Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Bee Gees - Live at Festival Hall, Melbourne (1971)

(Australian 1958-2003)
In the summer of 1971, the Bee Gees undertook their first tour of Australia since they had left the country nearly five years before to achieve global fame. Their July 15, 1971 concert at Festival Hall in Melbourne was filmed for an Australian television special, and the hour-long black-and-white program is also available on DVD.
For this show, Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb, and Maurice Gibb -- Barry and Maurice playing guitar and piano, though Robin just sang -- were backed by a guitarist (Geoff Bridgeford) and drummer, as well as a full orchestra. This helped them create arrangements about as full as those heard on the Bee Gees' late-'60s/early-'70s records, and though the sound wasn't perfect (sometimes the vocals are softer than they should be), it's a pretty good performance that accents their most popular material of the era.

Every one of their big 1967-1971 hits ("New York Mining Disaster 1941," "To Love Somebody," "Holiday," "Words," "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," "I Started a Joke," "Massachusetts," "I've Gotta Get a Message to You," and "Lonely Days") is here, lending the show something of a greatest-hits air. A few other songs from the era are included as well, "I Can't See Nobody" being a highlight, and the blue-eyed-soul tune "Lay It on Me" -- the only one to feature Maurice Gibb on lead vocals -- being the least impressive. Robin Gibb and Barry Gibb are the primary lead singers otherwise, though three-part harmonies are naturally often a feature. The on-stage patter and joking isn't very interesting or dynamic, but the performances are good. It's certainly a concert that should be issued officially as it's a good and representative encapsulation of the sound for which the Bee Gees first became internationally famous. [review by Richie Unterberger, Rovi]
Ron Blackmore, Paul Dainty & David Trew
The Bee Gees
- Barry Gibb
- Robin Gibb
- Maurice Gibb
- Geoff Bridgeford (drums)
plus 16-piece orchestra, Bill Shepherd, musical director
with Russell Morris, support

Cities, Venues, Dates:
10 July 1971 - Brisbane, Festival Hall?
11 July 1971 - Sydney
12 July 1971 - Canberra, Canberra Theatre?
14 July 1971 - Hobart
15 July 1971 - Melbourne, Festival Hall
16 July 1971 - Adelaide
17 July 1971 - Perth
"On the 9th of July the Bee Gees will arrive in Sydney to commence a one week tour of all capital cities. This is the first time the group as a whole has returned to Australia since they left for England 4½ years ago.
Accompanying them on their tour will be ten British musicians and their musical arranger, Australian born, Bill Shepherd. It is believed that the group will be backed by a thirty-piece orchestra."- Go-Set Magazine 19th June 1971
"The Bee Gees were being considered for an Australian tour by several promoters, but all but one backed out because the risk was too high. Now the Bee Gees are here they have packed every concert and brought every audience to their feet for a standing ovation! In Sydney and Canberra the crowds leapt from their seats and yelled for more. Canberrites have rarely been known to show such overwhelming enthusiasm for a visiting act of any sort. In Sydney the applause was deafening almost ten minutes after the Bee Gees had left the theatre and were on their way to their hotel!
In Melbourne an extra concert was arranged to cope with the huge demand for tickets and crowd reaction was spectacular."
- Go-Set, 24 July 1971
"The Bee Gees 1971 tour was one of the very few Australian sellout successes."  - Soundblast, January, 1972
The 1971 Melbourne Festival Hall concert was recorded and filmed in black and white.
The rip was taken from CD in FLAC format. Limited album artwork is included along with select photos from the concert.
Track Listing
01. NY Mining Disaster 1941

02. To Love Somebody

03. Band Intro / Really and Sincerely

04. Every Second, Every Minute

05. Lay It On Me

Jingle Jangle/Morning of My Life
07. Holiday
08. I Can't See Nobody

09. Words

10. How Can You Mend a Bro
ken Heart
11. I Started a Joke

12. Ive Gotta Get a Message to You

13. Massachusetts

14. Lonely Days

15. Encore:
Spicks and Specks

Bee Gees Live Link (235Mb) New Link 26/03/2021
RIP Robin Gibb (May 21, 2012)


  1. I was there! The Melbourne concert - 15thJuly 1971.
    I was 15 and they were sublime.

  2. How lucky were you Mary - I'm green with envy.
    I hope this recording brings back many fond memories.
    Apparently there is a DVD of this concert but I have yet to find it in the stores.

  3. Hi, just discovering your blog today, and just in time for the Megaupload links to be gone. Any chance you can repost this elsewhere? Thanks for the other stuff I grabbed, from working links!

    1. G'dday PopCulturist
      I will repost this one soon so stay tuned. Keep an eye out for the red REPOST label

  4. Hey,

    I wish to contact you, how would it be possible for me to do so? As I have this one on DVD with far superior audio quality and video quality, I have the 1971 and 1974 concert. If you wish to have a digitial copy of them.. Then I need to be able to contact you. I think people should be able to have this in high quality!


  5. I was there too. Second or third concert I ever went too.

  6. Looking forward to hearing this piece of history. Thank you!