Seymour Takes on Beatles Collection

A positive article about Mark Seymour’s role in the Beatles Back2Back tour.

Author: Karl Quinn, WAToday.

Date: 9 August 2011.

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Article Text

Back in his ”Hunnas” days, Mark Seymour grew used to the sight of fans in blue singlets. Now, as part of the Beatles tribute concert Back 2 Back, he’s having to steel himself for an altogether glitzier vision.

”We get quite a few fans wearing the Sergeant Pepper outfits,” he says, slightly incredulous. ”My kids dress up as Harry Potter, so I’m kind of used to it, but you wouldn’t get me in one, that’s for sure.”

The mere idea of the remorselessly independent former Hunters & Collectors frontman playing someone else’s material is stretch enough. Does it feel odd, then, to subjugate your craft to someone else’s words and music after all these years doing it your way?

”Well, it’s the Beatles,” he says. ”I think the word subjugation is a bit strong.”

Seymour is one of six singers – Irwin Thomas (aka Jack Jones), Shihad frontman Jon Toogood and Dean McGrath of indie pop outfit Hungry Kids of Hungary are among the others – who will perform the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road albums in their entirety (and correct running order), with the backing of a 16-piece band complete with strings, horns and sitar.

Seymour channels Paul McCartney (Fixing a Hole, You Never Give Me Your Money and She Came In Through the Bathroom Window) and George Harrison (Within You, Without You), and he does so without his standard prop, a guitar.

The McCartney register is a tough one, but Seymour feels he’s up to the task. ”My voice has improved quite a lot in the last few years,” he says. ”The whole exercise is really about the voice.”

Back 2 Back is at the State Theatre tonight and tomorrow at 8pm.