Amanda Pelman has put together an all-star cast to present the music of George Michael with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House in July.
Diesel, Sam Sparro, David Campbell, Gary Pinto, Jade Macrae, Brendan Maclean, Carmen Smith and Natasha Stuart will sing the songs of George Michael in the tribute show Praying For Time.
“These are the singers I find inspiring and intimidating,” Diesel tells Noise11.com. “They are really great singers. I have made records with quite a few of them so it’s a reunion in a sense and like family. I am looking forward to orchestral numbers but some of the others songs we can strip right back will be really cool too”.
Diesel admires Michael for his musical diversity and as a breakthrough artist for male solo acts. “There are so many different types of songs,” he said. “He was at the forefront of emerging along with Lenny Kravitz and Prince showing what it was like to be a male solo artist breaking moulds”.
Diesel cites George’s second solo album as the defining moment. “’Listen Without Prejudice’ was a ground-breaking record,” he said. “I remember people saying how he played all these instruments on it. Folklore came out of that record being a muso’s muso. Wham before that, they were a punch in the face pure pop. Underneath it all it was a tipping of the hat to Motown. It was like British soul”.
The job of deciding who will sing what is still be decided. “’Freedom 90’ I said I really want to do that because it gives me the chance to get some guitar action going on,” Diesel said. “Also ‘Father Figure’, and there will be plenty of opportunities to share verses”.