The Arkaba Hotel
Until 19 Feb 2022

Review by Lance Jones

It was 1977 and the world was changing. Jimmy Carter was sworn in as POTUS, Malcolm Fraser was in The Lodge, and “Star Wars” hit the silver screens for the first time. Musically, it was the year we lost Elvis, and as a result all seemed lost to the Disco juggernaut. Yet, somehow out of the noise, possibly egged on by the “death to disco” catch cries displayed on bumper stickers across the world, British-American band “Fleetwood Mac” released their classic album “Rumours” to widespread critical acclaim. If you were there, you would recall the great debates held in smoke filled college dorms as to why this seemingly insipid soft pop album beat the masterpiece “Hotel California” for the 1978 Grammy for “Album of the Year”. The debate still rages, but those who came after “The Seventies” can at least get a taste for themselves as Adelaide Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band “Rumours” reminds us just how good Fleetwood Mac actually were.

It must also be said that the band “Rumours” are pretty good as well, capturing the ambience of both the time and the original band to an absolute tee.

This is definitely a gig for the “Boomers” and the “Gen Xers” out there. There were a small number of “Millennials” in the audience at The Arkaba that night, and a few of them just didn’t get it, talking during the solos and disturbing the nostalgia. However, the vast majority of the rather large crowd were a different matter. Covid stopped any chance of dancing but the definite rocking of seats and the sight of masks being sucked in and out due to the obvious singing of the uber-familiar lyrics showed exactly how popular this band is.

The band “Rumours” has been gigging around Adelaide since 2014 and have a loyal following. Lead vocalist Nanette Van Ruiten proudly exclaimed her recent 60th birthday, and then went on to sing like she was half her stated age. She was expertly assisted by co-vocalist Ian “Polly” Politis on keyboards, Shaun Duncan on bass, John McDermott on drums and Chunky Custard’s Rob Vorel on second keyboard. While not lessening the rest band’s technical musical talents, the real stand outs were the two guitarists; Rob Pippan on lead guitar and Gary Isaacs on acoustic guitar. Isaac’s near perfect finger-picking renditions of “Never Going Back Again” and “Landslide” were wonderful.

Rumours revelled in the crowd-pleaser anthems that Fleetwood Mac are renowned for and delivered them very well with superb musicianship awash with sound technical ability. This included those big, wall-of-sound harmonies that the original Fleetwood Mac were famous for, although the band did slightly lose the harmonies from time to time. But when they got them straight, they were big, sassy and very pleasing to the ear, adding to the overall package that was a wonderful time-warp back to 1977 and the sounds that swept in and stole everyone’s hearts, as well as the 1978 Grammy.

For a wonderful 1977 style night out, you won’t do better than to catch a gig featuring Adelaide band “Rumours”.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)