Bye Bye Love, Cathy’s Clown, Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry. All were massive pop music hits in the 50s and 60s that made The Everly Brothers and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons music idols and superstars. More than 60 years on, the much loved hits of The Everly Brothers & Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons will once again be heard on stages across Australia as The Robertson Brothers & Simon Brook McLachlan join forces on a national music tour.
The Everly Brothers come alive again with Australia’s very own multi award winning vocal harmony and much loved duo The Robertson Brothers. With half a million record sales, 22 Mo and ACE Awards, along with two ARIAs and Golden Guitar nominations, The Robertson Brothers are one of Australia’s leading vocal groups. They are best known as providing the distinctive vocals on the theme song for the hit TV soapie Home & Away and their regular political and football song parodies for Ray Hadley’s morning show networked across Australia on the Macquarie Media network and 2GB.
Come and hear the magical songs and soaring harmonies that made The Everly Brothers the legends they are with hits such as Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Bird Dog, Let It Be Me, (Til) I Kissed You, Cathy’s Clown, Crying In The Rain and When Will I Be Love and many more.
Simon Brook McLachlan is one of Australia’s rising music talents. A cast member of the Australian production of Jersey Boys and Disney’s High School Musical, Simon has also starred as Crowther in The History Boys at Sydney Opera House, Oppenheimer and Tibbets in the world premiere of ATOMIC, and Joe/Jerry in Squabbalogic’s Grey Gardens in Sydney. His television and film credits include Underbelly Razor, The Pacific, and The Matrix Reloaded.
Simon showcases the unique voice and range that Frankie Valli was famous for with songs such as When Will I Be Loved, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Rag Doll, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Oh What A Night, Grease Is The Word, Working My Way Back To You, Let’s Hang On and many more. Ben Robertson spoke to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about this show.
So how’s the tour going so far?
Mate, touch wood, it’s been a fantastic start to the year, everything’s sold well. It’s been an awesome start, things are good, it’s going really well, which is hard to do these days, it’s pretty tough out there selling tickets.
Exactly, I don’t understand what it is these days, no one’s buying albums, no one’s buying tickets to shows early.
Yeah, that’s my world! The internet is the answer with the bloody album scene, everything’s immediate now whether you download it or you download it for free on some legal site, it’s bloody hard man, it’s a tough gig you know.
Has it been a real buzz playing these songs, night in, night out?
It has, that’s the thing we’ve been doing this Everly show for four years now and we’re still not sick of doing it, that’s what’s weird about the whole thing. You would think after a while when you’re out signing the same songs, that you would get bored with singing them but I think the songs are so timeless that we still look forward to signing them. It’s Groundhog Day for us, the audience don’t know that but for us, it’s the same songs, you know what I mean, and we still look forward to singing them, we’re still not bored with them so that’s got to say something about the songs.
It must be rewarding seeing the reaction from the crowd to these songs, and obviously it’s a soundtrack to possibly better times for these people as well?
That’s the thing, that’s the way the whole show is built, we call it a trip down memory lane, that’s the whole idea of it. It’s not just us turning up and singing the songs or how we set the show up. In the sixties, the cool thing was to have a variety television show, Sonny and Cher had one and Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell and the Everly Brothers had their own TV show. So what we’ve done, we’ve created this sixties variety TV show, there’s camera and TV ads and the whole bit and our special guest is Frankie Valli. What they did back in the day is that the Everly Brothers would host the show, they would sing on the show, when they had special guests on they would do all their backing vocals and sing with them. So that’s how the whole concept of the show is set up, it’s a little bit different than just some dudes sing tenor and singing other peoples’ songs, there’s a lot of thought gone into it.
With this type of show, is it something that you had always had planned to do?
That’s right, since the Everly Brothers it’s something that we have always wanted to do, because as kids mom and dad’s favourite band were the Everly Brothers, and for us it was Bee Gees and The Eagles. When we were really little because it was mom and dad’s favourite band and they would always have their records on the background. Not that we were around when the Everly Brother were having hits, it was just their favourite band. So when mom and dad had us that’s the music they played. So it’s kind of weird now a days knowing all these Everly Brothers songs.
It must be pretty tough to work out what songs that you’ll play, given you’ve got so many good bands to be able to pick from?
That’s right, The Everly’s had twenty-two number one hit songs, it’s crazy. We pretty much play them all throughout the night, how it’s set up with the Everly Brothers did the support act and the second half of the TV show. We fit them all in and obviously Frankie Valli had plenty of hits too so we play the major hits as well. We’ve got Simon McLachlan who does a really good Frankie Valli.
Do you have a particular favourite time period for the Everly Brothers or a particular album?
The weird thing about the Everly Brothers is, they had hits basically from 1964, it was a four year period and they’ve had twenty-two number one hits. Could you imagine doing that now, that’s how big they were. Then they had a blur, and that was kind of it for them. They had all those hits over that period, my favourite song is Dream, personally. Lots of people have different favourite songs for different reasons of the Everly’s. It’s amazing, if you could imagine an artist now having twenty-two number one hits over a four year period, it would just be gigantic.
The whole mechanics of the industry don’t seem to work that way anymore.
No, it doesn’t, it doesn’t anymore. But, back then you can appreciate how big that would’ve been. That’s bigger than what Michael Jackson was doing, it’s crazy.
Does it amaze you the level of interest in nostalgia and essentially what is old essentially regenerates itself and becomes new again?
Yeah, that’s what happens! That’s what comes around I guess.
So, what do you do when the tour stops, what’s next? It must be sort of hard to come down off of this sort of high.
The truth is we don’t really stop because we tour from the first week of February through mid-December. Then we literally have two weeks off at Christmas, then the rest of the time is working on next year’s tour. We’re just starting to put it together and you’re kind of a year in front or behind, if that makes any sense to you.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch the remaining dates…
Friday 11th May – Nautilus Arts Centre, Port Lincoln SA
Saturday 12th May – Hopgood Theatre, Noarlunga SA
Saturday 2nd June – Sutherland Entertainment Centre, Sutherland, NSW
Saturday 16th June – Griffith Regional Theatre, Griffith, NSW
Friday 22nd June – The Events Centre, Caloundra QLD
Saturday 23rd June – Empire Theatre, Toowoomba QLD
Saturday 30th June – Evan Theatre, Penrith, NSW
Tickets at the venues
More info at www.robertsonbrothers.com.au