Back to their roots for a new record

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May 2013 Back to their roots for a new record


David Parker talks to members of Vanity Fare.

It has been so long since we recorded a studio album we can hardly remember.

The last two albums released were a compilation of previous recordings and a live CD recorded at various shows.

So with an impending major tour early in 2012, we decided first of all to produce a new record to sell at shows.Something fresh.

vanity-fare-beatWe started gathering material from various sources, including band member Eddie Wheeler, who presented us with some of his songs.

Bernie, our bass player, has a good friend from his old band Tranquillity, Terry Shaddock, now residing in LA, who has had much success as a writer there. Terry suggested other Californian song writing acquaintances.   Demos were sent from across the pond and we were duly impressed, ideal for us.

We were up and running, and things began to escalate. Our drummer Mark, who is a big country fan, suggested a song he had demo-ed written by his good buddy Nashville singer/songwriter Phil Lee.

Former band member singer/songwriter, and all round “splendid chap” Trevor Brice, had – some time ago – sent us a song entitled “Old House”. At the time, although we loved the song, we did not have a vehicle in which to use it.

vanity-fare-beat-magazine-salisburyThis new project was ideal.

We then came up with the idea of having special guests, with whom we had worked over the years, as guests on the record. Hence the involvement of Chris Farlowe covering the Small Faces’ “Afterglow Of Your Love”. Ray Phillips of The Nashville Teens who agreed to sing the rockin’ Moby Grape tune, “Cant’ Be So Bad”, and Peter Sarsted with his wonderful song ‘Hemmingway’ which he had performed with us tour.

Steve Oakman, new boy in the band,with only 10 years in it, who knows and is friends with just about every great musician in London, called them in! Trumpets, saxes, strings, female vocalists and even a choir!

With a hectic touring schedule to fulfil, this record has taken almost a year to complete. Grabbing days here and there to record in various locations – from hotel rooms to Marks’ daughter Holly Ellen’s’ garage.

The result is something we are extremely proud of. We hope you enjoy the CD as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

From their website:

Vanity Fare are one of the hardest working sixties/seventies bands on the circuit today.

Worldwide hits including..“Early In The Morning, Hitching A Ride , I live For The Sun & Better By Far have clocked up more than five million sales earning them two Gold Discs.

Vanity Fare are as busy today as ever, in recent years as the mainstay of major UK package shows such as the “Solid Silver Sixties Show”, “Oh Boy! It’s The Non Stop Sixties” and “Rock Around The Sixties” shows.

Artists they have recently toured with and have backed include … P J Proby, Chris Farlowe, Dave Berry, Peter Sarstedt, Brian Poole, Mike DiAbo, Mike Pender ,Wayne Fontana,Peter Noone, Chris Montez, Brian Hyland,Lonnie Donegan Jnr, and Jeff Christie.

Apart from having a fantasic show in their own right, performing all their hits plus new original material and their own take on songs of the great 60s’ groups who inspired them, such as the Byrds, The Beach Boys, and all the great vocal harmony groups coming out of the States in the 60s’..

Vanity Fare’s versatility, astounding musicianship and vocal harmonies, sets them in good stead when a band is required to back touring solo acts they are more often than not the first port of call”.

Vanity Fare are.

Eddie Wheeler lead guitar and vocals

Mark Ellen drums,harmonica, mandolin and vocals.

Bernie Hagley: bass, saxophone, flute and vocals,

Steve Oakman; keyboards, piano,

accordian, 12-string guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals.

Brand new CD “West Coast” available from

**New CD** … “West Coast”… £8.50 + £1.50 p&p.

David Parker