The Rock Show Featuring Jon English - The Palais Theatre, St Kilda Vic, Friday 15th April 2011

Thank you to Suzanne Bunker for the following great review:

 

 

The Rock Show is an energetic, humorous, theatrical experience featuring Jon English and an eight piece band of talented musicians. The show is not about Jon English being the star; it is not about showcasing his music. It is about taking the audience on a trip down memory lane of great 60’s and 70’s rock music.

 

Jon English’s main role is that of narrator, recalling great stories of the musicians, festivals and songs of the era that produced many classic rock songs. The band not only provides the music, but they interact with English with their own humour, and the occasional tease of English’s own music history.

 

I was very impressed with the talent of the musicians. Most of the eight members sang lead vocals on at least one song, and most of them played more than one instrument. The rock band was not your typical drums, bass, rhythm and lead guitars that so many bands are made up of. Sure, they were there, but there was also keys, piano, cello, violin, clarinet, flute, bongos and the triangle! All adding a nice touch to the songs they were featured in. You could be mistaken for thinking that Jon English, given his music and theatre experience is the mastermind behind this show but he is not. Stuart Smith and Isaac Hayward are, highlighting how the music of this era is still enjoyed by generations years on.

 

The highlights of the first act were Space Oddity, fuelled with the chorus of Rocket Man, and The Beatles Medley. It also included songs by Hendrix, Joplin and The Who.  The second act continued to rock with the highlights being Lola, Wish You Were Here, and The Rolling Stones medley, which included a great impersonation of Mick from the young Stuart Smith.

 

The lasting impression of this show is that of young musicians enjoying and experiencing music from an era before some of them were born, that the rock music of this era is lasting and still touching generations. When the young 18 year old Joseph Kalou took the lead on the Hendrix songs, you had to remind yourself that he was not even born when Hendrix was playing at Woodstock. The expression on Joe’s face and the way he handled the brilliant Hendrix riffs showed the passion this young guitarist has for the music.

 

Do not make the same mistake the two ladies sitting behind us made and leave before the encores. I will not give anything away but to say they were brilliant and should not be missed.

 

The cast of the show are:  Jon English, Paul Toole, Andrew Sampford, Kita Kerford, Shaun Tarring, Joseph Kalou, Isaac Hayward, Natalya Bing, Stuart Smith. Even the stage manager got to play guitar on a number of songs.

 

Check out The Rock Show website at www.therockshow.com.au for tour dates and biographies of the cast and if you get an opportunity to experience The Rock Show, take it. It is one hell of a rockin’ experience.

 

 

by Suzanne Bunker

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