The Australian Army Band Kapooka has a proud tradition of genre-hopping, they can play as a stage band, rock band and a jazz ensemble.
Commanding Officer and Music Director Major Lindsay Mee said this versatility means the band can cater for most musical tastes.
The band showed that versatility at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre last Sunday afternoon.
Dubbo witnessed the world premiere of the band’s new show ‘Around the World in 80 minutes’.
The show got off to a smooth start with Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly with Me. The band was tight, and vocalist Josh McKellar was note perfect.
The first stop on the international musical journey was Japan; the band set a groovy atmosphere with the tune ‘Tank’.
A pretty faithful rendition of April in Paris followed with the visuals on the big screen adding to the enjoyment of the music.
Vocalist Angie Currington does a beautiful job of Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose.
Children of the 80s would have been surprised by an intimate ballad version of the international pop hit 99 Luftballons. German singer Nena’s original version was a fast-paced pop song, the ballad interpretation is a highlight of the show. Currington is a superb vocalist; she has almost perfect diction in English, German and French.
Chick Corea’s Spain shows once again how groovy the band is. The rhythm section locking in tightly with the horns.
The English portion of the set was strange though and showed the dilemma a band must have when it tries different takes on popular songs. With such fine vocalists, The Beatles Hey Jude fell short as a horn-heavy instrumental; the refrain could have lifted the audience and provided a sing-along moment, most people know the na na na na na bit surely.
The disappointment of Hey Jude was quickly redeemed with a lovely reading of Let it Be. Jake Curro showed what a tasteful guitar player he is with a short but original guitar solo. The title track from the James Bond film Skyfall showed just how good it is when band and vocalist cook together. Singing anything that Adele has released is a big ask, but both band and vocalist pull it off with aplomb.
Toto’s Africa is another excellent example of the band and vocalists being in sync with both Currington and McKellar trading lead and harmony parts. Both singers showed how well they harmonise from this point of the show onward and the show benefited from the vocal pairing.
Men at Work’s Down Under and Peter Allen’s I Still Call Australia Home wrap up a mostly top-notch musical journey around the world.