The Gov, Sunday 7th October 2018
Another full house at The Gov were treated to an amazing night of blues/rock from Melbourne band Winter Moon and disco/reggae legends Boney M.
With powerful vocals from Milly Moon, Winter Moon provided an excellent start for the evening. They played a lot of their own songs including their new single ‘You Got Me’ and an awesome cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rhiannon’. I could have listened to them all evening – but the main act reminded me of why I was there!
The band hit the stage first and within seconds, backing vocalist (and motivator?) Karloff Devonish had the packed Gov crowd dancing and clapping to riffs from ‘Nightflight to Venus / Rasputin’. Then Boney M marched on stage complete with glittery 70’s disco outfits and launched into ‘Sunny’ followed by the classic ‘Daddy Cool’ – which had the entire crowd singing karaoke-style!
I was amazed to see such a wide age bracket in the crowd – must have ranged from 20 to 70 – so it is great to see the Boney M legacy live on in the younger generation. Some even dusted off their old 70’s-80’s disco garb to get into the mood – and it worked. Crowd participation and involvement was awesome.
All 4 singers had turns as lead vocal and all were sensational singers with original / founding member, Maisie Williams, stealing the show. The backing band were also excellent and obviously enjoying themselves on stage. Boney M played many of their greatest hits on this, their 40th anniversary year, including ‘Hooray, It’s a Holi-Holiday’, ‘Belfast’ and ‘Ma Baker’. These were followed by a Swahili (I think!) ballad called ‘Malaika’ – which was the only one I didn’t know (showing my age here!).
They did an outstanding, powerful cover of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’ with Samantha Scott on lead vocals, before the 3 female singers took a break and Kelly Rahman introduced the band members to the backing of ‘Baby Do You Wanna Bump’. The ladies came back on stage and went straight into ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’ featuring Doreen Henry, encouraging – and getting – full audience participation. Two more classics followed with ‘Ra Ra Rasputin’ and ‘Rivers of Babylon’ before the band left the stage.
They returned to the stage for one more song – telling us that we ‘Gotta Go Home’ – which we did, but everyone had a smile on their face. Was tossing up with a rating but am giving it my first 10 as I could not find fault in the band, the singers, the energy or the song selection. Thanks Boney M and hope to see you back here!
A bit of trivia to finish with – original male singer Bobby Pharrell died of heart failure on 30th December, 2010 in St Petersburg, the night after a concert in which he dressed up as Rasputin when performing the famous song. Rasputin also died on 30th December in St Petersburg (in 1916)!
Words by John Glennie