Forget the bright light city, John Lord – leader of Adelaide ensemble The JD Lord Band – is going to set your soul on fire with a tribute to the big, soulful sounds of the '60s and '70s.
Inspired by his adolescent love for Elvis Presley's rhythm section, The TCB Band, John has created 'Big Soul', a loving homage to singers such as Elvis, Tom Jones, Joe Cocker, Wilson Pickett and more. “The concept for the show came from many years ago when I was playing in a band in the '80s,” John explains.
“I played in an eight-piece band with a horn section; we played a lot of the soul music back then and in Adelaide at the time, in the late-'80s, there were many bands playing songs with the James Brown stuff, Otis Redding and people like that.
“There was a bit of a following for all these bands, they played in all these clubs off the main strip of Adelaide – Hindley Street. You could have a break at one show then move on to the next club to see their set, so you could move around and quite a few people did back then.”
Originally a guitarist, John transitioned into singing about ten years ago when he first took up lessons with a vocal coach. Allowing himself one year to see how it went, a decade later he's still happily at the microphone and the leader of his own big band.
John began to put the 'Big Soul' show together two years ago while recruiting musicians to join his then-nascent group.
The JD Lord Band bring 'Big Soul' to The Gov in July as part of the closing night celebrations for Umbrella: Winter City Sounds, which will be a first for John and his singing career. “I haven't been to Umbrella festival, so this is the first time I've been aware of it,” he says.
“I've seen the other bands involved and it looks great. We're playing on the last night of Umbrella on the Sunday so that feels good too, to end it with a big bow.”
Officially recognised as a UNESCO City Of Music, Adelaide boasts a plethora of bands and artists. For John, what sets the live experience of a big band apart from smaller rock acts is the sheer quality and warmth of sound they offer. “The experience is the sound. It's the feel, you can actually feel the music,” John says.
“There's just so much going on, everyone's got their part and there's so much variety and choice. We have lots of solos and we've got a lot of choices as well. It's an experience where you get a lot, but not only that, no one really sees these bands. I'm trying to make it raw in the sense of what it would have been like in 1968.”