Thursday, 28 April 2011

Solid Silver 60s Show 2011, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

I have skipped a couple of years of Solid Silver 60s shows for various reasons, but last night my best friend Ellie and I went along to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall for an evening of fun. Actually we started at the Philharmonic Pub for drinks with Toni from the Dakotas who is currently sitting in on keyboards with The Merseybeats. There was a fair amount of catching up to do as I'd not seen him for ages. I mustn't leave that long again!

Vanity Fare were on stage when we took our seats, we were just in time for Hitching A Ride. Vanity Fare provided the backing for all the solo artists on the bill. They are jolly good at it too.

Wayne Fontana took the stage in his white suit and cowboy hat. Still in fine voice he entertained the crowd in his own inimitable style. With classics like Um Um Um Um Um Um and Game Of Love we were already dancing in our seats and singing along.

Following Wayne was Chris Farlowe.  It had been a while since we'd seen him on a Manfreds tour. He still sounds great. The set list included Handbags and Gladrags, a rather nice new song the title of which escapes me right now and ended, of course, with Out Of Time. 

After the interval it was time for Dave Berry. Opening with Memphis Tennessee and working his way as only he can through a cover of ZZ Top's Give Me All Your Loving, Mama, Little Things (cue us joining in on the backing vocals) and The Crying Game he gave a great show. He even came back for a kind of encore, which was a version of the BeeGees' First of May. 

Next was Terry Sylvester who was in both the Escorts and the Hollies for a while. As a local lad he must have had a lot of family in judging from the reaction from the audience. Vanity Fare did a fabulous job of recreating the Hollies-esque harmonies for the set. 

The evening was rounded off by The Merseybeats. They very quickly had the crowd going and even had some up on their feet. By the end we were all on our feet actually! The band never fail to entertain. We got Wishin' And Hopin', a coupel of Everly Brothers tunes, Don't Turn Around, I Think of You, a version of Live and Let Die with pyros and strobe lights...and that was topped with a crowd pleasing rendition of Sorrow before they belted out a version of Hi Ho Silver Lining. 

The finale was Glad All Over with all the acts back on stage and the crowd clapping and stomping along. We had a fabulous night and it reminded us how much fun we have at these things. Personally I'm already eager to find out the line up for next year!

Full set of photos here at my flickr account.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Rick Wakeman - Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead

This was my first Rick Wakeman solo concert. I had seen a couple of DVDs so pretty much knew what to expect.

The format was simple. The stage was set with a piano and a microphone. Rick introduced each piece with an amusing anecdote before sitting at the piano. Lots of the stories are well known, but he does love telling them. In fact he seemed to be really enjoying himself up there.

His piano playing is quite something to watch. Luckily from where I was sat he didn't have his back completely to us and I found myself quite mesmerised by his technique.

Highlight were A Glimpse of Heaven, You And I/Wonderous Stories, Morning Has Broken, Dance of A Thousand Lights (karaoke version - he played over a recording of the orchestral bits.) and Catherine Howard which is rapidly becoming one of my favourite pieces of his music.

There was even audience participation. We all got to be birds on The Birdman of Alcatraz.

It was a fun evening all round, and really do hope the opportunity arises that I can go and see him again.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Five Songs


It’s quite simple – just list five songs you really into at the moment; not your five greatest songs of all time, but five songs you’ve been listening to a lot recently, for any given value of “Recently”. And give a few words explaining why.

Note - I have previously posted a Five Song thing here. But I didn’t look at it till I had finished this post.

Brandenburger – The Nice

I’ve just been reading about The Nice and filling in the gaps in my CD collection. This one particularly sticks in my head because for a few days before I acquired it on CD I had the Brandenburg Concerto playing over and over in my head (I think I’d heard it on a TV show or something.)

Friends Like These – T’Pau

It’s quite sad that this song as been applicable in my life at least twice. Still I currently don’t have any friends like these, I have fabulous, open-minded, caring, empathic friends of all kinds. And all praise to the powers that be that this is the case. Still like the song though and have done since the album came out.

Somebody Who Cares – Paul McCartney

I’ll admit it, I have a soft spot for the Tug Of War/Pipes Of Peace albums. This tune lives in my head and surfaces every now and again. Lyrically Paul captures the frustrations of life. It’s a simple analogy but effective. “Like somebody has taken the wheels off your car when you had somewhere to go” He couples this with the assurance that there’s “always someone somewhere, you should know by now there’s always somebody who cares” and he’s probably right!

Shoot To Thrill – AC/DC

The Iron Man 2 soundtrack is one that I often listen to on the way to work. It blows away the cobwebs as well as blocking out the general chatter that drives me insane at that time of day on that bus route – works on the journey back too!

My Resistance Is Low – Hoagy Carmichael

This tune is quite the earworm. And it’s well and truly stuck in my brain!

(stolen from here by the way.)

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