Just how bad was the Village People featuring Victor Willis?

A new incarnation of The Village People performed as part of A Day on the Green in Perth last week and fans said the performance left a lot to be desired.

“Someone call 000, the Village People are being murdered in front of a Perth crowd,” one concertgoer posted on Facebook. “Someone stop the music PLEASE,” wrote another.

OUTinPerth caught the show and while the sets from Marcia Hines, Sister Sledge and KC and the Sunshine Band were superb, the Village People left many scratching their heads wondering what they were witnessing.

The version of the band playing in Perth last week was a completely different line-up that the band who scored a 4 star review from OUTinPerth earlier this year. Back in May James Hyson described the Village People as “a fun night out.”

OUTinPerth Managing Editor Graeme Watson gave the band just one star. Speaking on The Daily Drive on radio station Talking Lifestyle yesterday, Watson said the one star was “being generous”, highlighting that if you put no stars people might just think you forgot to include a rating.

The reason for the disparity between the two rating is there are no two versions of the band touring the world. The Village People featuring Ray Simpson is the version of the band who were here in March, it features Simpson, who has been the cop since Can’t Stop the Music came out in 1980, alongside long term members Felipe Rose, the Native American and Alex Briley, the soldier.

The newer version of the band featured the original singer Victor Willis, who recently won a long running copyright legal battle over authorship of the bands hit tunes, and five other performers taking up the roles of the Native America, Cowboy, GI, Leatherman and Construction Worker.  Some of these performers have previously filled in during the Village People’s live shows, which tour constantly around the world.

After their clunky performance in Perth the band moved on to Adelaide where they seem to have fared a little better, but their next show in The Yarra Valley was cancelled. The band said Willis was unable to perform because he’d come down with a cold.

When the band took to the stage in Melbourne they’d been demoted to the bottom of the bill, with Sister Sledge moving up in the schedule. Reviews of the show described them as “out of tune” and “Warbling” and highlighted that they still hadn’t learned their choreography.

The Village People featuring Victor Willis will play in Sydney on Thursday.

OIP Staff


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