The Gov, Friday 7th February 2020
(Reviewed by John Glennie)
Have to admit I was sceptical about this show, wondering how 75-year old Glenn’s voice would stand up. I need not have feared as his voice was exceptional throughout, his band was superb and the harmonies outstanding.
As with the Ronnie Charles tribute to The Loved Ones a week earlier, the show was MC’d by John ‘Pembo’ Pemberton. Glenn’s stage presence has not diminished in the slightest and we were treated to classics from his days in The Twilights, Axiom and The Little River Band as well as covers of classic songs that influenced his long career.
Glenn recalled his early days as a £10 Pom in Elizabeth in the 1950s and started the show performing songs that influenced him such as Spencer Davis Group’s ‘Gimme Some Lovin’, Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and The Beatles’ ‘Please Please Me’. Then we went to The Twilights with ‘Needle In A Haystack’. Glenn then related a story about being at a party at Ian Meldrum’s place (before he became Molly and “came out”!) where some guy called Brian Cadd asked if he wanted to form a group. Glenn asked if he had anything to start with to which Brian said he had Arkansas Grass, “but what about a song?”! He then played Axiom’s ‘Arkansas Grass’ for us J followed by ‘A Little Ray of Sunshine’ (performed mostly by the crowd) and ‘My Baby’s Gone’.
Next came Little River Band songs from their 1975 self-titled debut album ‘Curiosity (Killed The Cat)’ and ‘Emma’. After the interval it was predominantly LRB songs which had many (including me) up dancing. The band started the second set with ‘It’s A Long Way Home’, ‘Shut Down, Turn Off’ and ‘Dream Lever’. The classics kept coming: ‘Take It Easy on Me’, ‘Lady’, ‘Lonesome Loser’, ‘Reminiscing’ (which highlighted the band’s incredible harmonies and to which he dedicated to his mother who turns 100 this year, and it’s her favourite song), ‘Home on Monday’ then finishing with ‘Help Is On Its Way’.
The encore looked at climate with ‘Cool Change’ then finishing with a Beatles medley from the Abbey Road album ‘Golden Slumbers’, ‘Carry That Weight’ and, fittingly, ‘The End’. Another excellent night of great (South) Aussie talent. Biggest surprise was when Glenn announced at the start of the encore that The Gov is one of the best live music facilities in the land yet this was his first time playing there! Let’s hope he comes back because he surely still “has it”!