L-R: Josh Pyke, Phil Jamieson (front), Tim Rogers (back), Chris Cheney.
With a return to the stage after a four-year hiatus, The White Album 50th Anniversary concert tour plays Australia throughout July.
The Beatles celebratory show, which has previously toured Australia in 2009 and 2014, will feature the return of four Australian artists: Chris Cheney (The Living End), Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon), Tim Rogers (You Am I) and Josh Pyke, accompanied onstage by a 17-piece rock orchestra.
The show opens with 'Back In The USSR' and finishes with 'Goodnight' as the musicians progress through the album in track order. “It's amazing feeling the weight of a 17-piece orchestra behind you,” Josh Pyke says.
“It's a chance to hear these amazing songs in a live context because of course The Beatles never played 'The White Album' live.” - Josh Pyke
“I often play solo, so feeling that level of musicianship, weight of the melody, the dynamic and everything behind you is pretty amazing.”
Josh explains that getting together with Phil, Chris and Tim to put on this show is something they all enjoy. “We get together every five years or so and do this thing; it's just a hell of a lot of fun.
“Playing the venues that we are playing is a bit of a dream come true as well. We are doing three shows at the [Sydney] Opera House and a couple of shows at Hamer Hall [in Melbourne].”
Josh emphasises that the concert is not a cover show, but rather a tribute. “We are not wearing Beatles outfits because it's not a cover show. It's us paying tribute to this amazing album and The Beatles in general. We also have a spin on the songs.
“It's a chance to hear these amazing songs in a live context because of course The Beatles never played 'The White Album' live.
“We've tried to be pretty true to [the songs] in terms of the orchestration and the arrangements. We play in our own style vocally, although hearing the band play these songs is enough of a reason to come along.
“We are going to do an extra set, play some extra songs just the four of us acoustically. That's going to be good fun. It's the chance to play to our strengths, do some harmonies and just sit around and have a jam at the end of the show.”
When it comes to the crowd environment, Josh describes it to be very encouraging and emotionally involved in the performance. “[The audience] is very warm.
"Everybody is really engaged in the performance and invested in it. These are songs that have meant so much to so many people over the years, so I think it brings back a lot of memories for a lot of the people coming to the shows.
“People engage with this band in so many different ways. This is a band that the whole family have bonded over. You see whole generations of families at the shows, together, ranging from grandparents to little kids and everything in between. It's a really fantastic environment.”
The White Album 50th Anniversary Concert Tour Dates
Fri 13 Jul - Hamer Hall (Melbourne) Sat 14 Jul - Hamer Hall (Melbourne) x2 shows Tue 17 Jul - Civic Theatre (Newcastle) 19-20 Jul - QPAC (Brisbane) Sat 21 Jul - Canberra Theatre x2 shows Tue 24 Jul - Adelaide Festival Theatre Thu 26 Jul - Riverside Theatre (Perth) Sat 28 Jul - Sydney Opera House x2 shows Sun 29 July - Sydney Opera House