Thursday, 14 October 2010

Born To Rock 'n' Roll Marty Wilde Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall Theatre

Born To Rock 'n' Roll
(appearance order)
The Wildcats
Marty Wilde
Roxy Wilde
Eden Kane
Jet Harris

14th October 2010
Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall Theatre

He may be 71 years of age but after 50+ years of performing Marty Wilde shows no signs of calling it a day and putting his feet up in front of the telly.

Marty Wilde Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge WellsThe Born To Rock 'n' Roll tour  runs to 20th November and an amazing 21 of the 31 days in the current month (Oct 2010) are performance days. In addition to that Marty already has gigs arranged up to August 2011.

When we have some modern, young, artists claiming exhaustion and depression after a couple of years of serious lip-syncing I can seriously understand why I have so much admiration for these original 60's acts who continue to perform live, truly live that is, for as long as their legs will hold them up on stage.

Marty performs all his greatest hits including Jezebel, Bad Boy, Teenager In Love and covers tracks from many artists no longer with us.

Actually, there is a poignant moment in the show where Marty recites a list of iconic 60's artists who are sadly all long since gone. I think it is Marty who I have seen do this before. But this time, of course, the list is longer and this is one list that will never shorten in length.

Year by year now another great 60's act will vanish from the stage. Dave Dee's relatively recent death in 2009 meaning another popular touring act has gone forever.

As sad as it may be you can't help but go to these shows now and wonder how many years we have left with genuine acts from the 1960's? 10-15 tops? Are we really going to see any such artists going to want to perform in their 80's?

Marty Wilde Eden Kane Roxy Wilde Jet HarrisMarty still moves really well and can still belt out the hits flawlessly but after a 2 and a half hour brilliant show he understandably looked tired and he no longer goes front-of-house for signing sessions afterwards. With a tour schedule like this I am sure fans can appreciate why he does this.

But if autographs are your passion Marty Wilde is the star of merchandising. I have never seen an artist with such an amazing range of outstanding autographed material so economically priced. Those who read my reviews regularly know that I get annoyed by greedy artists charging extortionate amounts for rubbish programmes, signed or not. Extortion is certainly not something you can accuse Marty Wilde of. In fact I'd be surprised if some of the merchandising actually makes a profit. It's the first time I've been to a show and bought so much I needed a carrier bag (and yes he even has those - and they are free!).

Well Marty is excellent and so is his merchandising but what about the rest of the artists?

Marty's youngest daughter, Roxanne, prior to this tour has been supporting Kylie Minogue on her worldwide tour. After her dad's current tour ends she is once again jetting off to to join the rest of Kylie's backing singers.

The lovely Roxy Wilde Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge WellsTo be honest whilst it must be awesome for Roxy to tour with the world's top female pop artist it does seem in some ways a waste as she is a superb solo singer in her own right. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' and Lipstick On Your Collar being just two of the tracks she performed tonight to a great reception in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Roxy signed her own albums and photos front-of-house after the show and from comments made it seems that many thought she was not only great in this show but that they preferred her style of singing to her more well known older sister, Kim. I'm not getting into that argument as it's just a great musical family. Besides Kim's more pop style music was very different to Roxy's 60's offerings tonight.

Eden Kane Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge WellsEden Kane, perhaps most famous for his hits Well I ask You and Forget Me Not, is the youngest original 60's star of the tour at a mere 69 years young. Some may not know that Eden's real name is actually Richard Starstedt. From that it doesn't take too much to figure out he is the brother of another 60's favourite who also continues to tour, Peter Sarstedt.

The Wildcats are the band supporting all the featured artists and a fine job they do too.

Last, but by no means least, is former bass guitarist of The Shadows Jet Harris. Although he left The Shadows in '62 following disagreements he did have some subsequent success as a soloist and band member. However, it is no secret that Harris has had his fair share of personal problems over the years which did not help any huge long term comeback.

Although he has left it quite late , now aged 71, perhaps 2010 will go down as being one of the best years of Jet's life?

Earlier this year Jet had the honour of receiving an MBE from Her Majesty. It is an honour that he is, quite rightly, truly proud of taking the opportunity to show his medal to the audience.

Jet Harris MBE  formerly of The Shadows in Tunbridge WellsNow here he is doing this mammoth tour with Marty Wilde and what a great choice of act he was too. Not just the talented guitarist he is also an extremely funny man. Somebody commented after the show that "he was better than many comedians". I'm not going to argue with that statement. He is hugely entertaining musically and the rather dry but frankly very honest humour, from a man who claims he never smiles, kept us laughing throughout his appearance.

This tour still has a massive number of dates to go. If you are thinking of going but can't quite decide it was surprising to hear at the end how many people were glad they had booked this even though they had seen or were going to see The Sixties Gold Tour. It seemed so many thought this 60's production couldn't match the quality of Sixties Gold/Solid Silver tours. They were wrong.

One thing I did like about this that doesn't happen in the current Sixties Gold production is the "all artist finale". It's nice when all the performers take the bow together at the end of a fabulous night.

A final thing I like about this tour is that it covers a good part of the country so most counties will have a chance to see it. In my neck of the woods it will be at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne on 16th November (01323 412000 to find if there's any tickets left) For other dates visit the Wilde family website
5/5 for Marty Wilde Born to Rock n Roll
Marty Wilde standing ovation Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall Theatre
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