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Chris High reviews: The Solid Silver 60's Show: 21st Anniversary Tour' 2006

The Solid Silver 60's Show: 21st Anniversary Tour


Gerry & The Pacemakers, P.J. Proby, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick & Tich, Wayne Fontana
Liverpool Empire
April 7 2006

Promotional image for The Solid Silver 60's Show: 21st Anniversary Tour

SOLID SILVER 60's SHOW 2006


Oh what a night should, surely, be reserved for a 70's tribute show shouldn't it? Well, not in this case. Flying Music Productions have assembled a winning formula here that looks set to run and run and, judging by the talent on show and audience reaction, hats off to them.

First on stage, dressed in immaculate white jacket, white safari fedora and white hair, was Wayne Fontana. For those of you who don't know, Wayne hit the big time with songs such as The Game Of Love, Pamela, Pamela and Stop, Look & Listen, all of which were sung here - interspersed with extremely funny theatrics at his own expense - with incredible versatility of style. 60 years old, overweight and proud of it; Wayne can still show the youngsters what's what on stage.

Next up, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. Immaculately attired in clashing pastel shaded jackets, the set they had to offer really took off with Last Night In Soho to be quickly followed on by a devastating rendition of Save Me, during which Beaky played percussion with a seismographic rhythm that got the entire audience jumping for joy. After that, there was nothing else to say, except that Stairway To Heaven and Pinball Wizard were performed as tribute covers that might make those unfamiliar with the originals want to delve deeper.

Next, the living legend that is P.J. Proby. A colossus of musical inspiration, the great man leaped on to the stage dressed in gold lame jacket and black pants as though he were nought but a foal amongst unbroken stallions.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Proby probed the audience with classic tunes such as Make It All Right, Maria and Hold Me - which incidentally made #3 in the charts at a time when its sales would have eclipsed Robbie today; back when music was appreciated rather than tolerated that is - and a sublime rendition of American Trilogy. Energised, philosophical and grateful, he even took time to dedicate American Trilogy to the recently lost Gene Pitney, who was to appear at Liverpool's Philharmonic Theatre this very same evening, but for his sudden death two days previously.

He may have had his problems, but Proby is still a keen master of his art.

So what's left? Gerry & The Pacemakers; the backing band of a Scouse legend, not least for the tribal anthem of Anfield, who backed Proby and Fontana with such skilled craftsmanship all evening, they are impossible to criticise them in any way, shape or form.

Gerry? As much as I'd like to criticise him if only for the Kop anthem (just kidding), I honestly can't. As prominent today with his audience as he was forty years ago, Marsden can still carry a tune to rock a theatre to its foundations, or lull it to romanticism with a single chord on his faithful guitar. How Do You Do It? Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying (written, apparently, for his to be wife after breaking up as kids), It's Gonna Be All Right, Ferry Cross The Mersey and, of course, You'll Never Walk Alone were all received with the warmth and respect a true prodigal son deserves, though without the fervour of yesteryear that Proby was handed, it must be said.

This was a fantastic night of reminiscence that left the crowd satisfied and hungry for more, as the Solid Silver Sixties Show heads into year 22 with all guns blazing nothing else can beckon but success and fields of gold.
.

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