Band ready to rock

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - – Lotte Reiter

Hor­sham Arts Coun­cil’s lat­est pro­duc­tion is tak­ing bass gui­tarist Michael Peter­son back to the ‘good old days’.

Peter­son has re­turned to the long hair and is mak­ing the most of the high en­ergy that de­fined the 1980s.

Rock of Ages hits Hor­sham Town Hall’s stage for the first time to­mor­row at 8pm.

Live band Arse­nal, a mix of rockin’ Wim­mera artists, will be front and cen­tre.

Peter­son, Arse­nal’s bass-gui­tar player, said he was rapt at the op­por­tu­nity to ‘put on the ’80s gear again’ with a group of tal­ented mu­si­cians and per­form­ers.

“All the songs we have been play­ing have a lot of good mem­o­ries and good times as­so­ci­ated with them,” he said.

“The show is pretty much the same as the good old days, with the hair, the eye-liner, big gui­tars and big drums.

“The band has been a re­ally good bunch of guys to work with, and the cast is just amaz­ing.

“You know, th­ese are huge 80s rock an­thems, they’re not easy songs to sing.”

Across eight jam-packed per­for­mances, Rock of Ages will bring Arse­nal onto the stage, into the cast and among the drama.

Peter­son said the unique in­cor­po­ra­tion of the band into the on-stage cast would throw au­di­ences, par­tic­u­larly those in front rows, right into the rock ’n’ roll at­mos­phere.

“We’re front and cen­tre on stage and no one is read­ing mu­sic, so it is as if we are at a rock con­cert,” he said.

“It is dif­fer­ent be­cause gen­er­ally bands are hid­den be­hind the stage – peo­ple don’t see them. But this time we’re up there and there’s a lot of in­ter­ac­tion with the cast and the audience.

“If you’re sit­ting in the first three rows, pre­pare to be brought into the show.”

Di­rec­tor Erin Boutcher said cast mem­bers who had lived through the ‘golden era’ were an in­spi­ra­tion to her­self and other per­form­ers.

“Michael par­tic­u­larly lives and breathes this stuff, and once they all put on the cos­tumes it re­ally brings that raw rock feel­ing to the show,” she said.

“To be taken back and to hear all the dif­fer­ent sto­ries – it’s been quite in­spir­ing.

“And they’ve re­ally put in the hard work. The mu­si­cians have learnt the en­tire show and fea­ture more heav­ily than other Rock of Ages per­for­mances, which I think will be some­thing dif­fer­ent for au­di­ences.”

There’s only one more sleep un­til Hor­sham Arts Coun­cil per­form­ers shred gui­tar so­los and belt out an ’80s cho­rus for Wim­mera au­di­ences, and Boutcher said peo­ple could ex­pect a show that ‘re­ally kicks it up a notch’.

“We’re all more than ready and look­ing for­ward to hav­ing an audience, it’s re­ally go­ing to take it to an­other level for the cast,” she said.

“And I think that elec­tric buzz will fil­ter right through to the audience and around Hor­sham.

“If you’re keen to ‘rock till you drop’, visit www.hor­sham­town­hall.com.au or call the town hall box of­fice on 5382 9555 to buy tick­ets.”

• More pic­tures, page 26.

Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER.

ROCK ’N ROLL ALL NIGHT: Rock of Ages’ live band Arse­nal are ready to rock the stage across eight per­for­mances start­ing to­mor­row night. Band mem­bers are, from back left, Nick Cam­pe­sato and Josh Young, and front, Tony Block, Michael Peter­son, Sean Wales and Shan­non Water­worth.

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