Saturday, 2 October 2010

'60s Gold ,Congress Theatre, Eastbourne Review

Sixties Gold
Congress Theatre
2nd October 2010

starring (order of appearance)

Chip Hawkes
Gerry and The Pacemakers *
P J Proby
The Searchers *

* During the tour these acts are alternating their order of play so that neither is constantly 'topping the bill'. Bear this in mind if you are going to see one act in particular.

4 superb 60's acts, 1 superb show but let's deviate first and talk about a subject close to my heart - photography at events.

Having attended so many 60's shows in the past where photography has not been a problem, in fact welcomed by the artists, I didn't expect the policy to be any different tonight.

From conversations with many other bemused 60's fans both during the interval and after the show we weren't alone in our confusion in the policy for this performance.

With no notices displayed and no prior to show verbal announcement many, like me, thought it was business as usual for catching some unique shots of acts that, lets face it, won't be around for ever for us to appreciate.

A few shots of Chip Hawkes later and I was surprised to see an usher's finger wagging at me. Mind you I was easy to spot and wasn't exactly hiding the fact I had a camera as it is never normally an issue at these 60's events.

Anyway I then glanced around. I knew many in the audience had brought their cameras but they weren't quite as easy for the theatre staff to spot. If cameras are said to be distracting I am sure the huge Congress audience found the ushers' torches, resembling spotlights in the Blitz, far more of a distraction. As soon as their torch fell on the area of a flash another would fire elsewhere and they'd have to move the beam.

Now when you haven't published or announced a photography policy for a show (and there isn't one in the programme) like this you are asking for trouble.

But that isn't the end of the matter. Why? Because The Searchers, when they came on announced that, as always, photos were OK.

Now at this show The Searchers were performing last. But by this time people were now wary of taking pictures and were very slow to start taking the chance.

But to make matters worse The Searchers and Gerry and The Pacemakers are alternating ending the show as ' top of the bill' as this tour continues. How the hell are people going to know where that leaves them as regards to camera use? Consider this Chip Hawkes comes on - no photos - though nobody told you so. The Searchers then come on and say photos are OK. Interval arrives. Second half starts and cameras are at the ready for PJ Proby and Gerry and The Pacemakers but the moment you take a shot you then find it's no cameras again.

It irritates me as I always abide by any laid down policy. Except that last night nobody seemed to know what the policy was.

Other venues hosting the wonderful 60's Gold Tour may wish to note this rather silly experience. Would it be too much to ask for an announcement to be made or posters put up saying that there is either a photography policy for this show or that it is banned altogether? I don't think a policy where you can take photos of 1 act out of 4 is sensible.

I know I am biased because of the way I try to promote theatre but for 60's acts like this but I really don't see why there is a problem with photography. Yes I know the main issue may be video and full performances published on You Tube but even there I have reservations about how damaging this actually is. After all how many instances of The Searchers ' Needles and Pins' are there on You Tube? The answer is hundreds and hundreds and viewers will probably stick to viewing the oldest and most popular time and time again. The rest just stay without viewers and that is why I would rather create something like I do , a bit of fun and promotion for the show at the same time. It has also had great feedback from the artists as well as from viewers.
Gerry Marsden happily meeting all sensible theatre goers
Anyway my cobbled together effort from the footage I could get is above '60s Gold in 60 seconds. I hope you enjoy my little show teaser.

Anyway is it show time now.?......... well no.....never let anybody tell you theatre is boring.

Gerry Marsden has to be one of the nicest guys in showbusiness when it comes to meeting the public. Everybody gets whatever they want signed, without question. He has a warm handshake for young and old alike and he has a permanent grin like a Cheshire cat...... until he meets some prat of a theatregoer who insists on pushing to the front of a very long queue and refusing to budge.

Gerry Marsden meets an ignorant queue jumper as Chip Hawkes looks on concerned and Gerry's assistant prepares to step in to prevent things escalating
Gerry is so easy going yet you could see the anger growing as he had to deal with this inconsiderate imbecile. The danger of a 'John Prescott' type moment was only avoided by his assistant stepping in with Chip Hawkes looking on in bewilderment at the aggravation one total moron can cause. These snaps aren't brilliant, taken in a split second but how a picture can tell a story!

We got the feeling he wanted to tell him he would always walk alone and should take a sinking ferry 'cross the Mersey!

Oh the show .... yes there was one amongst all this alternative entertainment and a bloody good one it is too.

You may recall we were due to see the Chip 'n Chesney tour earlier this year where Chip was due to perform with son, and 80's icon, Chesney. It was a tour which never happened.

However I am so pleased that we got to see the former Tremeloes singer as part of this tour. As with all the artists in this production he delivers a selection of his greatest hits including Silence is Golden. I just love that weird guitar he has with it's frame-only design!

You can't say much about the legendary Gerry and The Pacemakers that hasn't been said before. Gerry's band are always nothing less than brilliant and Gerry always a great comedian as well as one of our most well known talented Scousers. The hits performed are the iconic ones we all know and love - just what you would expect in a show like this after all.

The same can be said for The Searchers. With a loyal following of fans around the country and worldwide like the other artists they can draw on decades of experience to get the audience on their feet each and every time.

Star of the night? Well they are all stars but I am going to give my favourite performance of the night to P J Proby. Now unless you've led a very sheltered life most fans of 60's music will know that Mr Proby has a bit of a chequered history and has had his fair share of controversy over the years.

We have seen PJ several times over the years however I thought the Congress Theatre performance he gave tonight was quite simply the best we have ever seen him. I thought he got a very loud appreciate response from the standing Eastbourne audience too.

I know many of you read my review prior to seeing the Solid Silver tour and thanks again to you all for the kind comments on the promo video, on the review and for the comments you have sent direct saying you loved the show.

Well you will love this one just as much and I'd recommend booking tickets now before the only ones left are the restricted view seats at your venue.

Thanks for reading this, have fun and please comment when you have seen the show.

5 out of 5 for Sixties Gold

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1 comment:

  1. Tuesday 16th.November 2010 Venue Liverpool Philarmonic Hall Excellant show all acts very good.A good night had by all.


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