Review by Lia Cox
Having grown up with the songs of the 60s and 70s thanks to my parents, it felt fitting to bring my mum to enjoy the musical extravaganza that is The 60 Four.
A group of four young men, three of whom met in music class at school, who found and fell in love with the sound of the 60s back in 2015, thanks to cabaret performer Michael Griffiths.
After performing a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons medley for an awards night, they received a standing ovation and were immediately booked for three gigs.
Luckily for us, they have continued to hone and explore more music of the era, extending their repertoire into a two-hour show, jam packed with slick suits and even slicker choreography.
With a venue as brilliantly suited to this style as the Norwood Concert Hall, and a stage set up to rival any celebrity playing in town, the boys roar onto the stage, decked out in matching green velvet jackets to bust out ‘Sherry’ from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, one of many songs by this famous band.
Ben Francis, lead vocalist, director and musical arranger of the group set the benchmark of the quality and calibre of performance we were to expect from the night. This boy can SAAANG!
His vocal range is to be revered and envious of – it is out of this world! Not to mention his ability to arrange the multitude of harmonies, melodic phrasing and modulations. All this and he is 22 years old!
His talents were on full display with the Beach Boys’ ‘California Girls’, ‘Stayin Alive’ by the Bee Gees and ‘Build me Buttercup’ made famous by Motown group The Foundations.
Such technically difficult songs with phrasing and key changes, but he made it look and sound gloriously effortless.
The newest recruit, Finnegan Green, has packed some punch in his 20 years, and plays the bass crooner with swag and charm.
His renditions of ‘Under the Boardwalk’ by The Drifters, the Stevie Wonder classic ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours’ and Elvis Presley’s ‘Return to Sender’ were true to the originals and note perfect. Not to mention totally charismatic!
Lachlan Williams, an original member of the group, had the most captivating sound – able to reach the top balcony with his beautiful baritone notes, especially in Simon and Garfunkel tracks ‘Cecilia’ and ‘The Sound of Silence’ as well as the solemn and dramatic Beatles classic ‘Let it Be’ dedicated to those suffering in the Eastern states. He was also the most cheeky, flashing his pearly whites and really getting into the spirit of the swinging 60s!
Founding member, and oldest of the group, Kyle Charles Hall, while a multi talented singer and songwriter, also engaged as choreographer for the show – and quite frankly, did an amazing job!
All the nuances of the time period, down to how they used their microphones, moved the stands and seamlessly transitioned between songs was extremely well done and super professional.
His turn at lead vocals in The Temptations ‘My Girl’, the Bee Gees ‘How Deep is your Love?’ and ‘Stayin Alive’ showed just how deserving he is of leading man status.
Their phenomenal band, all young musicians themselves, were so on point and faultless, I have no doubt the future of our music scene is in good hands. Special mention to Marco Callisto and Emma Simpson-Smith for band arrangements and Jake Dawson for his ripping guitar solo!
Lighting was clever, crafty and complimentary to the stagecraft, and although there were times I wanted the vocals turned up a little more, the sound was sensational.
Singing nearly 40 classic tracks, and two costume changes [who doesn’t love a hot pink jacket?], these boys were working hard for the money and had us punters hungry for more.
With energy to burn, and talent in spades, this was an unbelievable night of foot-stomping, audience interaction and chair dancing [yes, restrictions were lifted just two hours after this show!] to the iconic sounds of the 60s – timeless music presented by a group of boys who were quite literally, born to entertain.
The 60 Four are the real deal, and this show cements their position as the Australia’s best tribute artists to the 1960s.