Billy Thorpe Concert Reviews:

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April 15, 2005 - the Hellenic Club in Phillip, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

By Mark Hohmuth

Set List ( as best my memory is )
5 new songs
Rock Me Baby
Most People I Know
band intro during Reach Out (from zoo album )
poison ivy
over the rainbow
I'll Be Gone
Encore: Unknown tune & Ooh Poo Pah Doo

The show went for 2 hours, Billy came out on stage and went straight into the first 5 songs before addressing the audience.

It was difficult to distinguish these songs ( I thought there were only 3 but he stated there were 5) he announced that, "that was the Thorpie of 2005" and "this is the Thorpie of the 1970's" and went into Rock Me Baby.

I was enjoying the show so much that I really didnít take much notice of what order the rest of the show was in ( so the set list is a bit of a guess ) I asked a friend of mine who was there if he new but he had less of an idea than me. Needless to say the show rocked about half the audience was on there feet ( and tables ) from poison ivy till close. Thanks,

Feb. 29, 2005 - Meyer Music Bowl , Melbourne - Tsunami Benefit Concert

By Brian Wise

for DIG Internet Radio:

Billy Thorpe and his Sunbury Aztecs gave a typically blunt performance with Thorpey showing almost no signs of wear and tear (apart from having to put on his glasses to check the amp) since his first concert at the Bowl in 1964.
'Rock Me Baby,' and 'Be Bop A Lula' recalled the glory days while brining on Mike Rudd and Bill Putt for 'I'll Be Gone' was a nice touch. 'CC Rider' was followed by Thorpe's biggest 60's hit 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' - and he is still in great voice.
Of course, the song everyone sang along to was 'Most People I Know Think That I'm Crazy'. And after Michel Chugg exhorted the audience with the old Thorpey battle cry 'suck more piss' (I hate to tell you Chuggy but we've all moved on) - there was a frenetic encore of 'Ooh Pooh Pah Do'.
Ever the opportunist Thorpe encouraged the audience to visit his new website and to petition for a Daddy Cool, Billy Thorpe, Spectrum gig. It seemed to me that he should be careful about mistaking goodwill for a marketing trend.

November 13th , 2004

The Crown Showroom in Melbourne

By Miranda Worthington

Billy Thorpe has been a music idol for me since I first heard his Live at Sunbury record, which was about ten years ago. Like a lot of people of my generation, I wanted to find a band that I could call my own - I didn't want to fall in love with the bands my parents loved. So of course, being the young person I am, my parents refused to take me to see Thorpie live - until I was old enough to get there myself. November 13th was that very night.

The Crown Showroom, although a very big room, is quite intimate. Everybody was huddled together, even though we were seated at tables set out in a cabaret style. The room was split into two sections - the drinkers section and the "dry" section, where no alcohol was to be consumed. Believe it or not, the drunken rambling and mishaps happened on the dry side of the room. Many people seated in the dry section went to the back where the bar was, skulled their beers and went back to their tables. It made me understand 'Thorpie's Army' and the "Suck More Piss" slogan a whole lot more.

The performance was an experience. Although he started 45 minutes late, nobody was fussed as they recalled the old days and their lives as they are now. Thorpie's music is so much better live than on record or cd, and I understand why a lot of people miss that music and continually drive for hours in order to see him. Unlike a lot of the bands today, Billy conversed with the audience and shared experiences he had had throughout his life. His band appeared to be all new with the acception of himself and Dai Pritchard, with the bass player playing his second gig with him that night (his name was Jackie, and was the bass player of an old Aussie band). His keys player was very young (probably only a few years older than myself), and although a lot of his solos sounded very similar to one another, he was very good . He tended to play on the upper registers of his keyboard - think of Billy Preston and you're pretty much there. He's in a band called The Hands if you're interested.

Thorpie opened the show with a few songs from his new album "Tangier", which were absolute epics - they seemed to go on for at least 15 minutes each. There is a lot to look forward to in his new album. His new sound is more like his early 70's sound than his 80's sound, but it is still very different. I'd say not as ballsy, and more musically inclined. He played a lot of his classics - Most People I Know, Poison Ivy, Oop Poo Pah Doo, Be Bop A Lula... he may have played CC Rider, either that or I was hallucinating. I didn't take any stimulants or drink anything that evening, but boy did my mind go wild. The youth of today need to realise how good the music of yester-year was, then maybe our music industry wouldn't be in the shit-hole it is at the moment.

Miranda Worthington

Billy Thorpe concert at the Doyalson-Wyee RSL Club

October 2nd 2004.

by Robert Nicholson

As we approached the club on our arrival the sign lit up out front said it all.

"Tonight Billy Thorpe "A Rock Legend"

It was 7:30pm and the cark park was packed. Fortunately for us we noticed a car pulling out of a space so we managed to park within 100 meters of the front entrance to the club. We had planned to dine at the club before the show so we started to negotiate our way through the crowd to the bistro area. The place was packed so I found a table while my wife stood in line for the meals.

As we finished our meal a club worker came by to clear the dirty plates. "Is the club always this busy?" I asked. I had never been to this club at night before. "Oh no" she replied "They're all here to see Billy Thorpe"

Standing line waiting for the doors of the auditorium to open I noticed many a bald head and glasses as well as some younger people probably only in their thirties all lined up tickets in hand.

The doors opened at 8:30pm and seating was "first in best dressed" so the half hour waiting in the queue put us in a good position to find a prime seat. The auditorium was set up with long tables with chairs set either side of a sunken dance floor. The dance floor was set in front of the stage and the sound board was set up at the other end of the dance floor. The area behind the sound board was clear where people could stand. The , all important, bar was on the rear wall so getting a drink didn't mean anyone missing a second of the show.

During the opening act at 9:50pm Billy and the boys arrived. They had to walk thought the main entrance to the auditorium and around the crowd to make their way to the stage door.

Finally the time arrived for the show to start.

Billy and the boys walked on stage and spent a minute or so checking their gear. To them the audience didn't exist yet. I had seen the guitarist before but couldn't remember where the bassist was also familiar. The drummer and keyboard player were unknown to me.

Billy then struck the first few chords and the sound was loud. I knew that I was in for a "pub band" style of show. It was loud and hard and I could see that Billy was enjoying himself. Paul Christie on bass was smiling all the time as well. The keyboard player was only young and a played hunched over his instrument. Sitting on a high stool his keyboard was at about knee level so he looked awkward but it didn't take long for this young guy to impress.......he was good

After the second song the dance floor was packed and it remained that way all night

A couple of times Billy had to check his amp and would have to reach for the reading glasses which is just "par for the course" at his age and the age of the audience.

During the show Billy introduced the band but the sound wasn't clear enough hear all the names. As each member was introduced they proceeded to perform a solo. First was Paul Christie on the bass then Dai Pritchard (he'd played lead in the "Long Way To The Top" band) Next Billy introduced the keyboard player but I didn't get his name. This kid started his solo and it was wild. Billy and Paul just stood there watching and entertained like it was the first time they'd seen it. This kid was now on his knees playing with his right hand while his left arm was holding the keyboard. The instrument started to tip towards the audience and a dozen arms reached up to stop it from falling. After that the drum solo ( Rose Tattoo drummer, Paul Demarco ) seemed insignificant even though it was good.

Billy sang a variety of songs including Spectrum's "I'll Be Gone" where Billy played harmonica, "It's Almost Summer", "Gangster Of Love", "Be Bop a Lula", "Rock Me Baby". At one time Billy introduced a song saying that he was "going back to the beginning" and was singing his first single ........... "sorry, second single" he said correcting himself. I turned to my wife and said "Poison Ivy" but instead he broke into "Over The Rainbow" Billy really needs to check his discography.
(Oh, come on - "Mashed Potato doesn't count ! ;-) - webmaster Mike)

At the conclusion of "Over the Rainbow he did "Poison Ivy" followed by "Most People I Know Think That I'm Crazy"

The band then left the stage with the crowd chanting "WE WANT THORPIE"

They returned to the stage for their encore "Oop Poop A Doo"

It was during this song that security challenged a girl for sitting on the edge of the stage. Billy saw what was happening and called out to security "Hey !! She's fine" but security had decided that she had committed a capital offence, and had her in a head lock , and then threw her to the floor, and dragged her out a side door.

The show ended , and as I left, I noticed a group of about 15 fifty plus women waiting by the stage door......lucky Billy !

One comment mentioned in the men's room after the show. Billy should now start his shows at about 4pm so we can all be home in bed by 8pm

Saturday 29th November...2002. "Bandfest" Castle Hill Tavern

Great Venue...Thorpie was headlining over 5 other acts including Richard Clapton with a hot young band behind him and the always great Kevin Borich. As soon as it was time for Thorpies set I headed for a spot right in front of his Marshall with my new digital camera at the ready. The crappy disco music seemed to make the wait go on forever but finally they hit the stage...Pig, Dai, Paul and Paul Christie (Party Boys ex Mondo Rock) filling in on bass for the night. Then with a roar Bill came out, ever present grin fixed to his face and looking younger and fitter than ever before. A quick strum of the guitar then over to the amp for a volume adjustment (UP) and they were away. Be Bop a Lula, Gangster of Love, Christie fitting into the band like a finger up a bum. The band solos in Worlds Turning just keep getting better Paul DiMarchio (scuse spelling) was absolutely brilliant...God that guy can play....I normally don't get off on drum solos but this one had me mesmerised.

A special moment for me was this new song Bill is doing called "Midnight in Tanziers" with Bill and Dai both on acoustic guitars, Bill laying down a Morrocan drone with Dai playing over the Top. Its a ripper (quaint Oz expression) Probably as a result of the Long Way to the Top concerts we also got a great version of Spectrums "I'll be Gone" and "Long Way" itself.....oh, and yes I was keeping that camera clicking all the way thru.

I really like the one (Bill reflects).....he was just sitting there during the drum solo and you can just tell by the look on his face how much he enjoys being on that stage

For "I'll be gone" Bill played the harp intro (after apologizing for his crappy harp playing!!) No need to apologise Bill you played as good or better than most.

All too soon the set was over but for me the best was yet to come.....I'd been persuaded by a mate, Kim, to come to Sydney a day earlier and come to the show (we were going on a Harbour Cruise with Kevin Borich Express playing the next day) Anyway Kim came up to me and asked If I'd like to meet Bill!!!! Is the Pope a Catholic? Honestly I felt like a teenager again as I headed backstage. The band room was pretty crowded so I hung back trying to look inconspicuous when thru the crowd he came with an outstretched hand to shake and the usual big grin. I now have a photo of Bill and myself hanging in the most prominent spot in our lounge room and I'll die a happy man.


Tony Jaggers

Dec.11, 2002

Billy Thorpe at Balmain Leagues Club, NSW.

Sun 10 Nov 2002 7:00pm.

September 24, 2002 -

Robert Nicholson writes:

Last night, Sept 8th 2002, I drove to Newcastle for the "Long Way To The Top" concert to be held at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre. Billy Thorpe and the "original" Aztecs were introduced via a video clip, by actor Brian Brown, played on four big screens. Brian expressed his admiration for Billy. He explained how he felt that any guy that can repeat the words "Mashed Potato Yeah Yeah Yeah" over and over and come up with a hit record is some kind of genius. The stage was a revolving stage and as the stage spun around with the Aztecs on board they were already into the rift that starts "Sick'n'Tired" with Billy out front of the band hands behind his back. It was like a flash back to the 60's. They were decked out in 'tux' style suits. Billy had his hair combed just like he did back then. Col Baigent had a grey beard, his grey hair on his head was now black and, again, combed in his 60's style. 'Bluey' looked better than ever and Vince hasn't changed a bit. After appearing on "A Current Affair" sporting shoulder length hair, all was revealed when Tony wore very little hair at all. He is now very grey and balding. There was a big difference though. The sound was loud and the vocals were stronger. Billy was centre stage with Col behind and 'Bluey' behind Billy and to his left. Tony was to Billy's right and Vince to his left (just like the old days) Billy, Tony and 'Bluey' did the 'skip' during 'Sick'n'Tired' but Vince didn't join in like he used to. After 'Sick'n'Tired' Billy introduced the guys and while commenting on "the threads" he showed off his red alligator skin boots. Billy had certainly made sure the band was presented correctly.

The next song was "Over The Rainbow" which Billy sung in his more recent style yet using the original 60's arrangement. Vince produced a new guitar solo for the break for which he received an applause from the sell out audience on it's completion. For the third and final song Billy donned his guitar and after adjusting himself broke into the first chords and lyrics of "Most People". "Sorry, wrong era.......must have been an acid flash back" Now for the first time I got to hear "Poison Ivy" like it should have been done. LOUD and HARD. Well....I thought that was loud.

The last act on the show was Billy Thorpe and his "Sunbury" Aztecs. The stage revolved with Warren Morgan, Paul Wheeler, Gil Mathews and Billy Thorpe (minus the suit) already starting off "Most People" then they stopped. Billy asked the crowd "Is this loud enough?" "NO !!" was the unanimous cheer from the crowd.

"So, let's turn it up"

The amps were turned up so f*****g loud. the sound was distorting and the bass and drums were pounding my chest. Everyone was on their feet. A guy in front of me had to sit and cover his ears. It was too much for him (the pussy) The only other people that remained seated were three people in wheelchairs but I'm sure Billy was close to having them on their feet as well. The next song was "Ooh Poo Pa Doo"

The audience participation was tremendous and Billy took everyone back to Sunbury for about ten minutes or so. To finish the night off Billy broke in into AC/DC's "It's a long way to the top ( if you want to rock'n'roll)" Most of the artists involved in the show came back on stage for the faunally. I saw 'Bluey' Watson there enjoying the moment but failed to notice any other original Aztecs return to the stage

Last nights concert was video recorded as will all the concerts. Soon after the completion of the concert tour a DVD will be released. The program invites people to make advance orders at the venue. It will be available from the ABC web site. I just hope that the sound board recordings are better than what came though the speaker system.

Billy does a song on the new John Goodman / Sam Neil film "Dirty Deeds". Here is a review of the soundtrack:
September 15, 2002

Because of the "Long Way To The Top" concert Tour, Billy is all over the place. Instead of posting everything, here are the links:






Coming Attractions

The # 1

The Age . com # 2

My Name is Luke Taiapa, I am 22 years old and I'm from Brisbane, Australia and I am writing to tell you about the Ultimate Rock Symphony show in Brisbane on March 8th (2002) which I watched the show which it was fantastic & the songs that was sang that night. Roger Daltery sang -Pinball Wizard, Ruby Tuesday (with Aussie rock legend Billy Thorpe), You Better You Bet, Let It Be (with Billy Thorpe), Won't Get Fooled Again , Start Me Up with Alice Cooper My Generation, See Me Feel Me/Listening To You, Ring Of Fire and another song I dont know what it was.

I'm sorry I cant really write down the other performers set list of the songs they did that night but what I can say was that Billy Thorpe sang his famous song 'Most People I know Think That I'm Crazy, Jimmy barnes sang his famous songs like Working Class Man, Khe Shan, Alice Cooper sang SCHOOL'S OUT, Gary Brooker sang Whiter Shade Of Pale, Salty Dogs, Peter Frampton sang Baby I Love Your Way, Paul Rodgers sang a few Beatles songs, 2 John Lennon songs and his famous song 'Feel Like Makin Love' and Nikki Lamborn sang 2 of the Led Zepplin songs 'Kashmir' & "Stairway To Heaven".

December, 2001- by Robert Nicholson -

Billy Thorpe did a guest spot at the Melbourne Myer music bowl's carols by candle light last week. He played solo but with an orchestral backing and an acoustic guitar. He stared with "White Christmas"- after that he said "I just gotta" then played the intro for "most people" then sang one word , 'Most' and the audience did the rest. He continued with just a word here and there for one verse then sang 'Over the Rainbow" The guy killed it, he was the best he has ever been and was raved about on the radio the next morning.

October 1st, 2001 -

Billy Thorpe at the Southern Blues Festival - by Tony Jaggers

This year Thorpie was to be the headliner...My wife (a bit younger than I) had never seen Bill live so she insisted we go to see first hand what I'd been raving about for 30years. Full marks to Neil Mumme for a well organised fest. Bill hit the stage as the last act on Saturday Night with a full tilt set featuring (sorry bout the names) a brilliant young bassist and 2nd guitarist, an ex Tat on drums and the ever faithful "Pig" on keys. Even the hardened "blues purists" couln't keep still as he roared through a pretty standard set list. But he brought something else to the show...on top of this solid sound was a true entertainer and as Gunther Gorman once told me" as we are supposed to be part of the entertainment industry should we not be entertaining. When he walked on stage he almost glowed, his enthusiasm shone and he let it all out. The voice is stronger than ever and his guitar work is ften enhanced by what he doesn't play. The audience participation was there for all the old faves....and when I turned at the sheer volume of the first response to Ooh Poo Pah Do from my position at stage front directly in line with Bills Marshall...I was amazed to see 3,000 punters tranfixed much in the same way as I. A new song got an airing, " Midnight in Tanzier" with Bill on acoustic......if this is an indication of the quality of the new CD then Buy it!!! All to soon it was over.....funny how the other bands sets seemed to go on forever.....and I went home with that last hour repeating on an endless loop until I finally slept. --Tony Jaggers

July 16, 2001 -

Below is the advert. for Billy's show at Crown Casino in Melbourne, hopefully the long awaited album will arrive. He is also playing at the Hallam Hotel (a Melbourne suburban pub) on Sunday 16th Sept. Danny Ousley will be at both shows and will let you know how they go.

Friday, 14 September 2001


The year 2000 saw Billy Thorpe writing and recording songs for his new album due for release in late 2001. This will be his first studio album in 20 years. Live, Billy has continued to woo crowds and play special shows around Australia with multiple full houses, including Crown's Showroom in March this year. This Australian rock legend's new songs will no doubt be enthusiastically received in September 2001, when Billy brings his new tracks to the Crown Showroom.

Thanks to Danny Ousley !

**Billy was on TV the other day discussing the the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Sydney where he and some other "old rockers" will be performing. I got the impression that he many be more than just a spokesman so he may be quite busy.

I was hoping that there would be a release of "Friday Night's a great night for football" with Jimmy Barnes but I haven't sited anything. This year the Football League is using the old Easybeats tune "Friday On my Mind" so Billy/Jimmy's recording has been laid to rest **

Being from the USA, the above term "Football" is referring to Australian Rules Football, also known in the USA as: "Kill the man with the Ball" You guys are Psychos - I love ya! :-)

(Thanks, Robert Nicholson! )

Well, as of today, no word yet from anybody in the Thorpie Camp regarding Billy's new album.......

If you have any information, or links, please contact me

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