Ready to rock around the clock

Published 8:00am 10 July 2024

Ready to rock around the clock
Words by Kylie Knight
Photo: Michelle Cop MC Photography

Music from rock’n’roll greats were the soundtrack of Thomas Armstrong-Robley’s childhood and have inspired a high-energy show he’s bringing to Redcliffe Entertainment Centre this month.

Armstrong-Robley’s Rock & Roll Retrospective, which celebrates some of last century’s biggest music icons, will be performed at the venue he calls his ‘spiritual home pitch’ on July 17 at 11am.

Audiences can expect a fun show featuring music from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Billy Joel, Queen, ABBA and many others.

“In addition to this, I’ll be sharing stories about growing up in the (Peninsula) area, with parents in the music industry. It’s a really wonderful celebration of great music but is also wonderfully heartfelt and humorous,” Armstrong-Robley says.

“The idea is to have the audience recounting wonderful memories, clapping and singing along from beginning to end.

“It’s really designed to be a show where you know every song, you’re able to sing along, you’re able to clap along, you’re able to get up and get involved. It’s really a show where the audience is the final member of the band.”

Armstrong-Robley, who performs across the world, is looking forward to returning to Redcliffe Entertainment Centre – one of the local venues at which he honed his craft.

“Over the years, local audiences may have seen me in shows like The Phantom of the Opera, The Pirates of Penzance, Grease, Oliver!, Joseph, School of Rock and Jersey Boys,” he says.

“I really grew up in front of the patrons at the venue and I always try to bring at least one show to the area each year.”

Known more as a crooner and musical theatre star, Armstrong-Robley says embracing his inner rocker came naturally.

“I think the misconception is … a lot of people see the shows I do and think I lived in a house where we all listened to Sinatra, The Rat Pack, Tony Bennett and things like that. They came much later on,” he explains.

“It was The Eagles, The Beatles and a lot of the ‘80s – Bon Jovi and ACDC. They were the bands I listened to when I was a young guy because that’s what my parents listened to. Those were the concerts they’d take me to.

“I’ve always considered myself more of a rock’n’roll spirit anyway, even though the majority of the work I do is swing stuff.”

He describes Rock & Roll Retrospective as his ‘second signature show’, and it has been performed on the west coast of America, in Asia, across Australia and on cruise ships.

“Coming back to Redcliffe always reminds me of the journey. I’m very lucky that I’m enjoying this wonderful and fulfilling career, where I get to travel to lots of different places. Some of the fondest memories I have, on stage, are in the venues around Redcliffe, especially the Redcliffe Entertainment Centre,” he says.

“It’s always a wonderful opportunity to have a nice, warm fuzzy feeling and come back to perform in that venue. It’s like Manchester United going back to Old Trafford.”

To buy tickets, visit redcliffeentertainmentcentre.com.au

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