AUSTRALIAN pub rock veterans Choirboys are onto something.
The band recorded covers of six Credence Clearwater Revival tracks, and added the tunes to their live shows.
It worked a treat, brought the crowds in, and suddenly punters were partying like it was 1987.
Now they're giving Tom Petty the Choirboys' treatment.
Petty songs such as Learning to Fly, Stop Dragging My Heart Around, and I Won't Back Down have been infused with a larrikin Aussie spirit.
"I don't know when we're going to stop now that we've started something," Choirboys singer Mark Gable said.
"Now everybody asks what are we gonna do next? I want to do ABBA, but the band won't let me."
Gable said the Choirboys' version of Tom Petty's Don't Come Around Here No More was a standout.
"I reckon we've done a better job with that song than Tom Petty did," he said.
"When I first heard that song I thought 'That's not Tom Petty!' I hated his version, but I always thought it was a great song."
Gable said there were some artists Choirboys would never attempt to cover.
"We'd never do AC/DC. We'd never do Led Zeppelin. And the reason is I don't think you can improve on them," he said.
One of the few original artists who has succeeded in taking on AC/DC was Celine Dion, he said.
"It works when she does it, because it's unexpected," he said.
"And that's why I mentioned ABBA, because it's so wrong that it's right."
Gable said Dion's covers of AC/DC tracks were a genuine treat.
"I was really hoping that AC/DC was going to ask her to fill in for them, but they got Axl Rose..."
Punters who saw Choirboys play in the 1980s would see a different beast these days, Gable said.
The band still plays all the hits, including Run to Paradise, Struggle Town, and Boys Will be Boys. But it's a different vibe.
"What they notice is it's relaxed. It's fun. It's entertaining. And they see an outfit that grew up performing live," he said.
"Forty years ago, when we played it was like a war, with us trying to win the audience over. Now we just want to have fun and do it with an audience who's there because they know they've enjoyed us in the past."
Choirboys play at Club Macquarie, Argenton, on Friday, November 22.