Sunday, 15 May 2011

Solid Silver 60's Show Congress Theatre Eastbourne and Assembly Hall Tunbridge Wells

Solid Silver 60's Show
Congress Theatre Eastbourne (12th May)
and Assembly Hall Tunbridge Wells (15th May)

Artists in appearance order

Vanity Fare
Wayne Fontana
Chris Farlowe
Dave Berry
Terry Sylvester
The Merseybeats

I haven't completely lost the plot in seeing the same production twice within a few days. We decided to book the Tunbridge Wells show as a birthday celebration for my wife and despite a gap of only 72 hours we couldn't have picked a better repeat. You can't beat decent live music.

Both the Solid Silver and Sixties Gold productions have never failed to be fabulous shows and this one is no exception.

Chris Farlowe and Wayne Fontana Solid Silver 60's show
A few of the well known acts in this show are regulars on the 'Silver' and 'Gold' tours so I won't dwell on Vanity Fare, Wayne Fontana and Dave Berry. Although you can refer back to my previous Solid Silver review for greater details if required. So here's just a brief summary of those great acts.

They may back most of the other performers but Vanity Fare are such a good band I'd gladly watch them perform a solo show given the opportunity.

Dave Berry may be the oldest performer on the current tour but he certainly looks the fittest and I have to say he got a rousing reception, especially at Tunbridge Wells where the audience got to their feet in appreciation.

Wayne Fontana may have a reputation as a bit of a naughty boy but I am convinced he gets more and more impressive every time we see him. Both audiences certainly seem to love a 'bad lad' and in both foyers he was certainly the act most people wanted an autograph from first.

I don't blame them either as he really comes across as a genuine friendly guy who always makes you laugh and smile (unless you are in law enforcement in which case your view may be slightly different).

Chris Farlowe was a new experience for me. However I did enjoy his hits especially Handbags and Gladrags and Out Of Time. I will admit I had never heard of Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds as his band was known in the 60's but at the time they were legendary with their R&B sound.

Terry Sylvester & Tony Crane Assembly Hall Tunbridge Wells
I think Chris went down well with both audiences too. Although I think his humour went down better at Eastbourne than Tunbridge Wells. His story about his nightmare requesting half a dozen chicken nuggets at McDonalds in Eastbourne got laughs aloud. However expressing that it was hotter on the Assembly Hall Stage than a "Japanese power station" resulted in what I can only describe as embarrassed groans rather than laughter. Adding a quip about 'Parkinson's disease' didn't help either. I did notice that as Wayne and Chris signed in the interval Wayne appeared to have far more demand from fans.

Former vocalist with The Hollies, Terry Sylvester ,was very popular in both venues especially as just about every Hollies track is a number you can sing along to. "Just one look" and the classic "He ain't heavy (he's my brother)" to name just a couple.

With vocals I could listen to any day Terry is a great addition to the Solid Silver tour and I hope he appears again in future productions.

That just leaves The Merseybeats with Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley still appearing together since they were first known as The Mavericks back in the early 60's. Accompanied by Bob Packham (bass guitar/vocals), Lou Rosenthal (drums) and Toni Baker (keys/vocals) 50 years on they remain one of Liverpool's greatest musical exports.

Back in the era of The Mavericks the hits of the Everly Brothers were the order of the day. It is therefore only appropriate that in this Solid Silver show those same hits are revisited together with the Merseybeats own hits such as "Sorrow" and Wishin' and Hopin'".

The Merseybeats are the ideal hand-clapping, arm swaying final act for this excellent touring 60's show and like all the other acts they joined in by staying behind to sign autographs for all who wanted them.

Mark Ellen of Vanity Fare, Dave Berry and Billy Kinsley of The Merseybeats
Best performance? Well you'd think it would naturally be a draw but it wasn't quite that simple because Tunbridge Wells got rewarded with a brilliant all-act-finale which Eastbourne missed out on as at least one act had to leave for home early. So Tunbridge Wells wins on this front as it was a fitting ending to a fantastic show.

Best venue? That one I'll give to Eastbourne because the larger foyer makes life far simpler when you have a number of acts made up of multiple members signing at the same time.

Best audience? For some strange reason the Tunbridge Wells audience were far more vocal and enthusiastic and more keen to get to their feet earlier. Although I don't really know why this should be as age wise both audiences were similar.

However whether you get an all act finale or not in the show you see it doesn't matter. This is still, as is always the case, a tremendous night out revisiting all those original 60's artists you love and their hits of the time.
Print This Entry

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you in advance for your show comment or feedback