Chances are the 1977 album ‘Bat Out of Hell’ was and probably still is part of every music fan’s record collection. And, to my mind, there is probably only one band in Australia who could pull off an entire live show centred on the bestselling album, complete with all the theatrical presence that it demands. That band, of course, would be Chocolate Starfish and they will be serving up the classic Meat Loaf album in their own inimitable style at The Palms in Melbourne’s Crown Casino on Friday, 31st October. Enigmatic lead singer Adam Thompson took time out recently to talk to Rock Club 40 about the special Halloween show.
“We started rehearsing a few months ago,” he tells me. “It’s such a big thing that it pretty much requires a couple of weeks to really immerse yourself in each song. To do it authentically, we had to add another guitarist and two backing singers which aren’t normally a part of Starfish’s line-up. You’ve got to make it sound as good as the album did. Even Meat Loaf has come under a lot of scrutiny for his live shows and we wanted to make sure that it wasn’t anything less than people’s memory of the album and how it should sound. We’ve added an extra guitarist and we’ve got a sax player and there’ll be some Harley Davidsons on stage. It’s a full production. It’s how you remember the album to sound. We’re very fortunate that we’re able to pull it off. That’s what I’m excited to show people.”
“If you’ve ever seen Meat Loaf perform live, it’s very theatrical,” he says. “For instance, in ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’, where there’s this sexual tension going on between him and one of the backup singers and there’s the baseball analogy of reaching third base. There’s lots of moments where you interpret parts of the song with rock theatre so even though there’s only seven songs on the album, by the time you put in all the theatrics as well and in the encore we’re also going to do the Starfish hit single and another Meat Loaf classic, ‘I’d Do Anything For Love’, off his second album so it will be well over an hour and forty five minutes worth of show.”
Adam says that he grew up listening to the ‘Bat Out of Hell’ album. “And probably, when you are a kid and growing up, you develop some of your tonality around the albums or the songs that you like and I must have listened to that album more times than I realised,” he laughs. “It’s still the greatest selling album of all time in Australia and seeing as people aren’t buying albums anymore, it’s probably going to stay there.”
Chocolate Starfish will be supported by illusionist, Duck Cameron who has mystified and entertained audiences around the world with his shows of comedy and magic. “It’s a full concept night,” Adam sums up. “It’s a night full of magic and mystics and, being Halloween, it fits nicely within the realms of that night.”
The singer is quick to point out that the show is not about some ‘half-baked covers band’ performing Meat Loaf songs. “I want to emphasise to people too that, even though we’re still going to have that Starfish rock ‘n’ roll cheek that we’re known for, it’s really been very well rehearsed and well-conceived and people should expect to hear the music played just how they want it to be heard and it will certainly evoke some nostalgia and memories in people that love that album and all the things that they remember about it.”
And Chocolate Starfish fans will have an extra treat in store on the night, as Adam explains. “In the last twelve months, around all our other commitments, we’ve been putting together a brand new EP. Some of the songs got started with Zoran, our guitarist who passed away and there are some new ones that I’ve written with Tim Henwood who had been playing with us as well.” The new EP will be on sale for the first time at the ‘Bat Out of Hell’ show and will later be available digitally through iTunes. “It will be the first new Starfish release since about 1995. It’s a long time in between drinks and we’re really excited to show off some of these new songs. You never know, if we get a double encore, we might throw one of those in as well.”
by Sharyn Hamey
Chocolate Starfish perform their special Halloween ‘Bat out of Hell’ show at The Palms at Melbourne’s Crown Casino on 31st October. Tickets available through Ticketek.
Ph: 13 28 49
Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2014. All rights reserved