As the name behind one of the most timeless and universal breakup songs – Wild World, Cat Stevens is crowned the greatest folk singer in music history. Releasing his first debut album in 1967 at just 19 years old, this one-of-the-kind British icon comfortably dominated the 60’s and 70’s music era. Breaking through the height of the psychedelic movement and captivating a massive audience in 1970 with his Tea for the Tillerman album release, Stevens’ music was focused on beautifully crafted folk pop-rock tunes that still make a lasting impression today.
Between being Steven Demetre Georgiou and Yusuf Islam, Stevens created a name for himself through a series of increasingly mature records that sucked an entire generation in. Developing his sound over such a short period of time, Stevens was renowned for his versatility; seamlessly altering between moods with each and every song written. Creating music that was simple and honest with a voice that’s beyond memorable, Stevens is – without a doubt – one of the biggest artists worldwide we know and love today.
Join the Record Club
The Newport Hotel’s exclusive Record Club recognises some of Western Australia’s most iconic and beloved musicians. Boosting the local music scene in a very promising light, the opening night for Season 6 pays tribute to Cat Steven’s Tea for the Tillerman album. The John Read Band – featuring some of Perth’s most recognised talent – will be performing this classic record in all its entirety Thursday 21st July, 2016. Event details here.
Meet the John Read Band
John Read: (Vocals and guitar) – A singer, songwriter and dynamic acoustic guitarist who’s years of experience has seen him playing venues in places like Curitiba and Florenopilous (Brazil), London and St Ives (England), Raglan and Kaponga (New Zealand), as well as many venues across Australia. John has shared the stage with muso’s like Paul Kelly, Mat Taylor, Michelle Shocked and Belinda Carlisle, as well as many lesser known (but no less talented) local Australian musicians.
“I’ve been playing guitar and singing from the age of 9. My first song was written at 16 and since then, I’ve been writing and learning music since. Whilst there’s never been any interest in fame for me, I’ve always liked the idea of being paid to play. From my first paid show (in beers) at the age of 21, the last 10 years has seen that dream to do my music professionally come true. Right now I am at my most comfortable with my vocation than ever before and looking forward to what the future will bring”.
Paul Rhodes: (Bass) – The bass player who has previously played with Entropy and legendary W.A band Loose Goose. Paul spent much of the early 90’s touring Australia with Loose Goose, sharing the stage with the likes of The Screaming Jets.
Peter Wilkinson: (Keyboard and Guitar) – Arguably the most musically knowledgeable of the four, Peter has spent much of the 70’s and 80’s playing drums and guitar in bands across the UK before coming to Australia and switching to keyboards. Peter went on to hone his own blue/funk sound backing up the likes of Blue Shaddy and The Bondi Cigars.
Marc Coci: (Drums) – Mark’s free flowing style influenced a lot of John’s early music and, with his return, so have many of John’s blues and rock groove songs to the repertoire.
The John Read Band are also all very excited to announce that Pheobe Corke will be playing violin in a few songs as well on the night.
Cat Stevens’ Wild, Wild World
Cat Stevens’ musical brilliance all came together in one 70’s album – Tea for the Tillerman. Featuring his superb masterpiece Wild World, as well as Father and Son, Where Do the Children Play? and Hard Headed Woman, this classic number cemented him as one of the very few folk artists that were able to cross over to pop success.
Showcasing beautiful simplicity, uncanny lyrical talents and Stevens’ full vocal range, Tea for the Tillerman is his strongest work. The record flaunts a mind-blowing blend of fantastic orchestrations and perfectly contrasted musical combinations without being overly complex; proving that his approach to music was one that’s truly timeless. Tea for the Tillerman is an album that leaves plenty of room for emotion, with an ability to touch on so many people’s lives – a true trademark of Cat Stevens.
“As far as Cat Stevens is concerned I have always been a great admirer of his music – especially his voice, as many people are. But although being one of the bigger influences in my musical life he was not the only one. What I found interesting whilst working on this project is that another huge influence of mine, Jethro Tull, used the same drummer as Cat Stevens just at different stages. I’ve found that my ‘Cat Stevens’ voice certainly suits Jethro Till songs too, so it was an interesting observation to make”.
“Whilst I have never try to imitate any of the musicians I cover, I enjoy playing what I remember of the song or artist. This is because I generally play covers because I want to listen too that particular song, not the audience. The biggest challenge for me this time around is that I’m trying to reproduce the original as the general public remembers is. All good fun and a great learning experience I’m truly excited to be a part of”.
“I’m told I sound very Cat Steven-ish pretty well all the time, particularly my originals, so I wasn’t surprised, but deeply thankful to be asked to do this show. I will say though, I had the luck of seeing Cat Stevens play in Perth and although I may sound similar, there’s only man than can sing with that beautifully unique tone. I was literally brought to tears…”
Tea for the Tillerman at The Newport Record Club
“I think the Record Club is one of the best concepts I’ve come across in my entire career and feel incredibly fortunate to be in a band with people who are close friends and also truly talented musicians. Not to mention the mutual love and passion we all share for Cat Stevens! To us, this is not a job or opportunity for fame but simply for fun. I must admit though, we are definitely packing our grundies over this show but the challenge is extremely exciting too!
Season 6 at The Newport Record Club has only just started! With The Clash, The Smiths, The Eagles, Prince, Kate Bush, Elton John and more still to come. Make sure you stay tuned on the Toward Music blog to find out all the juicy details in the lead-up to each show and follow The Newport Record Club on Facebook and the Record Club Roadshow for all official updates.