In the presence of greatness

glencsmpbell.jpgA 71 year old shouldn’t be able to do that.

I took my 11 year old daughter Emily to see Glen Campbell performing with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) last night at the Burswood Theatre. The guy is absolutely amazing.

I’ve never really been a big Glen Campbell fan but many of his songs have helped fill out the soundtrack of my life. I was asked by WASO if I’d like the opportunity to interview Glen’s daughter Debby on 98five Sonshine FM just before Christmas. Debby travels and sings with her dad on some of his tours.

I enjoyed chatting to Debby (You can hear the interview by using the audio player at the bottom of this post.) and when I was asked if I’d like to go to the show I was more than happy to accept.

Having WASO involved always meant that it would be a spectacular show but it was even more impressive than I could have hoped.

Glen Campbell took to the stage and opened with Gentle On My Mind then Galveston and then continued to roll out hit after hit. His voice was in fine form but his guitar playing is extraordinary. Seeing him play the William Tell Overture on his 12 string electric guitar was breath taking. When he perched the guitar on top of his head and continued playing at lightning speed I just thought to myself that a guy of his age really shouldn’t be able to do that. The guy is 71 years of age but apparently no one has told his fingers that.

When Debby was introduced I was ready for a change of pace and possibly some good vocals. She blew me away. She has a magnificent voice and it amazes me that she isn’t recording and performing full time. As well as doing a few songs on her own she joined her father for a number of duets. Brilliant.

The song I was really wanting to hear was the first one after intermission. As soon as the orchestra started playing I knew that Witcheta Lineman was on the way. It’s a song I love and the performance didn’t dissapoint.

Towards the end of the evening Glen Campbell walked on with some bagpipes which he says are the most temperamental instrument he’s ever tried to master. He used the bagpipes to great effect during a moving rendition of Amazing Grace.

The evening was completed with a fantastic version of McArthur Park. It’s an incredible piece of music and the orchestra really got the opportunity to show just how good they are by performing faultlessly.

Oh … and about me saying that I’ve never really been a big Glen Campbell fan … I sure am now. I’ll be grabbing a greatest hits CD as soon as I can.

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It Takes Who?

Channel 7’s It Takes Two is set to hit our screens again soon with Grant Denyer returning as the host and the 2008 line up has just been announced.

The programme pairs professional singers with celebrities in yet another vote ’em off television show. The singers mentor the celebrities, helping them to realise their dreams of becoming rock stars. Each week the couples sing duets and then lets the audience vote via SMS to decide who’ll return the following week.

I will admit to have spent a bit of time in front of the telly when the show’s been on in past years but I’m wondering whether the concept should now be put out to pasture.

Maybe I’m just not part of the target audience but when I read through the list of contestants this year I was left scratching my head wondering who these people are.

Paul O’Brien – Home and Away actor
Chloe Maxwell – Presenter/ mum
Scott Draper – Professional golfer/ tennis player
Virginia Gay – All Saints actor
Julia Morris – Actor/presenter/writer
John Mangos – Sky News anchor
Sara Groen – Channel Seven weather presenter
Mark Wilson – Dancing with the Stars judge
Candice Falzon – Ironwoman
Russell Robertson – AFL football player

OK … I’ll admit I do know a few of those names but there’s not really anyone there who would have me glued to the screen over several weeks.

As for the mentors, most are returning from last year with a few new names.

Rachael Beck – Star of stage and screen
David Hobson – Opera singer
Jade MacRae – Pop princess
Wendy Matthews – Australian singing legend
Kate Ceberano – Multi award winning singer
Anthony Callea – Australia’s record breaking pop star
David Campbell – Swing sensation
Ian Moss – Australian rock icon
Ricki-Lee Coulter – Pop superstar
Adam Harvey – Country singer

Of course it’s just possible that I’ll take a quick look at the first episode and get hooked anyway.

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The iPod Personality Test

Self confessed ‘thirty something geek’ Riayn, isn’t quite convinced by the Sydney Morning Herald article, You show me your iPod, I’ll show you mine.

It claims that your iPod playlist tells others a lot about the kind of person you really are. I thought it just said a lot about your musical taste.

Riayn’s post The iPod – a window into the soul? questions the notion that your musical tastes define you and give an indication of the sort of person you should be dating.

So, what do you think your musical taste tells others about you?

I’ve just looked at the last ten songs that my iPod Mini played on shuffle. What do you think it says about me?

1. I Get Along Without You Very Well – Diana Krall
2. Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
3. What’s Happened to You – The Call
4. Easy On Your Own – Australian Crawl
5. Narrow Daylight – Diana Krall
6. Drive-In Saturday – David Bowie
7. I Don’t Care About the Past – The Senators
8. The Language of Life – Everything But The Girl
9. In The Echo Chamber – Hoodoo Gurus
10. Frozen River – Everything But The Girl

If you’ve got a music player that you can set to play randomly you might like to let me know your last ten songs.

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What a day

I had the most marvellous time yesterday.

It was wonderful to have Randy Stonehill drop in for an hour on-air during my radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM yesterday morning.

We chatted and played some of his music from just after 11:00 a.m. until midday. It was one of the highlights of my time working in radio.

He’s an incredibly nice guy and has a really weird sense of humour, so he fitted in just fine on my programme.
I really enjoyed getting the background on some of his music and his career which is now in its 36th year.

His concert last night at the Lakeside Recreation Centre was just incredible.
I had the pleasure of introducing Randy as he came onto the stage and so I did a quick poll to see how many people were seeing him perform for the first time. It seems that most of the audience were first timers which put a big smile on my face because I just knew that they were about to experience one of the most amazing performances of their lives. I was so very pleased to be able to take Pauline, Emily and James to their first Randy Stonehill concert.

The night began with a handful of songs by the very talented Kaylee Abbott, and in answer to the very many questions I was asked by audience members later, no she hasn’t released a CD yet.

Randy was just as funny as I remembered him from previous shows. He had people in tears from laughter. His vocals are still crystal clear and what he can do with just one guitar is sensational.

He can have people doubling up laughing and then minutes later the audience will be completely silent, hanging onto every word of a ballad. He’s a master songwriter and has released so many albums that he can’t even remember the lyrics from some of his songs.

I only hope it’s not another 16 years before he comes back to Perth.

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