There’s something about cover bands. Adelaide is home to some wonderfully nostalgic acts that pay homage to talented greats. We spoke to one of them – Kate Lara of Vogue Music – in the lead-up to the popular Unley Road event An Evening Under the Stars.
Kate is one half of The Neil Diamond Experience. She and her husband Antonio Villano headline the Unley Road event on 10 February. The duo is excited to be performing in their hometown.
“We are very much looking forward to a beautiful community event, singing with the Westminster Vocal Ensemble, raising as much money and awareness for Hutt St Centre as we can,” Kate says.
New Zealand songstress Kate and Italian-born Antonio grew up with strong musical influences. Kate began through theatre, while Antonio started singing at church. “Music has always been a part of our lives,” she says.
Now, they’ve created a show dedicated to showcasing the incredible work of Neil Diamond, an idea sparked at a cover-gig where an audience member was convinced that Antonio was miming one of his songs. “The vocal likeness is pretty unbelievable,” Kate says.
They’ve never looked back. “The songs have so much meaning and depth and yet sound so simplistic.”
The couple has performed on numerous Choose your Cruise events around the world, and alongside other internationally acclaimed performers. But Adelaide is still home.
“We love the ease of the city, the cosmo feel, the affordability and that our friends and family are here,” Kate says. “We love to travel [the state], the food and wine, the arts, and also working with charities and community organisations here.”
The Hutt Street Centre’s partnership with An Evening Under the Stars was a major drawcard for the couple’s involvement. The pair has worked with the charity on numerous occasions over the years, participating in their fundraising events.
Kate commends Unley Traders Association for putting the popular event together. “It’s been an incredible journey and association. People will not only experience the amazing 75-piece vocal ensemble from Westminster College, but Diane Dixon is also presenting her tribute to the British sixties pop divas.”
The finale will be a tribute to the great man himself. “Lovers of Neil Diamond cannot afford to miss this great free event.”
In light of Neil’s recent Parkinson’s diagnosis and cancellation of his Australian tour, Unley’s event is close to the performers’ hearts. “The event will be a wonderful opportunity to relive the songs and stories of Neil Diamond as Antonio pays tribute to such a remarkable man and iconic musician.”
An Evening Under the Stars, Saturday 10 February from 8pm at the Unley Soldiers Memorial Gardens on Unley Road. Entry by gold coin donation.