Arts & Entertainment


Photo: Aaron Cobbett

Many musical acts throughout the years cannot boast an extensive career. Line-up changes, shifts in popular culture trends and even the mundanity of low funds can often spell disaster to longevity. However, New York boogie-instigators Village People prove they are by no means close to slowing down.

The Village People solidified their place in musical history with disco-reverberating anthems, including Macho Man, In The Navy and Go West, as well their memorable and often imitated stage attire.

However, It was one song that etched them into the collective consciousness forever – one simple tune that is so darn catchy it is played at every retro nightclub and party to this day – the immortal YMCA. It earned the Cop, Native American, Sailor, Construction Worker, Cowboy and Biker a cult-like following on a worldwide scale, with claims that the group had finally given disco a face unlike any other – they had become the ‘Kings of disco’.

“If memory serves correct it was Rolling Stone Magazine that coined that, along with a caricature drawing,” reminisces Felipe Rose, who has maintained his place as the original Native American character within the group since its inception back in the 1970s.

“It’s nice to look back in time… [We had a] good time on stage, difficult and hectic at times, but overall great! But I’m the type of guy that looks to the future.”

What a bright future it still is. 25 years have passed since the release of that toe-tapping, arm-flailing brilliance. The group formed a strong bond with Harry W. Casey of funk kings KC and the Sunshine Band through touring and Casey was an incredible asset to The Village People’s new single Let’s Go Back to the Dance Floor.

“There was no plan going into it,” Rose confesses.

“It was very organic how it happened, Harry was singing a hook and we asked him ‘What’s that you’re singing?’ and we sang along. Before you knew it, he asked us ‘if I write it will you record it?  Of course I said ‘Yes’. The timing was perfect.”

Perfect timing that also included the enlisting of Broadway regular Jim Newman who donned a plethora of flannel and denim in his role as the iconic Cowboy.

Line-up solidified, these guys intend to send the crowd into a hip-swinging frenzy at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre in what will be their thirty-sixth year of touring.

“The secret to our longevity is our audiences around the world. The day they go away is the day we hang up our hats and uniforms!” (CD)

Oct 12, Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Rd, Newtown, $115-129, 9550 3666, 

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