The 8-Tracks – Sunday March 28 2021

There are eight talented musicians in this band. Hence, the 8-Tracks.

That’s three gifted songbirds up front – Giuliana Russo, Taryn Stewart and Amanda Harris, and 5 equally gifted musicians lined up across the back – Michael Russell on keys, David Hagger on bass, Craig MacDonnell on tenor sax and flute, Craig Wilson on drums, and Michael Smith on guitar.

Each one, a vital and indispensable cog in a powerful and thoroughly entertaining combination!! They are here on this beautiful, sunny, riverside Sunday afternoon to light up the Brisbane Jazz Club with their exciting Motown/Soul groove.

Wow!! Just Wow!!

The three girls, looking chic and very Motown in their little black dresses and long silver boots, each wore a coloured bandana around their neck. Giuliana’s was purple. Taryn’s was red. Amanda’s was pink.

And at the back, four of the five guys looked like they had stepped out of a ‘Best Of The 60’s’ video, in their slimline black suits, white shirts and skinny black ties. Setting them off nicely, was drummer Craig, in his sparkly, sequinned jacket; the one that he bought at Macy’s on Fifth Avenue, New York.

Yes. The 8-Tracks are a class act.

And what a pace!!  It was ultra-high energy and almost non-stop. Those Motown/Soul blockbusters just kept on coming!! There was barely time to take a breath, let alone a break!!

Up front, Taryn, Giuliana and Amanda seamlessly traded lead vocal and tambourine tapping responsibilities, and flawlessly delivered beautiful two and three-part harmonies. Embracing and absolutely nailing the mood and memories of the Motown era.

Had famed Motown record producer, Berry Gordy, been in the audience, he would have signed them up on the spot!!

And while none of the five guys was singing….the sisters were happy, doing it for themselves...they were all a-movin’, a-groovin’ and a-dancin’ with their instruments, enjoying themselves just as much as the girls. And bringing it all together in an amazing atmosphere and vibe.

And oh, what a set list!!

The big hits were all there…including exciting performances of…

…the famed combos…Diana Ross and The Supremes, Martha and The Vandellas, Labelle, The Marvelettes, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Earth Wind and Fire, Crazy Elephant.

…the female stars…Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Gaynor, Dionne Warwick, Amii Stewart, Mary Wells, Fontella Bass, Linda Lyndell, Gloria Jones.

and the men…Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson and Stevie Wonder.          

And, of course, with those long silver boots, they just had to do Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walking, to which the band added a chaser…a touch of The Champs’ 1958 classic, Tequila.

And for one of their three encores, they touched down briefly in the 2000’s, with Amy Winehouse’s Valerie.

The enthusiastic and highly animated audience lapped it all up. Every minute of it. Song by song. Note by note. Move by move!! Barely resisting the temptation to dance on the tables inside, a group of them danced out on the deck, under the window, just below the band, who appreciated and regularly acknowledged their presence.

This was a great performance. Finely rehearsed precision wrapped up in a happy buzz, energy and presence. Seamless, powerful, memorable.

It all worked so well. And they received as big and spontaneous and well deserved a standing ovation, as the Brisbane Jazz Club has ever seen!!

It is not surprising that The 8-Tracks have such a big and loyal following. So, to make sure you can catch them next time, book early!!

Alan Smith

Brisbane Jazz Club