April 30, 2000:
On Thursday the Tim Rice Concert Spectacular started at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Tonight the tour reached Newcastle. Here's the report of our friend Karen Lobb who attended the show.
It's a strange concept that grows on you, this "Tim Rice Concert Spectacular". Tim Rice is a lyricist who's worked in collaboration with a lot of people over the years, most notably (in my mind) with Andrew Lloyd Webber in "Jesus Christ Superstar". So there was a real mixture in the audience tonight - the oldies who love the classically trained voice of Anthony Warlow, big musical fans, fans of vampy Kate Ceberano who belts out with the best of them, and of course, rock fans of INXS. The surprise packet of the night was Tania Doko, of Bachelor Girl. She must be all of four foot high with her heels on, but what a spunky little blonde she is, and can she sing! David Essex was a blast from the past, with a little less hair but still capable of holding a tune.
There's nothing like a real orchestra, and putting everything in the round makes every seat in the audience a good one. The stage revolved around a centre dais, where Jon's drum kit was set up. We had to wait till towards the end of the first half for INXS to appear, and they were introduced in very glowing terms ("the world's best rock band") by Kate Ceberano. Someone in the band gave her a rose, and she went on to sing the lead in "Everything's Alright" from Jesus Christ Superstar. It has a very sweet seductive melody, until you get to the power-packed bridge, when Jon's drums cut in enough to lift you out of your seat. Everyone in the band looked very comfortable, Gary in his barefeet, Tim striding out front like the showman he is, Kirk on guitar, Andrew on keyboards. The other vocalists joined Kate on stage as the song built - a great rendition!
Next up, the vocalists all left the stage, and it was Kirk's turn to star. He sang an unfamiliar song called "Some Day Out of the Blue", which is apparently out of some new film, and did a very respectable job of it.
Last up before the break was "One Night in Bangkok", and what a rocking arrangement! Kirk was on sax for this one, while the vocals were shared between the singers. But the music was the star in this song - it was a hot number designed to leave the audience wanting more!
After the interval, the orchestra began with the overture to Jesus Christ Superstar, and then on cue, INXS kicked in. It's a memorable piece of music that makes the transition from classical to driving rock and then to an aggressive vocal, sung by the character of Judas in the original show, and tonight by a leather clad back-up singer called Brydon. He did justice to it, but it's one of those songs again that the music is just so good, and the guys in the band got into it.
Later on they returned to play along with orchestral strings for a moving ballad sung by Kate, "I don't know how to love him", and she played up to the guys as she sang. Then it was Tania's turn on stage again, and she talked about the "legendary Andrew Farriss", who wrote a new song with Tim Rice only 3 days ago, giving her two days to learn it before its debut. Tania's partner in Bachelor Girl, James, shared keyboard duties with Andrew, while Tania raved about the best drummer in the world and joined Jon on his dais halfway through the new song, "Wake Up Call". Could there be a collaboration single in the air? I hope so - it sounded great!
Later on Tania was back with the guys to "have a bit of fun" with a wry little number called "My Strongest Suit", and Jon's drumsticks were flying.
Finally, everyone was back on stage for the big finish. Tim put on his gold suit for the occasion, polished up his best lead guitar, the audience waited with a drawn breath for Jon's cue, and the theme song, "Jesus Christ Superstar", rocked. No further description required!
All in all, like I said, a strange collaboration that grows on you. A few times there's notes of incongruity, like Anthony Warlow singing with a rock band, and INXS themselves playing music written by the guys from ABBA, but the crazy thing is, it works! Best of all was the guys having a great time, especially Jon and Tim who seemed to thrive on it, and their playing with the girls, Tania and Kate. Somehow that seemed very natural and an interesting combination.
April 27, 2000:
InMusic&Media reports that INXS bassist Gary Beers is issuing his solo project Mudhead (with Southern Sons singer Jack Jones, who two months ago inked with BMG) through his own label Mangrove Music - an offshoot of his Mangrove Music Studios on the NSW Central Coast which has hosted the likes of Whitlams, Something For Kate, silverchair, Yothu Yindi and Frenzal Rhomb. INXS are currently touring on the Tim Rice music spectacular alongside Anthony Warlow, Kate Ceberano, Bachelor Girl and David Essex - but Beers emphasises this doesn't mark a full time return for the band. Besides, Beers says he owes Rice any way: a big fan of the 1970 "Jesus Christ Superstar" album with Murray Head and Ian Gillan, he admits that many of his INXS bass runs came from that record.
April 17, 2000:
It is my great pleasure to formally announce the merger of the oldest INXS internet site, An Excess of
INXS (http://inxsweb.com), with the most popular European INXS fan site, Welcome to Wherever You Are
(http://www.inxs.ch). Please read the official
announcement of the merger for full details!
April 15, 2000:
El Duelo, the Argentinian band, would like to apologize for its first show, where they were unable to
perform any INXS songs. As a result, they are cordially inviting fans to a 2nd tribute show to INXS on
May 6, at 12am at the Club de Copas "El Imaginario Cultural de Palermo". The address is Guardia Vieja
3799, Buenos Aires, Argentina. There will be no entrance charge for the show, which will kick off at 1am.
El Duelo will perform the following INXS classics: Suicide Blonde, Devil Inside, Need You Tonight, Heaven
Sent, Guns in The Sky, By my Side, and Shining Star. The sound will be supported by the Sound Engineer
who worked with U2 & Metallica when these bands played in Argentina. For more information, please
April 13, 2000:
Michael Hutchence sold 1,052 copies in the US this past week, down 25% from last week. Current sales to date now stand at 22,910. (thanks to jackie)
April 12, 2000:
ChaosMusic is giving 6 lucky ChaosMusic members (and their guest) the chance to meet INXS backstage after
attending Tim Rice's Concert Spectacular at the concert of their choice. First prizes include a tour
program and a poster signed by INXS. Six runners up will win a double pass to the concert. All you have
to do to enter the competition is find and click on the backstage "X" that is hiding on select pages of
ChaosMusic. For more details on the competition please go to
Three INXS programs will air this Friday (April 14) at 8pm EST on Musimax, a Canadian cable station: a
tribute to Michael Hutchence, "Live Baby Live," and INXS with Terence Trent D'Arby at the Stadium
Australia opening. (thanks to dave rowen)
April 11, 2000:
Radford surprised Portland audiences last week by closing their KBBT-sponsored gig at the Colbalt Lounge
with a brilliant cover of INXS' classic "Don't Change." The band is currently touring the country with
Lit in support of their self-titled debut, released on March 21 on RCA Records. The album is now
available at Amazon. Check
out the band's official website for more
information on these upcoming superstars. (thanks to janie wright)
The film "Sample People" starring Kylie Minogue (former Hutchence girlfriend) and Ben Mendelsohn (who appeared in the "Full Moon Dirty Hearts" video) will be
released in Australia on May 11. A remix of INXS' "Don't Change" by Magic-Number (Andy Rantzen and Paul
Mac) is included on the accompanying soundtrack. Sanity, an Australian online music retailer, has
the CD available from its website.
The publication date for "The Covert War Against Rock" by Alex Constantine (see April 1st news
below) has been moved forward by Feral House to April 28. Pre-order your copy from Amazon by clicking here.
April 6, 2000:
Dogs In Space, Richard Lowenstein's vision of the late 70's punk period in Melbourne, has finally
been released on DVD (Region 2). The film, starring Michael Hutchence and Saskia Post, has long been a
cult favorite with fans of thought-provoking cinema. The DVD, issued by Mangrip (UK) with a catalog
number of MMDVD003, is coded to play on DVD players in Europe, Japan, and the Middle East only. To order
your copy from Amazon, click
here! (thanks to mario)
April 4, 2000:
The band "El Duelo" will perform INXS songs at the Bauen Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 8,
2000 at 1:30 am. The address is Av. Callao 360 Cap. Fed. (Oliverio Always), Argentina. The band will also
play songs from their first live CD. (thanks to leo varo)
April 1, 2000:
Michael Hutchence's solo album sold 1,993 copies this past
week in the US, down 16.3%. To date, the album has sold
20,455 copies since its release in late February.
(thanks to jackie)
According to Allstar, a new book entitled "The Covert
War Against Rock" by Alex Constantine will question
the official facts behind the deaths of such rock, pop, and
hip-hop stars as Tupac Shakur, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, and
Michael Hutchence. For example, the death of
INXS' Hutchence, who was found hanging in an Australian hotel
room, was officially ruled a suicide, while rumors persist that
it was actually an auto-erotic strangulation mishap. But the
book quotes a piece in Rolling Stone in which writer
David Fricke reports that, "[Hutchence's] body bore the marks
of a severe beating (a broken hand, a split lip, lacerations)."
Strangely, this bit of conflicting information went unnoticed
by most other media outlets, even though having a broken hand
would've made it difficult, if not impossible, for the singer
to hang himself, either in a state of despair or arousal.
"The Covert War Against Rock" will be released in the US
by publisher Feral House on July 4.
INXS have completed their first week of rehearsals for the
"Tim Rice Musical Spectacular" at a Sydney theatre. According
to "INXS Australian Correspondent" Matthew Marsland, the current INXS setlist for the tour will
be as follows: Everything's Alright (Jesus Christ Superstar), My Strongest Suit (AIDA), Heaven On Their
Minds (Jesus Christ Superstar), One Night in Bangkok (Chess), Someday Out of the Blue (Elton John & Tim
Rice composition), I Don't Know How to Love Him (Jesus Christ Superstar), Superstar (Jesus Christ
Superstar), and Jesus Christ Superstar Overture. This setlist is subject to change.