14 July 2023

Wagga's Groove Factorie wants to get you moving as they celebrate a pop music icon

| Chris Roe
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Dale Allison

Dale Allison is ready to get his groove on at the Civic Theatre next weekend. Photo: Chris Roe.

Wagga’s guitar maestro Dale Allison is looking forward to next weekend’s gig at the Civic Theatre as Groove Factorie celebrates the music of one of the 20th century’s most influential composers and songwriters.

“Burt Bacharach died this year, so we thought, well, let’s celebrate his life in song and do a show which features 26 of his biggest hits,” he said.

“This will be a great show for anyone who remembers the songs when they were hits in the 60s and 70s and he still had hits going in the 80s and right up to the 2000s when he had an album come out with Elvis Costello.”

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Burt Bacharach died in February at the age of 94 and together with lyricist Hal David, created some of pop music’s biggest hits such as Say A Little Prayer, What The World Needs Now, Close to You and Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.

In a career that spanned half a century, he won Grammy Awards, Oscars and an Emmy and his music continues to be reinterpreted by a new generation of performers.

“I think obviously there’s the nostalgia but I think the show will be fun for anyone who comes along,” Dale said.

“Some of the songs we don’t mess with but we do put our own Groove Factorie stamp on quite a few of them.”

Groove Factorie

Groove Factorie are well known for their unique approach to live and local music in the Riverina. Photo: Supplied.

Groove Factorie is an eight-piece band of local music veterans that includes a brass section.

“The reason why we started the band was that we like to play together, and also we wanted to play what we wanted to play, not just the songs that fit the pub scene or the old weddings/parties/anything music demographic,” Dale explained.

“Because we’ve got horns in the band we play Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears and Stevie Wonder or James Brown. That’s our thing and we like playing that style.”

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For next week’s shows at the Civic Theatre, they will be joined by vocalists Meredith Adams, Brent Dolahenty and Talei Wolfgramm.

“We’ve balanced up the show with the right vocalist for the right song,” Dale said.

“Talei is very good at singing some of the Aretha Franklin songs and Meredith is more the Karen Carpenter and Dion Warwick sort of style and Brent is just Mr Smooth and he can sing This Guy’s in Love With You, as good as anyone on the record.”

Meredith Adams, Brent Dolahenty and Talei Wolfgramm

Meredith Adams, Brent Dolahenty and Talei Wolfgramm will provide the vocals as Groove Factorie plays the hits of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Photo: Supplied.

According to Dale, who also runs Wagga’s Allison Music, the live music scene has boomed back to life since the pandemic as musicians enjoy being allowed back out into the world.

“It’s gotten to the stage where there are so many great shows that it becomes a bit of a pecking order for the ticket dollar, and then with the cost of living, going to a show for audiences comes after the electricity bill dollar and the petrol dollar, so it’s very competitive.”

He hopes that Wagga will get behind the Groove Factorie show and continue to support local talent.

“This is a totally local production and there are not many local shows that come featuring all local talent, and the musicality will be equal to anything that you will hear,” he said.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun, even though it’s older music, there’s nothing staid or stodgy in there. She’s all groovy!”

The show is on Friday 21 July and Saturday 22 July at the Civic Theatre and you can find out more here.

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