23 August 2015
As close as it comes these days
I waited outside the South Australia Hotel but not long enough. I missed the Beatles when they came out on the balcony to the screaming despair of Adelaide teenagers. Other than happening on Abbey Road in London, it’s the closest e ever come to the Fab Four. The Beatnix are my live alternative. I heard them years back at the Southern Cross Club in Woden and was blown out by the accuracy of the cover. The Paul character played left hand Hofner; they all sang their own parts (as best I know them); there was no recorded backing other than inevitably for Day in the Life; the costumes were apt (mop tops in suits before interval; Sergeant Peppers after). This was just one set, so I wondered how or if they’d change (they did, and neatly as mop-top Paul sang Yesterday solo on right handed guitar played lefty, switching to George in Peppers garb with While my guitar gently weeps and a great return of the full band through that tune – that was neat). The voices were there, even if some weren’t quite as close or with the same range as I remembered. There was chatter, especially (inevitably?) from John that sounded Liverpudlian enough to my ear (some Brits were not so convinced). The guitar solos were right, if missing some recording studio magic. The bass lines were good if Hofner indistinct. The amps were Fenders and a Gallien-Krueger, not Vox, but that’s OK. Ringo’s Little help was convincing and his drums nice. We all rocked along and enjoyed a range of their discography. The fact that everyone had their missing favourite just confirms how wonderful was this band. Penny Lane was my missing fave. Paul always was my favourite Beatle and Eleanor Rigby and Penny Lane still work for me as deeply personal portraits of English life and characters. We were sitting with Brits; he who recounted the Beatles live (all standing on seat backs and no one could hear them) and she who’d met John Lennon. This and other stories remind me that these were celebrities before celebrity culture; young English kids who got taken on a wild ride (they split aged 27). But these guys had genuine talent, even if the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. Beatnix were a nice reminder of it.
Beatnix covered the Beatles on Legend of the Seas.