Concert Review: The Beatles – Abbey Road, Civic Theatre, 12 December 2020

The Come Together NZ Supergroup lay it out for the Boomers. With NZ rock royalty including Jon Toogood, Delaney Davidson, Tami Neilson, Lawrence Arabia, & more

The Come Together NZ Supergroup channel the spirit of the Music Gods and lay it out for the Boomers. The Best That Ever Will Be were amongst the first-born of the generation. The Sixties only came into existence once the Beatles created it. It effectively ended in their most tumultuous year of 1969. A set of songs recorded under extreme duress and personalities tearing each other apart. They brought it all together one last time for a final masterpiece, Abbey Road.

The Beatles were bigger than any individual component. There has been continual talk of a reunion, even after the death of John Lennon. While that will never happen, even if Liam Gallagher and Eric Clapton put their hands up, Come Together assemble tonight and the Spirit is made flesh. And Voice.

Jon Toogood
Back in the USSR. Jon Toogood sings. About 15 musicians on stage. Saxophone and horns. Two drummers. A nod to the Beach Boys. The Ukraine girls really knock me out/ They leave the West behind. They really do.

Taxman. Delaney Davidson sings it nasty and dirty. Finn Scholes doubles on trumpet and keyboards. The big tuba appears later.

Lady Madonna. Tami Neilsen says this was written for all the women. Then gives it a magnificent Soul treatment in full Aretha mode. The horns and saxophone also steal a march.

Don’t Let Me Down. Tami is joined by Sam Flynn Scott. Intense Soul duet.

A Day in the Life. James Milne aka Lawrence Arabia starts this classic. Toogood does the Paul bit. Brilliant ensemble playing and the crescendo is made.

Sexy Sadie. A fuck-off to the Maharishi. Sean Donnelly sings with sensitivity and makes some great high notes.

Revolution. Funny how this is the present moment again. The Beatles songs are timeless and at almost every point they can elevate to the level of spirit and consciousness. They talk about Chairman Mao but really, they are invoking the Revolution in the Head. (See Ian McDonald).

Laughton Kora
Happiness is a Warm Gun.  Delaney is joined by Laughton Kora. The two combine for an impassioned performance. Mother Superior jumped the gun.

Dear Prudence. Dianne Swann and the ladies may just be ahead by a whisker tonight. A great Pop song and a masterful vocal performance.

I Am the Walrus. Swann puts in the passion. Mutant horns. Galumping ominous thronged rhythm. Close to perfection. Gallagher brothers famous live closer.

Eleanor Rigby. Jol Mulholland sings and you can’t go wrong with this extraordinary ditty.

Delaney Davidson

Bulldog. A cult classic buried on Yellow Submarine. Delaney fronts and the whole band jump and bark. You can’t talk to me.

The Ballad of John and Yoko. Rockabilly guitars. Dianne and Sam on this Country inflected one. You know it ain’t easy/ They’re gonna crucify me.

Let It Be. The song that will always reach you in the depths of despair. The Hymn that ends the album of the title. Fantastic vocal from Milne.

Hard Days Night. Tami does Lennon. I am not going to pick a stand-out but this elevates to a higher level.

Everyone’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and my Monkey. Laughton grabs this by the balls and rocks out. Sort of where that certain type of Heavy Rock began. Yer AC-DC and probably even Kiss.

Helter Skelter. Laughton on fire. Metal guitar. Molten rage. They laid the groundwork for that which was to come.

We take a break as we get ready for Abbey Road.

Come Together. Laughton sings this powerful album opener. Here come old flat-top/ He come groovin’ up slowly. Here come ol’ Morris Levy.

Something and it is a powerful song on stage. The guitar tones drip and melt. Strings are heard from the keyboard?

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. Vaudeville and Music Hall. Tuba throbs in the guts. Good fun. Lennon wasn’t a fan but might have liked it tonight.

Tami Neilson

Oh Darling. Tami is in a brand-new leopard-skin pill-box….dress. Dressed to kill and gives it the full soul treatment. And then goes over the top and maybe we’re all amazed.

Octopus’s Garden. Well, this is the drummer’s song to sing. A rocker tonight with Rockabilly guitar and sonorous tuba.

I Want You. Tami just belts into this with sheer vocal power. Walking bass. Guitars move from melody to dissonance. A lament to incantations. Banshees screech in the maelstrom. Magic and transformation as per William Burroughs.

Here Comes the Sun. The blessing and the salvation. One of the sunniest songs ever written.

Because. Dream Pop.

You Never Give Me Your Money. For some reason I am back in my childhood days. Sung by Sam.

Mean Mr Mustard. Power Pop.

Polythene Pam/ She Came in through the Bathroom Window.  A Rocker. Repeated rhythm guitar riffs build up Punk energy.

Golden Slumbers/ Carry that Weight/ The End. Once there was a way to get back home. A lullaby and then it blasts off into the rockin’ night.

The love you take is equal to the love you give.

Her Majesty closes the album with some Goon show, English comedy theatre. A working-class nod and a wink to Royalty. Rattle yer jewelry and keep yer pecker up, Andrew.  

I have seen four Beatle tribute bands in New Zealand over the years. All take off and fly. Come Together is the biggest on stage to do it. They do not drop the level of inspiration all night.


While My Guitar Gently Weeps. They do.

Hey Jude. Everyone sings or joins in. Let it in and let it out.

Rev Orange Peel

N.B. The Get Back sessions were recorded first in 1969. They were released after Abbey Road, in 1970 as Let it Be.    

Click any thumbnail to view a full size gallery of the show. All photos by Tara Rancchod.