(Feb 5, 2011) It was a hot and steamy summer’s evening as I made my way into legendary Brisbane (Australia) venue The Zoo for what promised to be a fantastic night’s entertainment.

My dear friend and mentor Ritchie Yorke had been asked to be involved as MC in this charity event, an annual fundraiser put on by great local musicians including Stew Riddle. He knew I would be visiting and in town for the event, and so after checking in with me, he mentioned to the organisers that I was keen to be involved.

As I had performed at a few of these events in previous years, they were happy for me to jump on board; however the band line-up was set and most of the best Beatles songs had been taken.

So I suggested performing early ’70s Lennon tunes, acoustic and solo, in between the bands. They jumped at the idea, and so it came to pass. I didn’t quite realise the challenge I had taken on, holding an audience’s attention in between the full sonic force of some of the best of the current crop of Brisbane bands! But I shouldn’t have worried; the full-capacity crowd were amazing and sung along with every song like a trained choir.

The energy in the room just kept building throughout the night, and I was so pleased to see that the current Brisbane band scene is in great health! I became great friends with the guys from Charlie Mayfair, and I was really humbled to hear some musicians tell me how much my other band george had inspired them to start a band.

As my last song, before the final band, I chose to perform “Give Peace A Chance”, and I invited people from different bands to join me on stage. The feeling was electric; first we got the audience to start the clap, and then I started that sross-rhtyhm strum, and we were away.

The 500+ crowd were all with us, we were one; and I reckon every single person in that place was singing along. I for one almost had an out-of-body experience! I’m going to track down some of the bands and see if anyone recorded it; I’d love to see it. The experiece certainly reminded me of the true power of John Lennon’s music, and its ability to bring people together.

A fantastic way to see in the new year, albeit belatedly!

Here’s a link to a great review of the gig on fasterlouder.com.au: All You Need Is Beatles Review