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Human Nature have earned their place as one of the world’s finest pop vocal groups of the modern era. Since their debut in Australia back in 1996, they have gone on to become known around the globe for their distinctive harmonies and stellar live shows, riding waves to the top of the charts, and have winning over fans all over the planet.
The foursome - Toby Allen, Phil Burton, and brothers Andrew and Michael Tierney - recently celebrated their 27th anniversary as a group. With that kind of staying power, combined with their incredible vocal talent, it is no surprise that they have not only headlined sold-out national tours in their home country of Australia as well as shows all over the world, but, they have become critically-acclaimed headliners in residency in Las Vegas for over eight years with more than 1600 performances.
In 2009 Human Nature took Las Vegas by storm with an unprecedented residency - a coup for an Australian act. Word spread quickly regarding the boys’ prowess and their “Motown Show” clocked up over 1300 performances during a six year period, earning praise from not only fans but from the great Motown icon and presenter of their debut Las Vegas residency show, Smokey Robinson. Human Nature “The Motown Show” was lauded by Trip Advisor as the #1 show not to be missed in Las Vegas during its incredible six year run.
In 2016, Human Nature re-signed to the prestigious Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino for a three-year residency at the famed Sands Showroom with their all-new show “Jukebox”. The Jukebox concept takes its name from the Australian double platinum selling album of the same name which now will be released for the very first time by Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings as the ultimate package titled: HUMAN NATURE Jukebox – The Ultimate Playlist. The special US version of JUKEBOX is due for release in North America in November 3, 2017. The album will coincide with their national PBS special “HUMAN NATURE: ‘JUKEBOX’ IN CONCERT FROM THE VENETIAN” and subsequent USA tour in 2018.
The PBS special is inspired by and based on the group’s two Australian multi-platinum selling albums Jukebox and Gimme Some Lovin,’ which feature classic ‘50s and ‘60s pop standards. The albums were executive produced by the legendary Bob Rock (Michael Bublé, Metallica) and produced by David Pierce (Michael Bublé, Robbie Williams). Pierce joined HUMAN NATURE at The Venetian as a musical collaborator for the JUKEBOX experience. The songs were originally either penned or performed by the likes of The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Righteous Brothers, Fontella Bass and more. Again, the group has included a new ‘modern classic’ on the album, an original tune, written by Andrew, ‘Forgive Me Now’.
Human Nature’s, career statistics are staggering. Since signing to Sony Music Australia over two decades ago, Human Nature have sold more than 2.5 million albums, earned 27 platinum awards, scored 17 Top 40 hits and have had five Top Ten tracks worldwide. Human Nature’s albums to date include TELLING EVERYBODY (1996), COUNTING DOWN (1998),
HUMAN NATURE (2000), WALK THE TIGHTROPE (2004), REACH OUT: THE MOTOWN RECORD (2005), DANCING IN THE STREET: THE SONGS OF MOTOWN II (2006), GET READY (2007), A SYMPHONY OF HITS (2008), VEGAS: SONGS FROM SIN CITY (2010), THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM (2013) JUKEBOX (2014) and the latest addition to the canon, GIMME SOME LOVIN’: JUKEBOX VOL II (2016). Among their hits are such classics as ‘Wishes’, ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’, ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘Eternal Flame’, ‘He Don’t Love You’, ‘When You Say You Love Me’ and their collaboration with John Farnham ‘Every Time You Cry’.
One of the world’s first ‘Boy Bands’, Human Nature’s biography is in their set list for their current Jukebox show. “Some
Americans that come to see our show have never heard of Human Nature before,” explains Mike. “We have to tell our story of how we got together when we were kids in high school, and what motivated us to stay together and why we’re who we are. We tell that through the music and use the ‘jukebox’ as our way to move through the music that's inspired us.”
The Jukebox show is a playlist of not only the group’s influences, but the greatest vocal hits of all time. Jukebox sees the guys perform such classics as 'Under The Boardwalk', 'Stand By Me' and 'Unchained Melody’. If you’re at a gig, expect to hear the likes of 'I Want It That Way' (The Backstreet Boys) through to the aforementioned Beatles’ hit, ‘I Saw Her Standing There'. Human Nature's Jukebox also explodes with the Motown hits Human Nature famously reinterpreted during their acclaimed Las Vegas Motown Show. A night at the Jukebox is liable to include anything from 'Ain't No
Mountain High Enough' and 'Dancing In The Street’, to the soul of 'Gimme Some Lovin’’ (which kick starts GIMME SOME
LOVIN’: JUKEBOX VOL. II) or Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘Dance To The Music’. It’s a journey that carries through to 'All About That Bass' and Taylor Swift’s 'Shake It Off’.
“Vegas is obviously a massive part of our career,” continues Toby. “It's now more than a quarter of our career that we've been over here, which blows my mind because it doesn't feel like that long. It's been really amazing for us as performers to be in a place like Vegas and still be able to dedicate time for our Australian fans and make sure that they don't forget about us!
“I think as artists, to be in a place like Vegas, well we've grown a lot in the time we've been here. You are exposed to so many different things and you're in the mix of all these incredible entertainers. You've really got to stay on your game and try and work the city out. You've got to try and understand it. I think it's made us better performers and I think we are working better together now than we ever have on an artistic and business level. You're swimming with the big fish, you've got to make sure you stay afloat.”
Asking the boys to choose career highlights is hard: simply because there have been so many.
Standout moments in Human Nature’s career to date include performing to a global audience at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, opening for Michael Jackson and Celine Dion at concerts around the world and appearing on television in the USA on shows as varied as The Talk, Oprah, and Dancing With The Stars as well as their own PBS special: Human Nature Sings Motown.
“There's been a few,” considers Phil when we chat. “The ones that really propelled us onto bigger and better things I think are things like getting our record deal with Sony Music Australia. That was a great thing, we were offered a deal when we didn't have that much material at the time, but there was a belief in our talent. That was a massive moment for us.
“Being asked to sing at the Olympics - wow - to sing the anthem at the opening ceremony was pretty amazing. It felt like they wanted us to be a part of representing Australia to the rest of the world. That was a pretty amazing feeling to think ‘we're part of this, showing (the world) what’s good about Australia’. That was pretty awesome.”
Looking back the band all marvel at both how long they’ve been together, and also by how enthusiastic they are as a unit to reach new heights, whether it be playing live or recording a new album like GIMME SOME LOVIN’: JUKEBOX VOL. II.
“This year we celebrated our 28th year together,” explains Andrew. “I think that's a milestone that very few people can scoff at. That's amazing to think the four of us have been doing this and loving this for that long, and we still want to get together and come up with ideas on how we can keep going, rather than show each other the door (laughs).”
“I guess that's a real highlight for me, that so many years later we're still enjoying it, we’re still great friends. We love each other like brothers, and we do look forward to the day we sit down in a room and say ‘Okay, what are we going to do next?’ It's still a great, fresh relationship.”