Watford Colosseum 15th April 2015
The solid silver 60s Show celebrates the fantastic and lasting musical legacy of the 60s – A decade that changed culture and music as we know it. Whilst these types of shows have a draw for an audiences wanting to relive their youth, they also give the younger music fan a chance to experience these musical pioneers first-hand. The style of the show harks back to the days when coaches with several named acts would travel to venues around the country to co-headline shows together.
New Amen Corner make up the backing band for the solo performers tonight and include Frogman Curtis, the original sax player for Amen Corner. They kick off tonights celebrations with their hits Bend Me Shape Me and Everlasting Love. Throughout the show they manage to capture the 60s sound down to a tee, including that distinctive drumming thanks to Jack Howson.
The first of our star performers up tonight is PP Arnold. The success of River Deep Mountain High in England led to Ike and Tina Turner supporting The Rolling Stones on their UK Tour in 1966. PP was an Ikette in their backing band and her amazing voice led to Mick Jagger to convince Andrew Long Oldham to sign her to Immediate Records. Even though that was nearly 50 years ago, her performance tonight leaves us in no doubt why she was snapped up as one of the major recording artists of the 60s. PP looks fabulous and her powerful velvety vocals are just as wonderful as ever. She performs a stellar version of River Deep Mountain High, The Bee Gees song To Love Somebody and of course her hits including The First Cut Is The Deepest, which still holds up as a fantastic song. Chris Farlowejoins PP on-stage for a duet of Judy Clay and William Bell's Private Number and their vocals blend really well together.
Tonight Chris is recovering from a bad chest infection, but being the consummate professional you wouldn't know – his vocals were spot on. That is one thing that is so great about seeing these decade shows; you see performers who value their art and don't know the meaning of lip sync or auto tune! Chris has a great feel for the music and gets right to the heart of a song every time, it's what has made his version of Handbags and Gladrags so enduring. He also performs a new song tonight, the tender ballad, I Don't Love You Anymore which is received well by the crowd and he finishes his set with All or Nothing and his chart topper Out Of Time.
Another 60s favourite, The Merseybeatstook us to the halfway stage of tonights show. Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley are still with the band and perform a cover of the Everley Brothers enduring classic Let It Be Me, as a tribute to their biggest influence over the years. The Merseybeats not only had a residency at The Cavern Club with The Beatles, but also had a string of hits in their own right including Wishing and Hoping, Don't turn Around and David Bowies favourite 60s song, Sorrow.
Mike Pender, the original voice of The Searches, still has great charisma and style and more importantly still has that amazing voice. The Searchers were one of most successful groups of the era and even today their songs stand the test of time. Every Time You Walk In the Room played on Penders trademark 12 string Rickenbacker must be one of the greatest guitar riffs of all time. He also performs the bands biggest hit Needles and Pins, co - written by Sunny Bono and a stunning version of Solitaire, which was going to be the bands come back hit in the 70s – but Andy Williams got there first. No matter Mike, it was a pleasure to hear this fan favourite.
Billy J Kramer and his band The Rising were the last act to perform at tonight's show. This tour is the first time Billy has performed in the UK since 1999, and it was good to see him back. Back in the early 60s John Lennon recognised Billy's talent and recommended Brian Epstein signed him. Shortly after he became the first artist to record and release a Lennon/McCartney song (even before The Beatles did) that song was Do You Want To Know A Secret in 1962, which became a number 2 hit. Tonight Billy also performs From A Window, his no 1 hits Little Children and Bad To Me along with a great version of Burt Bacharach song Trains, Boats and Planes which he released in 1965.
A fantastic evening of entertainment filled with some terrific and memorable songs performed by original artists who can still deliver the goods! No wonder the Solid Silver 60s Show has proved so popular for 30 years. Even if the show itself won't be around in another 30 years, one thing for certain is the music of the 60s certainly will be.