Disco and pop revisited: Tim Campbell’s High School Disco
Dance to the classic hits of the 70 and 80s as Tim Campbell relives the music of his high school days, writes Jason Bartlett.
When a young Tim Campbell sang and danced to George Michael and Madonna at the local “blue light disco” back in the ‘80s he never dreamed he would use some of the same hits on his debut album.
Campbell’s High School Disco was released by ABC Music recently with the versatile entertainer set to embark on a national tour next month to promote his first album.
Jam-packed with hits of the 70s and 80s – including ‘Play that Funky Music’, ‘Faith’, ‘Don’t You (Forget about Me)’ and ‘Holiday’ – High School Disco is sure to take many of us back to our own high school discos – as well as introduce a whole new generation to some classics.
That’s Campbell’s intention anyway.
The star of stage and screen – and the other half of gay icon Anthony Callea – has spent a lot of time with his band in recent years playing these hits to appreciative fans of all ages.
Does he have a favorite song on the album?
“God, that’s a hard question,” he laughed.
“It was a big struggle to even come up with the track listing given the great choice.
“Play That Funky Music is a song that I loved singing back in the ‘90s cover bands, and still do today – makes me feel like a bit of a rock star. I'm not, but it gives me that feeling for four minutes!”
Campbell – who went to Campbelltown High School and declares himself a “proud public school boy” – admitted his love for most of the songs was honed down at the local ‘Blue Light’ with his classmates.
“Oh God, yes! Particularly the songs from the ‘80s,” he said.
WATCH: Check out Tim Campbell’s official video for ‘Play That Funky Music’
“That was a massive time in music for me. Even at the Blue Light Discos I remember dancing to ‘Faith’, ‘Footloose’, ‘Don't You (Forget About Me)’ … And of course the classic chick songs too, not only Madge's ‘Holiday’, but classic Whitney, Kylie – in fact, anything Stock Aitken and Waterman!
“I really hope everyone enjoys the ‘70s ‘disco’ hits – they are a ‘gay specialty’,” Campbell adds. “But I'm hoping we can all go back to our humble beginnings and release the ‘bogan’ inside to enjoy the 80s pop/rock also. And I look forward to the Madonna fan's reaction to ‘Holiday’. I'm a massive early Madonna fan, and had to include a song of hers on the album.”
Melbourne-based Campbell – who has had roles in top rating programs including Home and Away and House Husbands and starred on stage in musicals including Wicked – loves the diversity of his career.
“So far I haven't had to choose, which I have loved,” he said.
“It keeps my professional life even more interesting. I really enjoy working in a variety of mediums.”
And while the stage and screen still beckon, music will always hold a special place in Campbell’s heart.
“Over the last few years I've probably gigged more with the band,” he says. “so I'm still loving the band work, it’s become a real passion.”
High School Disco is out now. Tim Campbell’s High School Disco tour hits Sydney on Friday, June 20, at Bankstown Sport. Go to highschooldisco.com.
[Main image] ‘That was a massive time in music for me’ … Tim Campbell. Photo: Karon Photography
HIGH SCHOOL DISCO NATIONAL TOUR DATES
Thursday, 12 June 2014 – ADELAIDE, SA
Friday, 13 June 2014 – ADELAIDE, SA
Friday, 20 June 2014 – Bankstown Sports – BANKSTOWN, NSW
Saturday, 21 June 2014 – Canberra Southern Cross Club – CANBERRA, ACT
Friday, 27 June 2014 – Country Club Show Room – LAUNCESTON, TAS
Saturday, 28 June 2014 – Wrest Point Show Room – HOBART, TAS
Friday, 11 July 2014 – Kedron Wavell – BRISBANE, QLD
Saturday, 12 July 2014 – Twin Towns – GOLD COAST, QLD
Saturday, 26 July 2014 – The Palms at Crown – MELBOURNE, VIC
For bookings, go to highschooldisco.com.