Home Interviews Interview: WAYNE SMITH (It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll’ – The Rockumentary)

Interview: WAYNE SMITH (It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll’ – The Rockumentary)

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It’s Only Rock and Roll’ is more than just a rock show. This is a ‘rockumentary’ that takes audiences on a musical journey through a time when The Rolling Stones reigned supreme in rock and roll. With over twenty Rolling Stones songs performed ‘live’ by the Rolling Stones Show and a narrative of the stories behind them, this show gives us a glimpse into the golden era of The Rolling Stones.

‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’ was the brainchild of Andrew Malouf and a joint effort by producer Wayne Smith and writer and director, David Swift. Rock Club 40 spoke recently with Wayne about the show. “It’s a collective of people, obviously, as most of these shows are which come together for large scale productions but the core of the concept came from promoter, Andrew Malouf from Westside Talent . He has done a couple of shows before and he had this idea that we could take a club show and expand it into a large scale theatre concept, where we pull together stories and interesting bits of information behind the scenes and blend it into a high energy rock show in a sort of a new concept that we could get out there and really make a difference with and that was sort of the starting point I suppose. It took about a year for us to put it together as the script had to be really nailed and then the narratives done. We had to build a set for the show. It’s very sophisticated . And there’s the lighting and the sound system that tours with the show so we had to have experts so what people see is a two hour show and really if you look behind it, there’s an enormous production that needed to be pulled together so it’s a lot of work.”

“It’s very different to what people would normally just go and see with a band putting on a high energy rock show. We are delivering something from one of the biggest entertainment groups in the world so we had to get out there and make what we thought was a bigger representation of what they do so they can expect to see two hours of entertainment.” The show has a chronological order to it, starting from the 60s and 70s when The Stones were at their peak. “We picked out 20 or so iconic songs from that era and run them in a chronolical order and we sort of told stories that go behind the songs and behind the time periods that we’re talking about and we blended it all together so it’s really about 30% narrative which is acted live and also some prerecorded stuff and then we blend it with the music into a seamless show.”

Wayne agrees that it was quite difficult to choose just twenty or so songs from a catalogue that spans hundreds. “It’s nearly impossible,” he admits. “And we got into a debate about what should be in and what shouldn’t be in so it was the biggest struggle we had, deciding what not to play because there are so many hits. We could have done just three hours of non stop hits if we really wanted to do that but we thought ‘We’ve got to do something different and interesting. And it’s got to have humour and fun in it. It’s got to be interactive so we tried to blend all the theatrical elements with the rock show elements, that people would expect us to do, and the songs that we’d play anyway and the music had to be authentic so we tried to keep it at two hours of great entertainment.” There is even a choir joining them on stage for ‘Can’t Always Get What You Want’. “The Melbourne Girls’ College is joining us on June 7 at Crown. People have really embraced it. It’s been a great idea for the schools because we don’t only get them up there for five minutes performing a song with us. We make it in to a bit of a day. They come along during the day and they see the set up and the rehearsals and they do a behind the scenes tour so we really get them involved from a day out perspective and of course they perform on the night which is a wonderful experience for them. So the schools have really embraced it.”

Wayne says that the experiences have been very positive everywhere they’ve played. “And because the music is iconic, it’s already timeless and it flows and people really get into it and the way the show is scripted and acted out is humourous and funny. They get into character and interact with the audiences and the audience interacts with us so it’s a positive experience for all and each show is different but overwhelmingly, it’s positive. It seems to be different everywhere we go but clearly people get into ‘Can’t Always Get What You Want’ because that’s the interactive part of the show and there’s a core response to our charismatic singer and everyone really gets into it; the kids really get into it so that’s a fun part of the show. We do throw a few back catalogue numbers that people don’t hear all that often like ‘Gimme Shelter’ and ‘Midnight Rambler‘ which are just great songs to perform but of course songs like ‘Honky Tonk Women’ and ‘Brown Sugar’ and all that standards that people would expect. How could you go wrong with that sort of stuff?”

by Sharyn Hamey

 Copyright © 2014 Sharyn Hamey. All Rights Reserved

It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll – The ‘Rockumentary’

Saturday 7th June 2014

Palms at Crown, MELBOURNE VIC


Tickets available from the venue

** Only Melbourne Show


For more information, please visit www.itsonlyrocknroll.com.au

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