odd about the way she looked which I couldn’t quite identify, until Joan suggested as interval “she needs to do something about that terrible facelift she’s had”.
Joan was in fine form, but when Joan started to dance in the aisle, she was ordered back to her seat by security… that was pretty funny.
Overall, I think it’s a great concept that was well executed. Because the performers were only on stage for two or three songs at a time (some of them only for one), they really gave exceptional performances.
It was nice to witness a bit of history.