The Wilbury Sessions – A Review

the wilbury sessions – a review

Picture: “The Sessions” performing in the show, “The Wilbury Sessions”

“Don’t Say Magic is dead! It was alive last night in the Atheneum Theatre”

The Travelling Wilbury’s featured what called be called an English–American supergroup consisting of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.

Interestingly, despite their brilliance they never performed live.

Last night I attended a show at Melbourne’s Atheneum Theatre called – “The Wilbury Sessions”

It featured six of Australia’s most respected and brilliant musicians who didn’t simply do justice to the music of the Wilburys, they bought that music alive in a way the Wilburys never did – because of that lack of live performing.

the wilbury sessions – a revew
Left to right: James Black; Glyn Mason; Sam See – [CLICK to enlarge]
the wilbury sessions – a revew
Left to right: Lindsay Field; Angus Burchall; Paul Cartwright – [CLICK to enlarge]

The show consists of a selection of tracks from the two Travelling Wilbury albums, plus compositions by the great artists that made up the Wilbury’s.

On stage were:

the wilbury sessions – a revew
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Sam See – Singer, Guitar & Musical Director 




the wilbury sessions – a revew
[CLICK to enlarge]


Glyn Mason – Singer and Guitarist



the wilbury sessions – a revew
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Lindsay Field – Singer and Guitarist




the wilbury sessions – a revew
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 Angus Burchall – Drummer



the wilbury sessions – a revew
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 James Black – Keyboardist and Guitarist


the wilbury sessions – a revew
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 Paul Cartwright – Bass Player



Each of these performers are a class act and masters of their instruments. You can put six top line musicians in a group and you have, a “group of top-line musicians”! With these guys, you had in fact, a “top-line group”.

I hesitate to use that fast becoming hack phrase of “Super-group”, but it’s hard to find a better description. 

The music was sublime. The blending and yet at the same time, the separation, was  a feature of the in-house mixing. Well done to that team. 

Each man played his instrument to his highest capability in the show and it was brilliant. A quick word about Sam See. He showed last night, that in his own right, he is in the top level of Australian guitarists. His skill is superb, and the feeling he produces through his guitar, whether straight 6 string or slide guitar, is captivating.

In regard to Angus Burchill and Paul Cartwright, you could be forgiven for thinking they play regularly together. They don’t!

However, their ability to provide what is in fact a free flowing yet rock-steady and powerful base for the other instruments is why, they are in such demand.

As for James Black? Well anyone who has any interest in the Australian music business will know that he has very, very few peers when it comes to keyboards, and astoundingly, he is a damn fine guitar player as well.

But for all this, and I should mention the unobtrusive, subtle but incredibly appropriate lighting, the real key to this show is the vocals.

Featuring three of the very best voices in Australian music, Lindsay Field, Sam See and Glyn Mason, who actually perform regularly around Melbourne as “Field, See & Mason”, they prove that they have it all!

In solos or in harmony, they are knock-out!

The three have very distinctively different voices, yet like Lennon & McCartney, they are able to blend their styles together in what is best described as a “harmonious whole” – where at times the hair on the nape of your neck will stand up.

Age doesn’t weary these voices. Like fine wine they continue to mature and please.

A quick word about Glyn Mason. His ability to sing Roy Orbison songs is astounding. As Lindsay Field often calls him, he is the “Prince”. Yet not only does he have the ability to hit those amazing Orbison notes, at the same time he can belt out a rock song like very few can.

What we had was a beautiful produced live show, where the lighting and sound totally compliment the performers. Not only were these the performers at the top of their game, but they draw upon the music that is the brilliance of those who made up the Travelling Wilbury’s.

It was a night where the magic of a brilliant performance by six brilliant entertainers flowed throughout the theatre, and I suspect the close to 1,000 audience members would all agree.


the wilbury sessions – a revew
[CLICK to enlarge]
Sadly, this weekend bring this show to an end.

Tonight they play at Sale and on Saturday night in Warragul.

However, there are very strong rumours that the show will have a second season commencing in a few months.

If this happens and they perform in a venue near you – Go!

Rob Greaves – Senior Editor Toorak Times