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Robin Gibb in Auckland

09/11/2010

When you're a Bee Gee and it comes to songs, you're spoilt for choice.
 
And by the time Robin Gibb walked off stage in Auckland he had well and truly spoiled his fans.
Gibb, playing on his solo tour of Australia and New Zealand, belted out 21 songs in 90 minutes.

Every one was a gem and it seemed every fan that had packed Vector Arena left satisfied.
The Bee Gees’ catalogue is surpassed only by the Beatles in quantity.
There's no lack of quality either through the clever rafting of the three famous brothers and Robin is making sure the music is staying alive.
Auckland loved every minute of it as Gibb, an oversized yellow jacket blanketing his wafer-thin body in skin tight black pants and turtle neck, commanded centre stage.
 
He chatted, he waved and regularly gave a thumbs-up. But most of all he reminisced through a song list that went all the way back to the late 60s.
Naturally there were plenty of tracks from, as Gibb put it – "that movie". The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack of 1977 shot actor John Travolta to international stardom and relaunched the Bee Gees, giving them six consecutive No. 1s.
 
Gibb sprinkled them through the show, bringing out More Than A Woman early, How Deep Is Your Love soon after and when Night Fever hit the air 45 minutes into the show the crowd started to get on their feet.
You Should Be Dancing was a command that was answered enthusiastically and Jive Talking and Staying Alive were part of a powerful encore.
 
Without  Barry Gibb's high voice around it was always going to be interesting to see how Robin could carry off the trademark sound of some of the Bee Gees' biggest hits.
 He managed that with backing vocals provided by a young and energetic four person group, superbly led by Errol Reid.
But Robin was the voice of the early Bee Gees sound and that was plain to see in this show. New York Mining Disaster was hauntingly beautiful, Massachusetts just as strong and To Love Somebody hit the spot.
He also sounded great with a couple of his personal hits from his solo career – Saved By The Bell and Juliet.

Gibb’s band was tight with Nelko Kolarov on keyboards and Wayne Banks on bass the standouts.
The Bee Gees' strength wasn’t just in their performance; they were prolific songwriters for other artists too and Gibb was happy to try his hand at some of these famous tunes – Barbra Streisand's Woman In Love, the Dolly Parton-Kenny Rogers duet Islands In The Stream and Dionne Warwick’s Heartbreaker. He pulled them off.
 
Gibb finished his show with Tragedy pumping out against a psychedelic backdrop. The real tragedy is that the Bee Gees as a group are no longer after Maurice died in 2003. But we’re thankful that Robin Gibb is happy to keep the spirit and the sound going.
 
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Music History #8: "New York Mining Disaster 1941"By Bill De Main september 2012
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Image credit:  Getty Images
“New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones)”
Written by Barry and Robin Gibb (1967)
Performed by Bee Gees


The MusicWhen the Bee Gees debut US single was released in April 1967, a lot of people thought it was The Beatles masquerading as another band. Even the name Bee Gees was read as code for “Beatles Group.” But within a year, brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb established themselves not only as hit makers in their own right, but as chart rivals to the Fabs. “New York Mining Disaster 1941,” the first of thirty-some hits, is one of those rare pop songs in which the title never appears in the lyrics. Most people still refer to it by its subtitle “Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones.” Inspired by the Aberfan mining disas…