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A Battle Royale - Bob Dylan vs Neil Young: Review

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by Haydn Radford (subscribe)
Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events.
Next Battle Royale at Semaphore Workers' Club: 12 October
A Battle Royale - Bob Dylan vs Neil Young
Aussie Bob (John Hastwell & Young neil (Stuart Day.

For those of you who enjoy the songs of Bob Dylan and Neil Young; those wonderful songs, that were like seeds that multiplied into a new genre of folk songs, and created a world-wide following, then do yourself a 'big favor', and get along to see A Battle Royale - "Aussie Bob (John Hastwell) and Young Neil (Stuart Day). .

You may ask, "Why would I want to see a couple of local musos plain' music of two international musical icons?"

"Because they do it, to perfection. They sing and play most of those great Bob Dylan and Neil Young songs you rarely hear performed anymore and you will hear many of their acoustic and electric masterpieces from every phase of their careers performed with remarkable authenticity. Audience reviews have stated they were "better than the real thing".

A Battle Royale - Bob Dylan vs Neil Young
Young Neil, Chris Parkinson, Mick Morena & Aussie Bob - lots of energy and spontaneous music to be enjoyed.

I saw A Battle Royale: Aussie Bob and Young Neil at the Star Theatre at Hilton. From the moment I heard the opening song, To Serve Somebody, I had one of those proverbial thoughts, "Aussie Bob sounds more like Dylan, than Dylan himself." Then Young Neil followed with Tonight's the night, and wouldn't you know it, he sounded just like Neil Young. I was hooked. It was certainly going to be a battle tonight!

A Battle Royale - Bob Dylan vs Neil Young
Masterpieces of Dylan & Young performed with remarkable authenticity.

Aussie Bob and Young Neil had a full band accompaniment, which included Mark Seddon (Bass player from, the amazing guitar skills of Chris Parkinson (The Yearlings), and internationally sought after session player Mick Morena on drums, having backed performers such as Kate Ceberano and John Schumann.

A Battle Royale - Bob Dylan vs Neil Young
The Usual Suspects: Aussie Bob, Mark Seddon, Chris Parkinson & Young Neil.

While I listened to their music being played with such energy and spontaneity I enjoyed watching John, Stuart and Chris Parkinson improvise as they took turns playing lead with some great solos on classics like Heart of Gold, Knockin' on Heaven's Door, My, My, Hey, Hey, Like a Rollin' Stone, Heart of Gold, She belongs to Me, Cinnamon Girl, Maggie's Farm, Comes a Time and Desolation Road ( I never expected to hear anyone sing this live), and the list goes on. What helped make the performance a lot of fun was the camaraderie that was clearly visible as the 'one-liners' were shared freely between Aussie Bob and Young Neil, "Bob, I'm starting to like your stuff!" and "I aint goin' to play with that Neil no more!" And "I ain't goin' to play with that drummer, no more." And the battle raged on….

A Battle Royale - Bob Dylan vs Neil Young
Young Neil, Chris Parkinson, Mick Morena & Aussie Bob,

"We have both been listening to the great songs of Dylan and Young for over 40 years, and we have been on a bit of a mission to put a show together to celebrate their music through every phase of their careers," said Stuart. "Whether it be blues, folk, country and rock there are just so many fantastic songs attributed to them."

A Battle Royale - Bob Dylan vs Neil Young
Aussie Bob (John Hastwell).

Just for the record, at the last three Fringe shows, Aussie Bob delighted Dylan fans with the authenticity of his performances. His shows were sellouts! According to The Advertiser, Aussie Bob's performances were one of "the top five Fringe acts", while audience reviews stated he was, "better than the real thing".

John Hastwell (Aussie Bob) is acknowledged as one of the finest Blues/Rock lead and slide guitar and harmonica players in Adelaide. If you are interested in learning he teaches privately or at WEA learning Centre. His web site:

During the 80's and 90's he formed the infamous Rolling Stones tribute bands Black n Blue which became The Ya Ya's and played countless gigs in and around South Australia.

John's musical collaborations with Chris Jagger, the brother of Rolling Stone, Mick Jagger, headlining with Bernadette Peters at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and a never to be forgotten performance with guitar legend Vernon Reid at the Adelaide International Guitar Festival, have been well documented.

John has spent the last 10 years developing his alter ego Aussie Bob.

John says, "Some people build model airplanes for a hobby. I just sit home and learn to play like Dylan." He is the first to tell you that he was asked not to sing in some teenage bands, because he "sounds too much like Dylan, man." Today, he embraces the fact he sounds so much like Dylan.

A Battle Royale - Bob Dylan vs Neil Young
Young Neil (Stuart Day)

Stuart Day (Young Neil) has had a 35-year career in music, performing in iconic bands like FAB, Division 4, and Spank You Very Much. As well as performance he is involved in composition and production for a diverse range of performing arts both in Australia and internationally.

Stuart plays guitar, mandolin, bass, fiddle and keyboards and any other instrument you care to hand to him. He is a member of the Adelaide band The Beggars.

Both Aussie Bob and Young Neil like to keep things interesting, and their shows can be anything from a duo to a full band performance.

Aussie Bob and Young Neil will be performing next with Mark Seddon on bass, Chris Parkinson on guitar and Mick Morena on drums at:

Where: Semaphore Workers' Club
93 The Esplanade, Semaphore
Phone: 8449 9110

When: Sunday, 12 October 4.00 – 8.00 pm

Tickets $8.00

A Battle Royale - Bob Dylan vs Neil Young
Neil, Chris & Mick

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Why? The acoustic and electric masterpieces of Bob Dylan and Neil Young performed with remarkable authenticity.
When: Sunday, 12 October 4.00 – 8.00 pm
Phone: 84499110
Where: Semaphore Workers' Club, 93 The Esplanade, Semaphore
Cost: Tickets $8.00
Your Comment
Hello Haydn, great article and very interesting. Bob Dylan is one of my all time greats and I also like Neil Young. Very lucky to have a show like that to go and see. Regards, Tony
by Tony Dyer (score: 2|513) 2914 days ago
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