Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Fort Perch Rock 15th December 2013

The Undertakers
Compere, Harry Prytherech (Remo 4), kicked off with the quiz then Al Peters started the music with a short blues rendition with the help of Phil Norman on lead guitar and Pete Lornie on bongo's. The Copycats followed they were made up of Carl Harding (drums) John Cross (lead)  Jerry Eccles (rhythm) and guest bass from The Undertakers Bill Good. Harry toured with the band about 16 years ago mostly in the north of England with a Mersey Memorabillia show. Lee Curtis who still performs in Germany was inducted into the Merseybeat hall of fame, he gave a great response speech. Dave La from Canterbury way sang & played accoustic guitar some old stuff some more modern. The first half was closed by a duo from Winsford called 'Road to Ruin' who impressed many in the room with their Beatle and other 60's music. The second half kicked off with 'The Smokey Joe band' from liverpool, the lady lead singer had a powerful voice. The Undertakers with guests finished off the musical procedings with Gaz Gaskell joining Brian 'Saxaphone' Jones. The 'Sax' duets were something to behold, Geoff Nugent was in fine fettle. The day finished with a Poem from Ron our poet in residence. Great day

Tuesday, 12 November 2013



I have been following the progress of this band since I first engaged them in Oswestry some 16 years ago. From those early days they have grown in stature to the height that they have now been officially named the UK's No1 Eagles tribute band.

From the moment they step onto the stage these guys ooze sheer class - excellent musicianship, great lead vocals and superb harmonies. The show features not only the hits of the Eagles but also album tracks, all professionally introduced in what album they were from, who wrote them and so forth. There were a few new members in the audience "Talon Virgins" as Chris Lloyd put it, but I am sure that they will have been converted and will be regular attendants at future Talon gigs.

The guys have also recorded an accoustic album and in 2014 embark on an acoustic tour (see flier above) featuring the music not only of the Eagles but also Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel, among others.

For details of the Eagles tribute dates and the acoustic tour visit

If you saw this show or any other on the tour please feel free to add your own comments.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Thank you so much to everyone who came along to The Dakotas’ 4th John Walker charity show held at Uppermill Civic hall on Friday 18th October.
The room was totally buzzing! And what a line up! Tony Crane (The Merseybeats) Geoff Turton (The Rockin Berries) The Dakotas, The Usual Suspects, Chris Fender Black & Rosie B from the C’mon Everybody tour, then the technicians:
Paul Brierley on sound, and Kevin Cain and Ben with their amazing lights, and Michael Troy Cartmell for photographing everything that moved or stood still!
In fact everyone in that building contributed to a fantastic memorable night.
LIVE music, great company and all in aid of raising money for two very worthy charities (Save the Children and Bury Hospice) The raffle prizes were amazing and had mainly been donated by Cynthia, John’s wife who had flown over from the US especially for the show! John Walker’s own guitar we auctioned off and it made £600 alone!!!! A guitar signed by Chris Farlowe, Wayne Fontana, The Merseybeats, The Dakotas, Geoff Turton, Mike Pender and Dave Berry was the coveted raffle prize! All the artistes had an absolute ball. Extra thanks go to Ronnie Ravey, The Dakotas frontman, for compering the entire evening singlehanded.
People will be talking about this show for a L O N G time!!!
Here’s to next year!

Finale with Cynthia walker joining the musicians on stage.

If you were at the memorial concert and want to add your own comments please feel free to do so!

Thursday, 17 October 2013


Count John McCormack (The Spinners) and friends at Fort Perch Rock New Brighton, Sunday 13th October 2013.

This was an interesting afternoon with John and his friends recalling their days in early jazz and skiffle groups, how John became part of the world famous Spinners folk group and so forth. Interspersing their recollections with a number of songs.

The second half featured another set from John and the boys before they invited guests like Susan Hedges and Carl Chase up to join them.

Compere for the afternoon was revivalist DJ Ala Cra, who began the afternoon with his usual quiz that got the old grey matter working.

Susan Hedges

Geoff Nugent (The Undertakers & Carl Chase)

Ala Cra

Carl Chase

Count John McCormack left & friends

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Monday, 7 October 2013



This was the story of two teenager girls who go on holiday alone for the first time. Whilst at the sea side they meet an American Airman based at a local camp who invites them to the base for a dance.

The staging of this production was excellent with the opening divided into two sets, one a typical 1950/60s kitchen the other a railway platform. Eventually making way for the dance hall on the air base. The costumes were excellent and typical of the era. The mother in particular reminded me of so many women I saw dressed like that in my youth.

There were some great vocals in particular from the actress playing the young girl, some great comic moments just to lighten the plot from time to time, backed by some excellent musicianship although the volume seemed a little loud on the bluesier numbers.

Among the great songs included were - Tell Him, Viva Las Vegas, Dance With Me, 123, Sweets For My Sweet, Little Sister, Teenager In Love, Be My Baby, Way Down Yonder In New Orleans, Suspicion, Then He Kissed Me, Latest Flame, Surrender, Mess of Blues, She's Not You, and Can't Stand Loosing You, to name but a few. All hits songs written by Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman.

What was dissapointing was that the finale which comprised of a medley of songs already featured in the show didn't finish with the title track which would seem to be the right one for people to leave the theatre singing. However, what was pleasing to see was the varied age groups making up the audience not just ones wanting to revisit their long lost youth. It is through shows like this that appeal to a younger generation also that the music of that era will live on.

For full tour details visit www.kenwright.com

If only we could see into the future and see if a musical featuring today's music will have such appeal!


If you saw the show in Shrewsbury or any other theatre on the tour please feel free to add your own comments.

Monday, 23 September 2013



In all its 28 years of being on the road the That'll Be The Day Show has been one of a formidable standard and it has been my privilege to see a great number of them; but this new show I feel has really raised the bar.

It has to be the ultimate 50s 60s 70s nostalgia show and long may it continue.

Among the many artistes / institutions recalled in this three hour show were - Cliff Richard, Swinging Blue Jeans, Tom Jones, Radio Caroline, Sam Philips & Sun Records, Tina Turner, Mary Hopkin, The Seekers, Mamas & Papas, The Beatles, Dave Edmunds, Mick Jagger, Suzi Quatro, Elton John, Alvin Stardust, Roy Wood, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Neil Diamond, Bonnie Tyler, Mark Knopler, Billy Joel and Shakin' Stevens to name a few. One that really amused me was their send up of Chas n dave singing a parody of life as it is today.

Also included were two great medleys of Drifters and Abba numbers, and an extremely moving rendition of "American Trilogy".

Adding that extra something to the show was the excellent use of back projection on a large screen that complimented some of the scenes by providing a visual backdrop or acting as a link to items of the show by being used to show adverts, clips to link to the next item and so forth.

This show has it all - non stop hits of yesteryear, fantastic costumes, excellent mucianship, fully choreographed routines and some side splitting comedy.

What I would like to see is for venues around the UK reducing ticket prices to youngsters under the age of 18 years so they can be encouraged to go along and see the show and enjoy such memorable music.

If you have seen the That'll Be The Day Show on its current tour and would like to add your comments please feel free to add them!



This was an excellent tribute show of two of the greatest acts of the 1970s - Abba & the Bee Gees.

Bootleg Abba recreated the sound of Abba playing the majority of the Swedish super group's greatest hits although they left out my favourites " Waterloo" and "Thank You For The Music". A good driving sound of keyboard, guitar and drums. However, as Abba shows go there was no costume changes which I am sure could have been included. But the one thing that really gets to me with Abba shows is when they try to put on Swedish accents, the two girls on this occasion sounded more Irish than Swedish.

The second half saw Bee Gees Fever portray the brother Gibb recreating with great accuracy all those singalong and disco numbers with Barry strutting his stuff with great gusto and stamina.

This was an excellent feelgood factor show that got everyone singing, clapping and dancing from start to finish. Well worth going to see when in your area!

If you have seen this show then please feel free to add your own comments!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Fort Perch Rock Sun 15th September

Harry wearing the jacket worn by one of the Remo Four in one of the Mersey theme musical films from the 1960's (it nearly fitted perfectly, but only nearly)

The first band ALFRESCO made up mof Mike White (lead Guitar) Peter Lornie (percussion) Dave West (drums) Joe Goldberg (bass) and Michael "Mick" Moon on Keyboards and vocals. Very good set. 

Joe Flannery talking about the Letter her received from President Obama thanking him for the copy of his new book he signed and gave the president. 

The second band were mainly from Manchester called TKC (The Knight Crew) but they only ever call themselves TKC,  excellent band made up of John Elliot(lead guitar), arty Davies (local drummer) Mark Knight (lead singer) and Richie Taylor (bass). 

 Ron the poet.

Tony Booth and Joe Flannery are holding up the "Collage" to celebrate the life of David Garrick who passed away three weeks ago, Joe was quite emotional when speaking of David. 

 Dave Williams presented an induction plaque to Ian of Ian & the Zodiacs widow Betty into the fort merseybeat hall of fame?

Thursday, 25 July 2013


Only yesterday I was given a number of PJ Proby Cds to play and thought I would tell you about them.

At only £5 each they are excellent value for money and can be purchased HERE!

"Sentimental Journey" features 12 rock n roll favourites including - Heartbeat, Summertime Blues, Rave On, Suspicious Minds, True Love Ways, Peggy Sue, That'll Be The Day, Not Fade Away, Something Else, and C'mon Everybody.

"His Hand In Mine" a gospel album featuring 10 tracks - Crying In The Chapel, Love Me Tender, I Believe, Precious Lord plus others.

"Wanted For Singing Love Songs" 12 great tracks including Stand By Me, Love Letters, Crazy, Mona Lisa, From A Distance, Oh My Papa, and Tell Laura.

"Man In Black" - 17 great Johnny Cash songs on one album. Ring Of Fire, Cry Cry Cry, San Quentin, Daddy Sang Bass, I Got Stripes, Walk The Line, Folsom Prison Blues, Boy Named Sue plus others.

Great Cds featuring great tracks with the distinctive voice of one of the greatest entertainers of all time P J Proby.



Taking to the stage compere Hal Nolan warmed the audience up with a short stand up spot before telling us that we were in for a night of rock n roll and proceeded to introduce the first act of the evening - Dave Sharp of The Alarm.

Getting our night of rock n roll off to a start he began his set with the Gospel singalong "I Saw The Light" which he then followed with four more songs, not known to me but well received by the audience.

Next up was former Bay City Roller Eric Faulkner who mixed some oringinal and folk numbers with covers of the Rollers hits - Bye Bye Baby, and Shang alang. I have enjoyed Eric several times before in much smaller and intimate surroundings but felt sitting down throughout his spot he and his music was lost and would have been better with a band to fill the sound and auditorium.

Staying on stage Eric was then joined by Tony Davis and John McCormack, both of The Spinners with a set that featured Tony swapping instruments from Banjo to Penny Whistle as the set comprised of more traditional folk songs and sea shanties from The Spinners TV days, finishing with far too many choruses of Maggie May which did have the audience singing along.

Just when one began to ask, what happened to our night of Rock n Roll, 70s hit makers Liverpool Express took to the stage and immediately woke the audience up giving a much needed lift to the proceedings. A great set from Billy Kingsley and the band which included - "No Matter What", the self penned "China Town" "Out Of Time", "I Saw Her Standing There" with great lead guitar and keyboard solos, and not forgetting their own hit "Everyman Must Have A Dream"  and "You Are My Love". Also featured was a song that Billy informed us he recorded as a teenager with the duo The Merseys "Sorrow". A great way to add any concert but this was only the end of the first half.

The second half began in true Elvis mode with the 2001 Space Oddysey theme. A 7 piece band made up of accomplished Merseyside musicians took to the stage for a set that featured blind keyboard player Susan Hedges, vocal backing duo The Passionettes and Elvis tribute act Chris Clayton, and the weekend's star guest - guitar supremo James Burton..

It was straight into the Aloha From Hawaii set list with - "CC Rider", "Burning Love", "Something In The Way She Moves" which slowed down the tempo and showed off James' guitar playing, then came "Gave Me A Mountain" "My Way" and Hank Williams' "So Lonesome I Could Die" which again featured some excellent guitar work by James. The Passionettes who had been working extremely hard throughout the set with excellent backing vocals and choreography, took the to the front of stage with "Fever" sharing the lead vocal with finger snapping accompliment from the audience as well as the band sound.

Following the introduction of band members Chris Clayton gave superb renditions of "Suspicious Minds", "Whole Lotta Shakin", and "American Trilogy" which really showed off his powerful voice, and then "Can't Help falling In Love" before leaving the stage in the more than capable hands of Susan Hedges with her versions of Emmylou Harris' "Sweet Dreams" from the Elite Hotel album, Merle Haggards "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" and John Denver's "Country Roads", all artistes that James had worked with over the years.

Next on stage was the night's main guest star - Suzi Quatro who asked the band and audience if they were ready to "Kick Ass" and with her driving bass sound gave a solid rock n roll set featuring "Rock n Roll Music" "Johnny Be Goode" "All Shook Up" "Slow Down" "Sweet Little Rock n Roller" and "Sweet Nothings".

With just two guitars playing James then gave us an instrumental rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and then Chris Clayton returned to the stage with a "Early Morning Rain" in tribute to Duncan Darroch (promoter's brother) who sadly passed away only a week or so prior. Apart from Suzi Q, Dave Sharp and Eric Faulkner all the other artistes that had appeared returned to the stage for the finale and "The Wonder Of You".


Opening act was local song writer Dean Johnson who I have again enjoyed several times in the past, but felt that he took too long introducing himself and the song he chose was too slow for an opening act. The opening act/song needs to hit the audience between the eyes to tell them the show has begun and grab their attention. Then it was time for compere Billy Butler to introduce the Liverpool Ukele Orchestra. For me this act set the scene of what the whole weekend was about - 40th anniversary of Elvis Aloha From Hawaii concert. Dressed in Hawaiin shirts, floral garlands the 21 piece orchestra gave us a great medley of Elvis numbers including - "That's Alright Mama" "All Shook Up" "Good Luck Charm" "Hound Dog" "Teddy Bear" "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" with different members taking the lead vocals.

Next up was the house band from the night before and again featuring Susan Hedges, and The Passionettes, and James Burton with Billy Butler introducing a veteran of Liverpool rock n roll turned actor Vince Earl who continued like the true professional that he is, with "When My Little Girl Is Smiling" although there was a problem with his microphone. He then introduced another Merseyside music veteran Geof Nugent of The Undertakers who gave us a version of the group's biggest hit "Just A Little Bit", then continuing the old rockers set Cliff Roberts did "Move It" and Nicky Crouch (The Mojos) "Everyday" before Vince returned to the stage with "Get Ready" and "Proud Mary".

Paying tribute to Rick Nelson another great name that James Burton had worked alongside, Don Woods with his usual charm and style gave us "Fools Rush In" "Poor Little Fool" "Lonesome Town" and "Hello Mary Lou" before Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman". Again Orbison being another to use the talents of James Burton in recordings and concerts.

Taking the stage next were more recent Merseyside musicians that the previous ones - Peter Wylie, Brian "Nasher" Nash (of Frankie Goes To Hollywood) who got into the swing of the Aloha From Hawaii mode with "CC Rider" and "Suspicious Minds".

Nash then solo did the fast tempo "Burning Love" before changing tempo with "Something In The Way She Moves". The Passionettes then took to centre stage to recreate Sweet Inspirations who opened shows for Elvis Presley. Wylie then sang his self penned number "A Heart As Big As Liverpool" before Nash gave a great version of "Can't Help Falling In Love" and from his Franke Goes To Hollywood days "The Power Of Love". Wylie then closed the first half with "The Wonder Of You" which had the audience joining in singing, swaying before leaving for much earned liquid refreshment.

The second half was delayed slightly due to technical problems but was soon under control with the night's special guest Charlie Landsborough and his band giving an excellent set of the many songs written and recorded by Charlie over the years including "I Will Love You All My Life" "What Colour Is The Wind" "My Forever Friend" and "Shine A Light" all interspersed with Charlie's own imitable sense of humour.

An extra bonus for the weekend was sitting in the cinema watching the film of the Aloha From Hawaii Concert, after which James Burton got up to say a few words.


Welcoming everyone to as he put it, the third half of the James Burton Aloha From New Brighton Weekend compere Ala Cra introduced the opening act "Rip Roaring Success"  who played a 30 minute set of western swing music with just a guitar, double bass and fiddle, but judging by the reaction of the audience they lived up to their name. Following a brief interval the compere managed to get his tongue around the night's headlining act Los Paciminos, who took to the stage with their set of Tex Mex style music which again was well received by the audience. Mind you with former 80s hearthrob Paul Young as their frontman its no wonder the ladies were well pleased. For their second set after the initial first couple of numbers the band welcomed onto the stage James Burton and between them they partied with some great rock n roll tunes.

Personally I found the theatre concerts too long due to overcasting, but then others will say that they had more than their monies worth. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the Mersey Beat Legends bit on the Saturday night, pity they were reduced to only doing one number each. I am sure that the format of using a houseband and inviting a number of Mersey Beat names to come along and guest would make a great show to tour venues in and around the Liverpool, Wirral & North Wales area.

Organisers Dougie & Sasha Darroch would like to thank all who attended and assisted with the James Burton's Aloha from New Brighton weekend.  More than 2,000 people attended this privately funded weekend and it proved to be a great success, we look forward to next year when it will be bigger and better.

We thank you all for attending and we thank James Burton for being James Burton!

If you were at any of the concerts over the weekend please feel free to add your own comments!

Saturday, 13 July 2013



Opening the show Buddy Holly tells us it was Nashville 1956 and performed three country style numbers - Rockin' Around With Ollie Vee, Blue Days Black Nights, and Down The Line, as Buddy left the stage the clip on the screen showed a 1950s American television audience with the presenter introducing the Big Bopper who then bounced onto the stage and you could tell from his manner that he wasn't going to take any prisoners. Just like magic the phone rings and he is straight into Chantilly Lace, working his audience ane getting them eating out of the palm of his hand he went into "Running Bear" before introducing and welcoming to the stage Ritchie Valens, who looked every bit a hearthrob as the popper had described him. Tanned, well groomed, tight trousers and with gyrating hips, the ladies loved him. "Little darlin'" "Bonie Maronie" "Donna" and "Johnny Be Goode".

The Bopper returned to the stage with "Shake Rattle & Roll" before going into a patter routine with Valens.

Next guest to take the stage was Dion, smartly dressed in a suit and giving great renditions of "Teenager In Love" and "Dream Lover". Before being joined on stage by the Bopper and Valens for a medley of doo wop numbers - "Donna Prima Donna" "I Wonder Why" and "Runaround Sue" to close the first half.

Headlining this rock n roll extravaganza Buddy Holly took to the stage for the duration of the second half, giving us "Peggy Sue" "That'll Be The Day" "Think It Over" "Rave On" "Heartbeat" "Raining In My Heart" "True Love Ways" "Crying Waiting Hoping" "Bo Diddley" "Well Alright" "Not Fade Away" "Baby I Don't Care" "Blue Suede Shoes" "Rip It Up" "Doesn't Matter Anymore" and "Brown Eyed Handsome Man".

For the finale the Big Bopper returned to the stage singing "White Lightning", Ritchie Valens with "La Bamba" and Dion with "The Wanderer", before Buddy returned with "Oh Boy" and for an encore "Great Balls of Fire" with each star taken a turn on lead vocals.

High lights for me were the drummer coming to the front for "Heartbeat" using the slapping of his thighs to create the beat, and also on "Not Fade Away" using a cardboard box.

Downsides of the show were the little use of the screen at the back of the stage, for what time it was used it might as well be left out, also the use of a modern electronic slap bass instead of using a traditional one, must keep the show authentic as possible.

Portraying the stars in tonights show were Jaymz Denning as JP Richardson aka The Big Bopper, Tim Harwood as Ritchie Valens, Steve Halliday as Dion and finally Marc Robinson as Buddy Holly. Their likeness and portrayals of the originals was uncanny close, and it was a pity that the theatre wasn't at capacity audience for a show that really did recreate Buddy's Winter Dance Party of January 1959 that toured America's mid-west.

For details of dates for this and similar shows click here!

Thursday, 11 July 2013


SHOWADDYWADDY, Theatre Severn Shrewsbury 5th July 2013

Opening with an instrumental number, the group was soon into a non stop rock n roll party with such classics as - Rock This Town, Daddy Green, Multiplication, Babadoo, I Wonder Why, Heartbeat, Blue Moon, A Little Bit o' Soap, Johnny Remember Me, Barefootin', Sweet Little Rock n Roller, Sea Cruise, Move It & Bye Bye Johnny; and that was only the first half.

Tthe second half began with a search light and the dambusters theme before moving from top gear in the first half into overdrive with Come On Everybody, Dancin' Party, Rock n Roll Lady, Remember Then, You've Got What It Takes, Pretty Little Angel Eyes, When, Summertime Blues, Jailhouse Rock, 3 Steps To Heaven, Under The Moon of Love, and returning for an encore with Hey Rock n Roll.

As it has become customary at a Showaddywaddy gig members of the audience were invited to join them on stage to dance. It was so nice to see both youngsters as well as adults taking to the stage and even more so seeing a couple of people with learning difficulties enjoying their time in the spotlight.

Still a six piece line up and containing two original members the Shrewsbury gig was part of the group's 40th anniversary tour. It would have been nice to have seen more original members take part as it was a milestone tour but still the new lead singer would pass for original frontman Dave Bartram in both looks and showmanship.

Having carved a name for themselves in the 1970s recreating rock n roll classics from the 1950s it was pleasing to see such a wide age range in the audience from 6 & 7 year olds through to teenagers, young adults to more senior citizens with many donning polka dot skirts, drape jackets.

This was not just a concert but a full blown rock n roll PARTY with the headlining band showing us that they really had what it takes.

For more details of the tour Click Here!

If you were at this concert or any other on the current tour please feel free to add your own comments.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


ELKIE BROOKS at Theatre Severn Shrewsbury 29th June 2013.

From the moment she walked onto the stage Elkie showed that she was sheer class! Still pocessing a powerful voice and stamina that saw her strut herself using every inch of the stage.

The first half saw her take us on a journey of some of her classic hits whilst the second saw the band move up a gear or two into rock and blues. Apart from her timeless hits and regular concert items a few new numbers were added from her new album Powerless, which was released to coincide with the publication of her autobiography.

Each and every song received raptuous applause from the packed Shrewsbury audience, as they ended. 

This was the first time that I had had the pleasure of seeing Elkie perform and hopefully not the last.

If you were at this concert or any other on the tour feel free to add your own comments.

Monday, 8 July 2013


I have come across a number of 50s 60s 70s related sites / pages on facebook. Including

The Swinging Sixties + Beyond
The Original Glamrock of the 70s
60s Pop Classics
Sounds of the 70s
60s Music Only
60s & 70s Music Channel
Fans of The Dreamers
Wild Cat Rock and Roll
Pick of the pops and the top 40
Vinyl World & Musical Memories
Ready Steady Go!: 60s Bands/Artistes
The Troggs 2012
The Fourmost
Fabulous Fifties (50s Rock n Roll, Doo Wop, Rockabilly)
Merseybeat Beatle Free Zone
The Fortunes here they come again
The Hollies
Fans of the Searchers
Friendsofthe searchers
The Searchers Appreciation Society Convention
Joe Brown fans
Liverpool Rock bands of 1960s 1970s
50s & 60s music
stay tuned
instrumentals only
The Searchers - video page
Peter Noone Fans
Rock's Back Pages
Paul McCartney
Musiciand and bands
Rockabilly Radio
Rock and Roll Heaven.net
Small Faces
Spencer James Fan Page
Status Quo - Quid ProQuo
Sun Records forever
The Dakotas
Support for Chip Hawkes
The Beached Boys
The Beatles Universe
The Rapiers fans
The Glitterband official facebook group
The Dave Clark 5 fans

These are just a few, see how many more you can join.

If you join any of these sites don't forget to tell them you heard about them on the Beats Working 2012 blogspot.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


The Mersey Beat Story on Sunday 23rd June at Fort Perch Rock New Brighton featured The Mojos, led by Nicky Crouch.

What a Quiz Master!
Dave the Phone!
Compere for the afternoon was revivalist DJ "Ala Cra" who got the afternoon off to a fine start with one of his nostalgia quizzes - lots of easy questions but also one or two to test the old grey matter e.g. In school we were taught the 3 R's, what 4 F's make up the title of a Tom Jones hit?

Dave "the Phone" did the interview, chatting to both Nicky Crouch and Eric London about their early music days and the different bands that they played in.

The Interview

Following a short break The Mojos then played a brilliant set featuring some great numbers with lead vocals shared between Nicky and Sam Harding (The Dominoes).

The line-up of the band was
Nicky Crouch - Guitar Vocal
Eric London - Bass Guitar
Brian Jackson - Drums
Sam Harding - Piano

Eric London, Nicky Crouch

A very tight sound from these well seasoned musicians with a set that included such classic rock n roll numbers as - "Sweet Little 16", "Hey Good Lookin'", "Travellin' Light", "Kansas City", "Never Can Tell", "Everyday", "Raining In My Heart", "Flip Flop Fly", "Peggy Sue", "Love Hurts", "Walking The Dog", "That'll Be The Day", "old Black joe2, "Bye Bye Johnny", "Tequila", "Blueberry Hill", "Route  66", "Better Move On", and "Slow Down".

Answer to the Tom Jones Question -

"Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings".

Monday, 10 June 2013



 A rather small audience for this show which is not what it deserved, but an early start at 5pm on a rather hot day might be a contributary factor.

Opening act was "Walk Right Back" a tribute to the Everly Brothers which featured a fair number of classic Don & Phil tracks including - Walk Right Back, Till I Kissed You, Cathy's Clown, Bye Bye Love. So Sad, Wake Up Little Susie,  When Will I Be Loved, Dream, Claudette, and Let It Be Me. But what I didn't get was the inclusion of two Buddy Holly numbers, simply because the Everly's toured with Buddy. There is sufficient numbers in the Everly's song book not to have to do this.

Saying that, the two men concerned gave a polished performance, were smartly dressed with good patter with the audience but a band would have been better than using backing tracks, and if financial constraints mean that tracks have to be used then in a theatre enviroment get someone off stage to operate the tracks. For me this cheapened what otherwise was a brilliant and polished act.

Following the interval the main act of the show - The New Honeycombs, took to the stage. This is a well seasoned four piece with years of experience between them and keeping in pure Honeycombs tradition including a female member although not on drums, which was the main trademark of the original group.

Apart from The Honeycombs hits - "Have I The Right" "Is It Because" and "That's The Way" the band performed songs from - Billie Davie/ PP Arnold (Agelof the Morning), Beatles (Can't Buy Me Love, Twist & Shout), Couldn't Live Without Your Love (Petula Clark), Dusty Springfield (Only Want To Be With You), Bobby Vee (Take Good Care of My Baby), Mamas & Papas (California Dreamin'), Smokie (Living Next Door To Alice), Del Shannon (Runaway), Neil Sedaka (Breaking Up Is Hard To Do), The Seekers (Find Another You), The Searchers (Walk In The Room, Needles & Pins, Don't Throw Your Love Away), Spencer Davis (Gimme Some Lovin'), Tamla Motown (Rescue Me, Baby Love, Stop In Name Of Love, Dancing In The Street).

The instrumentation of this band was back to basics as it was in the sixties, guitar, bass, drums and vocal, but adding that extra something was the numbers played on the 12 string guitar.

Included in the set was a number written by guitarist John Quinn entitled "Girl From No6" a great 60s feel to this song probable because that's when John wrote it.

What made the show mostly enjoyable for me was the inclusion of a number of songs not normally performed on sixties shows.

If this show or simply the New Honeycombs is at a venue near you then take a visit I am sure you won't be dissapointed.


Alan Crowe

If you visited this show or any other on the tour please feel Free to add your comments.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


The family of a Midlands musician who claimed that he played on the hit song "My Boy Lollipop" with singer Millie Small are appealing for a rare UK copy of a 1964 LP to help them solve a long-held mystery.

Ray Deville, from Stourbridge, was a member of the Five Embers, the backing group to teenage singing star Millie Small in the 1960s.

Ray, who passed away recently, told his family that he had played the distinctive mouth organ part on the hit record.

However, this has been disputed by others, including Stuart Maconie a DJ and music expert, who states that another musician played it. I personally have always believed it to be someone else.

The family want to resolve the issue finally and are hoping to track down a UK copy of the LP My Boy Lollipop, which contains a list of credits.

So far their search has been fruitless but remain hopeful that someone that has a copy will get in touch with them. They are also trying to contact Millie herself to see if she can remember Ray playing on the record.

Sarah Aston, Ray's daughter, said that her father was a rather modest person who never talked up what he did, but was always adamant that he had played the mouth organ part on the record and that he wouldn't have said so unless he had.

As a lasting tribute to her father the family want to solve the mystery finally and believe the record credit would do that.

Do you have a copy of the LP or can throw some light on the mystery? then please call 01384 353205

Monday, 3 June 2013


Five world-class musicians, singers and songwriters who, after years of touring and recording with some of the most iconic bands in the world, bring you a great new show highlighting some of the best British Rock and Pop music of a generation.

Featuring special guest Peter Howarth–lead singer with The Hollies, this band of current and former musicians with the Moody Blues, The Hollies, Cliff Richard, The Manfreds and The War of the Worlds bring you hit after hit, with some of the greatest songs that formed the soundtrack to our lives.

Whether it’s the vastness of the O2 Arena, the grandeur of The Royal Albert Hall, the eminence of The Hollywood Bowl, or the intimacy of Ronnie Scott’s, these guys have been there, done that, and they bring that world of experience to their show.

Having played and recorded with THE MOODY BLUES, THE HOLLIES, CLIFF RICHARD, THE MANFREDS, THE WAR of the WORLDS, THE WHO, ERIC CLAPTON, DIONNE WARWICK, DAVID ESSEX, LIONEL RITCHIE, MARK KNOPFLER, SHEENA EASTON, ANNIE LENNOX, THE NOTTING HILLBILLIES and literally dozens more, this isn’t just a covers band - these guys ARE the band that helped make these high-profile acts sound so good live and on record.........

For details of concert dates visit the website.

If you have been to see any of the shows feel free to add your comments.

Saturday, 1 June 2013



For whatever reason it has been a few years since I lost saw these guys. In fact it is at least 3 as new boy Scott on drums has been with them 3 years and he wasn't there the last time I saw them.

This show was part of their current 50th anniversary tour, and the years of experience shone through great tunes, hit records and some great patter from Frankie Allen along with the banter between him ang John McNally kept us entertained.

With about 28 songs in the show of which only a handful of other peoples hits, from the opening song - "Sweets For My Sweet" through to final song the show featured not only the group's UK hits but album & EP tracks and foreign hits like "Bumble Bee" an EP track in the UK but a single in Australia. Included were "Goodbye My Love", "Sugar & Spice", Needles & Pins", Love Potion No9", "Walk In The Room"and "Don't Throw Your Love Away".

A number of other peoples songs were covered during the night including - Roy Orbison's "Running Scared", The Byrds "Mr Tambourine Man", Bette Midler "The Rose", The Beatles "Twist & Shout", Gerry & The Pacemakers' "You'll Never Walk Alone", plus an up tempo version of Gary Puckett's "Young Girl".

Smartly attired in suits the guys looked good on stage and despite their advanced years both Frankie Allen and John McNally look as if they have still got a good few more years left to keep reminding us of the songs that have established them as one of the greatest beat groups that the UK has produced.

Keep up to date with the band and tour dates by visiting their website

If you saw this show or any other on the tour please feel free to add your own comments!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


A Memorabilia Auction & Sale was held at Fort Perch Rock New Brighton on Sunday 19th May 2013.

Among the Mersey Beat era musicians and other 60s personel present were - Brian "Saxaphone Jones (The Undertakers), Geoff Nugent (The Undertakers), Cliff Roberts (Cliff Roberts & The Rockers), Ala Cra (Revivalist DJ), Harry Prytherech (Remo 4), Dave Williams (Jaywalkers), Don Woods,
Crowds awaiting the auction.

One of the many memorabilia stalls.

Another memorabilia stall

If you were present please feel free to add your own comments.


Manfred Kuhlmann was promoting his revised book at the Legion in Liscard on 22nd May. One of his many ports of call during his 2 week tour of Merseyside venues. john. The guest band were the "4 Originals" 

If you were present please feel free to add your own comments.

Monday, 20 May 2013



I  never got to see Queen live themselves, but I am sure this will be the closest I am going to get to seeing the originals. Gary Mullen & The Works if you haven't seen them is a must for all Queen fans.

If this band was a sporty car then they went from zero to top gear within seconds and it was like that all the way through both halves of the show. From the opening bars of We Will Rock You to Don't stop Me Now to close the first half, then the entire second half closing with We Are The Champions, Gary and the band certainly rocked us prooving that they are the champions, when it comes to Queen tribute acts.

With a powerhouse of a band behind him, Gary was going to take no prisoners, and showed what a great showman he is, using every bit of the stage available to him, working the audiences, till they gave in dancing in the rows, clapping and singing along.

I am sure he was relived when it was interval time, I know I was time to give my hands and voice a rest, take five and reduce the pace but it was over all too soon and back into top gear for the second half, finding the cruise control mid way as Gary changed the tempo to give us "Love of My Life" with just a 12 string guitar accompaniment, before hitting the throttle once again with Jail House Rock, Bohemiam Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, with Radio Ga Ga, and We Are The Champions making up the encore.

Concerts have the habit of attracting the extroverts and this one was no exception with a number of Freddie Mercury / Queen "lookalikes" in the audience including a couple in drag from the video to "I Want To Break Free". During this song Gary invited them onto the stage and like true troopers they played the part well strutting around the stage complete with toy hoover.

Gary certainly has lost none of the charisma that saw him won Stars In Their Eyes receiving the all time record number of votes. In fact the only thing he visibably lost on Friday night was sweat, which he lost by the bucket loads. But it was the audience that was Under Pressure, could we keep up with the frantic pace of such a high energy performer, the answer yes we did and nobody bit the dust!

A superb evening and whether you are a total fan of Queen music or just the odd hit next time Gary Mullen & The Works are at a venue near you go along and enjoy "One Night Of Queen".

For More information visit - http://www.garymullenandtheworks.com

If you were at this concert or any other on the current tour please feel free to submit your own comments.

Monday, 13 May 2013



I first saw Alber Lee on a cold damp evening at an outside concert featuring Albert and James Burton at Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton in 2012. However, as he was only guesting I didn't get to really appreciate what a fine musician he really is.

Sunday's concert with his own band, Hogan's Heroes totally confirmed to me how talented this guy is. Not throughout the entire concert did I hear one song that I knew, and believe me I have heard a lot having been around the music industry for nearly forty years.

Comprising of numbers by themselves, unknown writers as well as the likes of the Everly Brothers, Gram Parsons, Carl Perkins, Glenn Cambell, Buddy Holly, and Johnny Burnette the concert was mainly country rock but with a touch of tex mex and western swing added for good measure.

There was plenty of lighand shade throughout the concert with up-tempo numbers followed by a nice melodic ballad with Albert swapping his guitar for piano before dooning his guitar again for some real rocky number.

When I go out I like to be entertained and entertain me these lads certainly did, expert musicians displaying their skills on drums, bass guitar, keyboards, and pedal steel, with the lead vocals shared between Albert, Gavin Povey on keyboards and Peter Baron on drums.

It is no wonder Albert has been dubbed "the world's greatest guitar player" and whether you are a novice or competent guitar player, a visit to an Albert Lee concert should be part of your rehearsal schedule. To sum up Albert's talent as a guitarist I must quote a comment made by a young lady which I overheard on leaving the theatre, "I cannot believe how incredibly nimble his fingers are for an old man", nimble! you should see how they work that guitar.

To catch a concert and for full details of Albert and the band visit http://www.albertleeandhogansheroes.com

Alan Crowe

If you were at this concert or any other featuring Albert Lee please feel free to add your own comments.

Monday, 6 May 2013



As the lights dimmed Bev Bevan took to the stage to welcome everyone before introducing the show's host Jasper Carrott who gave an excellent spot of stand up showing why he is still at the top of his game after all these years.

Introducing each member  of the band as they took to the stage individually - Tony Kelsey on Lead guitar & musical director for the show, Abbie Brent on keyboards, Phil Tree on bass guitar and the master of the band Bev Bevan on drums.

After the band played a 60s music medley overture - Duane Eddy, Shadows, Beatles, Hendix, Stevie Winwood, Black Sabbath, and Led Zepplin to name part of the medley; Jasper introduced Phil Tree who performed the Spencer Davis classic - Gimme Some Lovin', before taking to the stage was the first of the show's guests - Trevor Burton the former lead guitarist with The Move who rocked the house with Eddie Cochran's "Something Else" which he announced was also the title of a Move EP recorded live at The Marquee, this was followed by The Move's "I Can Hear The Grass Grow".

Next guess was Birmingham's first ever pop star Danny King. A look at the Brumbeat website will confirm the statement showing Danny as the leader of many different bands. Opening his spot with Cliff's "Move It" he then changed tempo with Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways".

Next Jasper introduced former member of The Rockin' Berries and a recording star in his own right - Geoff Turton, who with Trevor Burton picking up his guitar gave a superb rendition of The Everly's "Claudette" followed by The Fortunes' "You've Got Your Troubles" and the Big O's "Pretty Woman" which had the audience well and truly clapping along.

Adding a touch of glamour to centre stage, Jasper introduced Joy Strachan-Bain of Quill. With an excellent stage presence she performed Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits" before changing the mood to a Dusty Springfield number which she dedicated to absent friends.

With Geoff & Trevor back on stage the ensemble went into a Motown medley - "Heard It Through The Grapevine" with Abbey on keyboards taking the lead vocal, then "It Takes 2" and closing the first half "Dancing In The Street" with Joy taking the lead vocal.

The second half began the same as the first with a stand up routine from Jasper, followed by the band's version of Elvis' "Freight Train" before Geoff & Joy take to the stage with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" with excellent harmonies from Phil and Tony. Next came The Shirelles' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and PJ Proby's "Hold Me" with Joy performing The Moody Blues classic "Nights In White Satin".

Taking us back to his days of working the folk music clubs, Jasper led the ensemble in Steeleye Span's "All Around My Hat". Danny King then returns to the stage with Elvis' "Surrender" and The Drifters' "Save The Last Dance" before going into a poignant part that whilst singing "My Prayer" the screens played tribute to a number of Birmingham musicians that have recently passed away.

These included - Carl Wayne, Ben Brain, Barry Pritchard & Rod Allen (The Fortunes), Jon Bonham (Led Zepplin), Kelly Groucott (ELO), Nick Drake, Gerry Levene,Clifford T Ward, Clint Warwick (Moody Blues), Cozy Powell, Jim Capaldi & Chris Wood (Traffic), Dave Ismay, Terry Wallace (Vikings), and Roger Hill (Fairport Convention).

Back on stage Trevor Burton rocked it up again with "Drift Away" and then his tribute to Jimi Hendrix "Hey Joe" which showed off his excellent guitar playing and using a wah wah pedal to great effect.

The entire cast then closed the show with ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" before returning for an encore - the Birmingham anthem - The Move's "Blackberry Way" which certainly had the crowd joining in and leaving the theatre in good spirits.

Taking their final bows each member lined up holding hands, more like what one expects to see at the end of a variety show or pantomime and certainly a far cry from the days when Bev and Trevor along with the rest of The Move would leave their mark in hotel rooms etc.

What I liked about this show was the great use of photographic stills and cine film clips on back screens, depicting images of the cast members career, scenes of Birmingham and images of the different artistes featured in the show.

However,I have several dissapointments - one would have thought Geoff would have sung a Rockin' Berries hit; the stars would like so many others would meet with the audience afterwards; but more so I feel that with the great number of hit songs to come from Birmingham there was no need to have featured American acts, that way the entire show, not just the musicians, and film clips would have been Made In Brum!

If you were at this show or any other on the tour please feel free to add your own comments!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

GRAHAM GOULDMAN - Heart Full of Songs


Opening the show was Garron Frith who accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica, while he sang a number of his own compositions, each one introduced by how they subject came about.With a nice style of informal delivery each song was introduced with a wit that warmed the audience to him. Lines such as "This song is the soundtrack for a film yet to be made".

One song that stood out for me was one where Garron played the harmonica and stamped his foot to give a beat and sang. No sooner had he began his spot than it was over and time for the last song. On plugging his CDs which he would sign in the interval he told how during the afternoon he was walking along the river and saw a man with a black bag which he was about to throw in. Noticing that the bag was moving Garron enquired as to his contents. Puppies the man replied I cannot afford their injections. With the audiences hanging on every word of this tale, Garron informed them that he had struck a deal with the man and that the proceeds of his Cd sales would be for the puppies. The things acts will say or do to sell merchandise.

To open the main show Graham Gouldman took the stage alone and with his acoustic guitar sang "Pamela Pamela" which he had written for Wayne Fontana back in the mid 1960s. Bringing on former 10CC coleague of 37 years, Rick Fein, the two of them performed The Yardbirds' hit "Heartful of Soul". Time to bring on the other two musicians - Mick Wilson and Mike Stevens and into 10CC's "Good Morning Judge" then "No Milk Today" by Hermans' Hermits. This was a different way to start a show and one that really worked for me.

More tracks followed from Graham's solo album including the up tempo "Halls of Rock n Roll", the country flavoured "Dancing Days" featuring Fein on slide guitar. More well known numbers featured were The Hollies' "Bus Stop" and "Look Through Any Window", 10CC's "I'm Not In Love" and "Things We Do For Love" before it was time for the final song The Yardbirds' "For Your Love".

Returning to the stage for an encore all four assembled around a single microphone to give an accapella version of 10CC's first hit record "Donna" before returning to their instruments to close the show with another hit from the 10CC "Dreadlock Holiday".

The entire set was an acoustic one, which made a pleasant change to hear such great songs performed without a driving sound.

Although the evening was one of Graham Gouldman compositions his song catalogue could keep us entertained for several nights. For details of all his songs, the tour and other dates www.grahamgouldman.info


Monday, 22 April 2013



Joe Flannery has been described as the 'Secret Beatle', and as the business associate and partner of Brian Epstein, he became an integral part of The Beatles' management team during their rise to fame in the early 1960s. Standing in the Wings is Flannery's account of this fascinating era, which included the controversial dismissal of Pete Best from the group (nothing to do with London, but matters back in Liverpool), Brian Epstein's fragility, and the importance of the Star Club in Hamburg. This book is not simply a biography, as it also considers issues to do with sexuality in 1950s Liverpool, the vagaries of the music business at that time and the hazards of personal management in the 'swinging sixties'. At its heart, Standing in the Wings provides an in-depth look at Flannery's personal and professional relationship with Epstein and his close links with the Fab Four. Shortly before John Lennon's murder in 1980, it was Flannery who was one of the last people in the UK to talk to the great man. Indeed, Flannery remains one of the few 'Beatle people' in Liverpool to have the respect of the surviving Beatles, and this is reflected in this timely and revealing book.

Standing in the Wings
The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me
Authors and contributors
By (author) Joe Flannery, With Mike Brocken
Physical properties
Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 288
Width: 156 mm
Height: 234 mm
ISBN 13: 9780752490090
ISBN 10: 0752490095
BISAC category code: MUS035000
Nielsen BookScan Product Class: T4.1A
BICMainSubject: AVH
BISAC category code: BIO004000
LC classification: ML
Illustrations note
32 black & white illustrations, 16 black & white plates
The History Press Ltd
Imprint name
The History Press Ltd
Publication date
01 May 2013
When you have read the book please feel free to add your comments on this site!


The latest book by Tony Bolland is now available!

'Hessys' the shop that launched a thousand bands and the Beatles...the Iconic shop where the Beatles bought their first instruments from along with many of the Merseybeat bands, Tony managed the Guitar Department 1977 to 1980 and worked along side of Big Jim Gretty who organised the Albany theatre gig where the Beatles played and taught John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison chords on the guitar when they often went to the shop before they were famous.
There many anecdotes from famous musicians and the foreword is by Merstbeat founder Bill Harry.

Friday, 19 April 2013



If you went along to see this show not knowing what songs or artistes that you were going to see / hear then on taking your seat a look at the stage and the full size backdrop depicting some of the many artistes to be featured sets you straight.

This show had it all as a Motown tribute - excellent musicians, superb singers, great songs, well choreographed dance moves, beautiful costumes in abundance and great lighting and sound.

With a four piece band on stage throughout the vocal show comprises of 4 guys and 3 girls who top and tale each half as a full ensemble on stage whilst in between use the stage individually the boys as the 4 Tops and the likes and the girls as The Supremes or Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, plus one boy & girl on "Endless Love".

Artistes featured include - Supremes, 4 Tops, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Martha & Vandellas, Isley Brothers, and the Jackson 5 ( made up of the 4 male vocalists and the smallest female one as a brilliant Michael complete with "moonwalk").

Too many great songs to list but a few were - This ole Heart of Mine, Stop In Name of Love, Proud Mary, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Reach Out I'll Be There, Loco in Acopulco, Cant Help Myself, Midnight Train To Georgia, Heatwave, You Can't Hurry Love, Get Ready, Aint No Mountain High Enough, My Girl, Keep Me Hanging On, It Takes 2, I Want You Back, Dancing In The Street, Signed Sealed Delivered, Rockin' Robin and Blame It On The Boogie.

This show has a real feelgood factor that never mind the streets get the majority of the audience dancing in their seats.

A beauty of this show was that the show itself was the star with all vocalists sharing the lead vocal duties as well as excellent four part harmonies from the boys and three part from the girls.

However, if there is to be a downside then for me is the fact that the brass section of the backing is played on the keyboards and not with a live brass section. In times of austerity it could be down to cost!

If you want to lift your spirits then get along and see this show next time it is in your area.

Alan Crowe.

If you were at the show or seen it as elsewhere please feel free to add your comments!