Season 6 of The Newport Record Club with a Tribute to Elton John

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Crowned number 49 in Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest artists of all time by Billy Joel, Elton John is truly one of the most phenomenal musicians to walk this earth. After 40+ years in the spotlight, more than 250 million albums sold and six Grammy’s, it’s no wonder that his work still influences (and impresses) millions of people around the world. Defining himself as a rock star – and owning every moment of it – Elton John was at his world-conquering best during the 1970’s and 80’s; but his brilliance is far from over or diminished.

The piano god that’ll dominate a crowd and stage live, this English musician is a true legend. Renowned for being the flamboyant superstar of the music industry and one of the most eccentric singer/songwriters, he’s developed a complex style of music over the years with poetic depth, exceptional lyric writing and spontaneous improvisational playing. He brought back piano-based rock and infused it with a rhythmic style that dabbles in rock & roll, pop, gospel and old school R&B.

Elton John

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 next installment of Season 6 pays tribute to Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. Noah Shilkin and Not Quite Dwight will be performing this classic record in all its entirety Thursday 1st September, 2016. Event details here.

Meet the Band

Noah Shilkin: (Vocals, Grand Piano) – After 24 years of making music in Canada and the United States Noah has returned “home” to Australia where he spends his time producing and mentoring artists, songwriting and composing in his studio, The Lollybox in Margaret River. To avoid turning into a studio mushroom he continues to venture out to play select shows for unsuspecting audiences.

Noah has worked with international recording artists ranging from Alanis Morissette to AC/DC and was keyboardist for legendary New Zealand cult band Mother Goose. Over 3,000,000 kms, 3,000 shows and 300 songs later Noah continues his amazing musical career. A lifelong passion for and commitment to music sees Noah contributing as a consultant to the international music business while he continues to develop his own craft and the careers of emerging talent and artists. All of which has led him to form Not Quite Dwight – a band put together to pay tribute to Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. 

Ben Vanderwal: (Drums, Vocals) – Ben has a huge band repertoire playing with the likes of John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Joe Lovano, Vince Jones, Howard Levey, Madeleine Peyroux, Guthrie Gova, Thirsty Merc, James Morrison, Kate Ceberano, Sandra Bernhard, Camille O’sullivan, Lionel Rose, David Campbell, Rhonda Birchmore, Nigel Kennedy, Don Burrows, Deborah Byrne and Normie Rowe.

Steve Hensby: (Guitars, Vocals) – Steve Hensby Band, Bonnie Scott’s Jazz Duo. Steve has also played in previous Record Club shows including Billy Joel, Queen, Pink Floyd and The Clash, just to name a few.

Paul Bodlovich: (Bass Guitar, Vocals) – Prawns with Horns.

Harry Mitchell: (Keyboards, Doo Dads) – Charlie Watts/Rolling Stones, Katy Steele/Little Birdy and Rachel Claudio.

Dylan Hooper: (Saxophone, Percussion, Vocals) – Boom! Bap! Pow!, Johannes Leubbers Dectet and Junkadelic Brass Band. Dylan has also played in previous Record Club shows including The Clash, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel and James Brown just to name a few.

Nikki Dagostino: (Accordion) – Little Miss Squeezebox, The Sirens.

Elton John

Elton John’s Musical Brilliance

Released in 1973, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was supersonically huge. A true masterpiece in every aspect, the record flaunted his talent and quality of work on the ultimate level. Melting together pop, soul, rock, reggae and R&B into a fantastic imagery of mosaic glam, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road remains one of the most staggering album releases today.

Offering some of Elton’s most lasting and lauded songs, the album found him at the very top of his capacity. Featuring the likes of Candle in the Wind and the ultra-modern Bennie and The Jets, it dazzled its listeners with a melodically rich sound and a sense of magic that gelled the album together perfectly.

“When Goodbye Yellow Brick Road came out it blew me away – amazing songs, double album and amazing artwork. I was very young but it showed me that it was all possible. I had a weird and eclectic selection of albums that I just had on high rotation – Yellow Brick Road, Jethro Tull’s Aqualung, Frank Zappa’s Overnight Sensation, the original cast recording of Jesus Christ Superstar and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. My father was of Russian decent so he was happy to support my musical adventures – as long as I played classical music. So these albums were my “fuck you” rebellion! – Noah Shilkin.

“When you’re a little kid who is obsessed with playing the piano, singing and making shit up then it was hard to ignore the greats who were writing songs and recording them. Particularly when that was all you wanted to do! I didn’t want to play footy or stuff like that – I drove my family nuts with my obsession…”

“I met Elton John for the first time when I was 17. I was playing in The Underground piano bar on Newcastle St; when I wasn’t old enough to be in there and he had just done a Perth Concert Hall show. The entourage came to The Underground for their after party! I thought that would be a pretty cool career path to choose!”

“To have the opportunity now to perform this album with these incredible musicians is kind of a bucket list dream come true. I like to challenge myself. It’s a classic album and a very demanding sing – but most importantly it’s highly entertaining!”

“Whether people are fans of Elton or not there are songs on this album that are intrinsically linked to our pop culture Zeitgeist! Every song is a little movie unto itself and the styles are so diverse. When I saw what I great job Steve and Malcolm were doing with the Newport Record club this was the first album that popped into my mind. I thought if they’ll have me this will be what I’ll do!”

Bennie and The Jets at The Newport Record Club


“The Newport Record Club initiative is a fabulous thing. It has maintained a level of true artistic integrity. It’s not a cheesy “tribute band” mindset. It brings together great musicians who are all pursuing fantastic original, diverse, interesting projects and allows then to unite in celebrating fabulous music that has come before and informed everyone’s musical journeys”. 

“When one takes the time to dissect and learn classic lasting music and songs it can only help in one’s own writing and creativity. Not to mimic but to understand philosophies behind other’s great creations. The entire Newport Record Club enterprise is a delight and I am honoured and thrilled to have been given this opportunity”.

“This Thursday night is going to be a show first and foremost! The Newport Record Club do things right – great sound, lights and visuals! Me thinks there might be a little dressing up too – you can’t do 1974 Elton John without some kind of wardrobe!”

“If people haven’t seen these musicians before they are in for a huge treat! Ben Vanderwal is my fave drummer, Harry Mitchell can play piano better than me if he only used 3 fingers on one hand. Then there’s Steve Hensby who’s mind-blowing….Throw in our returning “low frequency engineer” Paul Bodlovich who has been all things music in WA (he’s the surprise return to the stage). Generally accepted as a genius of the horn Dylan Hooper on saxophone and assorted other thingies and the sassy and ridiculously talented Nikki Dagostino guesting on accordion and whatever else she chooses!”

“The master here however is the album – an incredible collection of 18 fabulous songs that make for pure entertainment! To think this album was basically written and recorded in 2 weeks on 16 track analogue technology! Incredible!! We’re gonna give it our best shot – but when you start with such great songs you’re already ahead of the game!”

Season 6 at The Newport Record Club still has heaps of amazing artists and iconic albums in store including John Lennon, Spinal Tap and Beastie Boys, just to name a few. 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 for all official updates.


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