While the real Barry Gibb performs in New Zealand this weekend, a Kiwi Bee Gees tribute act is off to perform in Las Vegas.
Paul Madsen, former Blenheim man Simon Terrill, and Nelson keyboardist and singer Paul Jeffries will put on the mantles of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb.
In Las Vegas, they'll be singing at The Reel Awards, an annual talent showcase that features some of the best tribute artists from around the world.
Paul Madsen says Las Vegas has been a goal for a long time, with two previous attempts failing because of family commitments. They finally managed to forge the connection when Madsen brought a Las Vegas-based Rat Pack tribute act to the Nelson Suburban Club last year.
In Las Vegas they'll have meetings with several agents, and will be singing at shows over four days, open to the public and performers from all over the world.
"We just anticipate with the exposure we should be able to formulate a contact there somewhere," he says.
Their Bee Gees tribute show has been touring New Zealand for 12 years.
Vocal chameleons, Nelson-raised Madsen and his brothers, Paul and Patrick, and colleagues have become George Michael, Queen, The Eagles, Neil Diamond, Robbie Williams, and more.
After Vegas, Madsen says they have bigger plans.
"I think we've hit the ceiling in New Zealand; we pretty much need to be looking at the overseas [market] now."
They particularly enjoy walking out onto the stage in front of a new audience and watching the looks of anticipation on their faces: Will their falsetto be any good?
"Their body language is leaning in, thinking ‘Here we go'," Madsen says. The audience relaxes the moment the trio hits the first note of You Should Be Dancing.
"They all go ‘aaaahh'," Madsen says. "Once that first song's over and done with, it's credibility, and they relax into the show and enjoy it. That's job satisfaction."
The age groups gathering to listen to a Bee Gees tribute act vary, from their busy list of corporate jobs with people aged in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, to the local clubs where audience members could be closer to their 90s.
"A lot of young people come along with their parents reluctantly, and end up on the dance floor really enjoying it and coming up and shaking our hands at the end of the night," he says. "Middle-aged guys singing like girls; I think it amuses a lot of people." Fairfax NZ
- The Marlborough Express