Audiences will have the opportunity to experience the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) at its finest as it plays its first ever full-length Beatles concert. Led by some of Australia’s most talented rock singers, All You Need Is Love plays for one night only at the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre on Sunday 28 July. This extravagant live music and sound concert experience features 35 musicians and singers including Ciaran Gribbin, Jack Jones, Jackson Thomas, and Rai Thistlethwayte. We talked to multi-platinum-selling musician Jack Jones ahead of the event.
You were born a year after The Beatles broke up, what impact did the band have on you when you were younger and discovering music?
I think all musicians have been influenced by The Beatles. They were extraordinary on so many levels. They were adventurous, not afraid to step away from what was generally accepted at the time. They certainly inspired my love of guitar and determination to be the best player I could.
Have you always been a fan of The Beatles, and if not, when did the penny drop?
Always a fan. My mother played their music continuously for as long as I can remember.
How did your appreciation of The Beatles change or evolve as you become involved in music as a songwriter and musician?
When you start writing your own songs you appreciate the genius of the Beatles on a whole other level. Composing one memorable song is a great achievement. The Beatles wrote dozens. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could ever do better.
The band were only active for a short period, but produced some of the defining songs of our time. What do you think The Beatles legacy is, and how does it feel to be playing a part in celebrating it through an enormous production such as ‘All You Need Is Love?
Considering the vastness of their body of work it’s hard to comprehend that they were only together for 8 years. Mind-blowing! Of course, the music is an extraordinary legacy in itself but in addition to that, I think what they achieved has been an inspiration for many songwriters/musicians and will continue to do so for many generations to come. I have been working with the producers of All You Need is Love for a number of years on a number of different Beatles shows. It’s an absolute privilege. The musicians are incredible and the shows are executed with a high level of integrity.
You’ve performed with bands on stages across the world, but this production must have been the first time that you’ve performed with a full orchestra? What is it like as an artist to have so many talented performers musicians playing behind you?
It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when actually playing the music with an orchestra. It takes the emotion, the buzz to a whole other level. There have been times where I’ve been so lost in the moment that I lose my place. It really is very special.
How have you gone about melding rock with the symphony?
The first thing we did was choose songs that would be conducive to orchestration. There is no point trying to do an orchestra version of I Saw Her Standing There for example. Once the setlist was finalized we had the songs orchestrated by Nick Buck, one of Australia’s leading orchestrators. He’s a super talented guy. We wanted the band and the orchestra to blend. We didn’t want a band plus orchestra situation. We wanted to create the feeling of a 40 piece rock orchestra and for all the players to be an integral part of the show. It works really well. This January we will have played our 6th year in a row at the Sydney Opera House. Audiences love this show.
You’re sharing the stage with three other fantastic vocalists – how did you decide on who was singing what/ That must have been a little difficult? Is there a song that you just had to sing on?
Yes, that’s tricky. Basically, the creative team give us the song list and we send through our wishlist in order of preference. We don’t get everything we want but we are guaranteed a few of our favourites. Fortunately, they are all amazing songs so it’s never a disastrous outcome for any of us.
What is it like collaborating with so many musicians on something like this? How do you go about bringing it all together?
We have all been performing together for a long time. The Day Tripper Band who are an absolute highlight of the show have been doing these concerts for over ten years. Let me tell you, this band is made up of the best of the best. When we get together to do these shows it’s like a family reunion. We all love the music. We all love doing the shows.
What can Kiwis expect from All You Need Is Love?
The Kiwis are in for a real treat. This is something completely different. It’s the Beatles on a grand scale. Importantly, no-one is trying to impersonate the Beatles. We stay true to the original arrangements of the music but we don’t try to dress or sound exactly like Paul or John. It’s a big claim but this is a world-class show. The musicianship is extraordinary and with an Orchestra it’s like the Beatles on steroids!
How has being part of this show changed you as a musician?
It’s hard not to be influenced as a musician playing in a show like this. Getting to know the songs intimately, up close, it adds to your overall knowledge of music. It influences your own composing, performing, musicianship. I find myself falling in love with music all over again which is perfect because All You Need is Love!
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
Jack Jones, Ciaran Gribbin, Rai Thistlethwayte & Jackson Thomas
Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
Sunday 28 July 2019
Tickets are on-sale now from Ticketmaster