The Beatles Back2Back

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The Beatles Back2Back


For well over twenty years, Kiwi Jon Toogood’s almost exclusive musical domain has been the band he formed, the mighty Shihad. But recently things have changed a little for him in this respect. Whilst Shihad continues to power on unabated, recently having released a very strong album in Ignite and remaining one of the biggest noises on the Australian live rock scene, Jon recently took on a side project called The Adults, featuring other luminaries of the Kiwi music scene. Plus he was also chosen to sing in the upcoming Beatles Back2Back tribute show alongside five other high profile male vocalists, which heads out across the country in August. Jon filled Beat in recently about the show and his involvement in it, from his ‘other’ home in Auckland.

“They approached me,” he explains, “I actually talked to Chris Cheney about 12 months ago, about how his experience was when he did the White Album with Timmy Rogers and stuff. And I think Phil Jamieson was part of that. And he said it was just a joy to do. You think you know the songs, but you actually don’t until you do them. And he just said it was a complete blast. So when they approached me about this, I was like ‘Yeah! That sounds like me, totally!'”

The songs from the show are taken exclusively from two of The Beatles’ best known albums, Abbey Road and Sgt Peppers, the latter of which contains a song that is very close to Jon’s heart.

“I’m totally stoked that I asked for A Day in the Life,” he enthuses, “that’s basically my favourite song of all time. But I’m now freaking out! I’ve gotta make sure I do it justice, because that’s one of my favourite vocal takes of all time. Just because it’s so peaceful, even if what everything he sings about is out of a newspaper, it’s great words. The vocal delivery on that track sends shivers down your spine. I actually know those words inside out. There’s a couple of others that I’ve been given which I really like…I’ve got Good Morning Good Morning, which is really cool. Mean Mr Mustard off Abbey Road…but yeah I’m really looking forward to it.”

To prepare himself for the challenge of singing such iconic songs in front a large crowds of people, Jon has simply been listening to them over and over, and singing them to himself in the car. “That’s exactly what I’ve been doing,” he states emphatically, “because I’ve been so busy with The Adults I’ve been driving here, there and everywhere, and I’ve basically just had them on repeat. Just singing along to them like a fan, that seemed like a good way of doing it.”

The show also features Mark Seymour, Irwin Thomas (aka Jack Jones, formerly of Southern Sons fame), Dean McGrath from the Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Tim Morrison of Trial Kennedy and Rai Thistlethwayte from Thirsty Merc, and Jon is very excited to be among such illustrious company. It also comes at a very interesting time for him.

“I’m really interested to see how Mark Seymour does The Beatles’ stuff,” he says, “and all the boys are awesome for sure. It’s weird, it’s going to be my fourtieth birthday on one of those shows, it’s going to be a weird bunch of people to have my fourtieth birthday around, so it’s going to be quite amusing!

“I’ve actually just blown it, because I was planning on not telling anybody, I actually wanted to sneak that one under the radar!” he laughs.