Review: Mission Concert 2013 rocks Hawke's Bay

By ROGER MORONEY


Before he took to the Mission Concert stage Barry Gibb was delighted to hear that the great crowds enjoyed adding their vocal chords to few songs.

And of course they did on Saturday night as he ventured into a set-list of songs which embraced the musical legacy of the Bee Gees.

It was on the 21st of the 26 songs he and his band of family and friends turned in that the voices from the valley really caught his attention.

The song 'Words' means a lot to him, so when the audience roared into the final chorus he stopped and listened.

He tried to complete the song his way twice but the audience took over.

Then he smiled and said "it's my turn" and completed it in a voice which possessed all the power and emotion it had when it emerged more than 40 years ago.


The show was powered into life by vision - visions of the early days of the Gibb brothers.

Then the images were re placed by the words 'Please Stand By' - and a bass rumble thundered across the hillside and the crowd stood and began to raise their voices, and glasses, to the arrival of Mr Gibb.


"How you all doing ... alright?" he asked.


When he and the sharp band launched into 'Jive Talkin' the voices rose, and so did the dancing bodies.

The familiar songs just rolled on.

With a back catalogue that stretches to hundreds of fine compositions he couldn't do them all, but his selection was pretty well on the mark.

'Lonely Days' got the voices up again, and 'You Should be Dancing' got the bodies up im mediately afterwards.


Then the beautiful 'First of May' which clearly underlined that his desired tipple of rice wine must work on the vocal chords - the notes were sub lime.


Between songs he chatted away to the crowd and intro duced his niece, the late Maurice Gibb's daughter Samantha, who joined him in a very special rendition of "How Do You Mend a Broken Heart.'


There was a glistening in his eyes - it was a song he said meant so much to him, having lost his brothers Maurice, Robin and Andy.

The songs just kept coming.

Like any slick show there was structure to the way it had to run, but with a laugh he changed that after his son Stephen's guitar failed to fire when he stepped up to sing 'On Time.'

He swapped guitars mid-song beautifully but only got the final explosive riffs in.

So his father said "hey, let's do it again!"

So they did.

The highlight of the perform ance was a remarkable duet of 'I Started a Joke'.

Barry Gibb started the song, and then, to the delight of the crowd, the image of Robin Gibb took over the big screens as he took it over.

Robin was there with us. It was sheer magic.

The diversity of songs was equally magical.   'Islands in the Stream', 'Spicks and Specks', 'In the Morning' and the thundering and uplifting 'Ordinary Lives' - which he delivered after talking at length about the early days, when the struggling Gibb family arrived to start a new life in Australia.

He talked about his brothers and the tears came as he finished with 'Immortality.'  


Well, not quite finished ... he returned to send everyone home charged up with 'Stayin'Alive.'


We saw Barry Gibb, and we saw the Bee Gees.

Superb.   The crowd had been well warmed up by the remarkable Carole King - a songstress whose legend was reinforced by a performance that defied her 70 years.

She waved, smiled and chatted with the crowd who responded with a huge cheer when she delivered the classic 'Up On The Roof' before the lilting 'Way Over Yonder' which underlined the ageless quality in that voice.

Only a couple of the sharp notes caught her out, but the range, the silkiness and the power was all there.

He band and excellent back-up singers rocked when required, and rolled gently on songs like 'Far Away', which was hauntingly flawless.

"It's Too Late Baby," got the crowd dancing , and singing.

She was captivated by the response.

"I love you all," she said, applauding them.

"Time for a shameless plug," she laughed, be fore mentioning her book 'A Natural Woman'

and later delivering the song namesake of it.

After the hauntingly delightful 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' the crowd yelled back "Yes!"

'I Feel the Earth Move' really fired every one up.

She was captivating and special, with one person overheard to sum it up nicely by simply saying "wow, we're watching Carole King."

The day opened with the silky voice of singing priest Father Chris Skinner who kicked off with his song 'Beautiful Land.' His was a relaxing performance, perfect under the warm sun and he rightly got a fine reception with a series of pleasant songs, and some chirpy chat.

His greeting of "Hello Greenmeadows," got the biggest cheer.   The Wellington Inter national Ukulele Orches tra were a delightful revelation. Colourful costumes, brilliant har monies and superb string-work. They hit out with "Haere Mai" and did everything from 'Afternoon Delight' to the Nicks/Petty duet 'Stop Dragging My Heart Around.' Just great, en tertaining and engaging stuff - one of the finest good-time bands around.  

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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