Antipodean Rock Collective: L-R are Mark Wilson (Jet), Kram (Spiderbait), Davey Lane (You Am I) and Darren Middleton (Powderfinger).
John Lennon once claimed The Beatles were bigger than Jesus; over 50 years later, Antipodean Rock Collective (ARC) are about to do something The Beatles never did.
This year is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' 1969 album 'Abbey Road', and to celebrate ARC will be playing the record in its entirety live on stage as part of a tour through the nation's capitals.
ARC features Kram (Spiderbait), Mark Wilson (Jet), Davey Lane (You Am I) and Darren Middleton (Powderfinger).
“'Abbey Road' is one of my favourite records,” drummer for ARC Kram says, “and in a way, you know the record so well that to actually get out and perform it, play it and sing it is going to be a trip.
“So we're really excited about the tour, and it's funny because Davey [Lane, guitarist] was saying the other day that it's going to be really bizarre to do something The Beatles never did and that's actually play the tracks off this record live.”
In the year that humans landed on the Moon, The Beatles delivered one of rock's most enduring albums – not to mention a record sleeve as iconic and instantly recognisable as Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' or Nirvana's 'Nevermind'.
Beyond the famous aesthetics, 'Abbey Road' is widely considered a masterpiece of pop music and often held in high esteem as one of the greatest albums of all time. The album also marks a pivotal point in the history of The Beatles as the last time John, Paul, George and Ringo were in in the same studio together.
Coming after the unpleasantness that marred the 'Get Back' recording sessions for what would become the 'Let It Be' album (ultimately released in 1970, after the band broke up), 'Abbey Road' proved to be a far more positive experience for the band.
“I see 'Abbey Road' as a testament to the positive, rather than the negative side of the band,” Kram says.
“Particularly side two, which is this incredible mixture of compositions all strewn together and it just sounds really joyous, and I don't think a band could have really created that if they weren't wanting to be there. It's like 'Let It Be' was the dark and ['Abbey Road'] is the light of what is essentially a break-up.”
ARC hit the road in August for the 'Abbey Road Live', joined onstage by special guests Ash Naylor (Paul Kelly, Even and Rockwiz), Linda Bull (The Black Sorrows, Vika and Linda Bull), Brett Wolfenden (The Pictures, Jim Keays) and James Fleming (Eagle and the Worm, Bob Evans).
As well as performing the songs from 'Abbey Road' live, Kram says he's looking forward to honouring the often-underrated drum work and contributions made by drummer Ringo Starr. “I love so many things abut him,” Kram explains.
“He's got this beautiful feel and his fantastic fills are really iconic, which many drummers have copied. I remember seeing a thing on Phil Collins saying everyone does Ringo fills without realising it.
“One of my favourite things about him was that he was first and foremost a band member, and this is what set The Beatles apart from the solo artists that existed before him like Elvis and Frank Sinatra – singers were like movie stars, then this band comes along and changes everything and suddenly there's this group of friends that can be bigger than the individual.
“A bunch of guys and girls hanging out smoking ciggies at the back can conquer the world… the team quality of that was really inspiring to me, and Ringo embodied that.”
ARC Presents: The Beatles’ Abbey Road Live 2019 Tour Dates
Sun 11 Aug - Perth Concert Hall Tue 13 Aug - Thebarton Theatre (Adelaide) Thu 15 Aug - Palais Theatre (Melbourne) Sat 17 Aug - The Star (Gold Coast)* new show Sun 18 Aug - Fortitude Music Hall (Brisbane) Tue 20 Aug - Enmore Theatre (Sydney) Thu 22 Aug - NEX (Newcastle)* new show Fri 23 Aug - Anita’s Theatre (Wollongong)* new show