Meanwhile… back in the sixties…
Solid Silver 60’s Show
At this time of the year, the biggest stars of the sixties get together to tour the country under the Solid Silver Sixties banner – now in it’s 28th year.
This year, the line-up is Mike Pender, original voice of The Searchers from the band’s formation in 1959 to 1985 when he went solo. In that 26-year period, Mike was singer on the chart-topping hits, Sugar and Spice, Needles and Pins, Don’t Throw Your Love Away and Sweets For My Sweet.
Sheffield-born Dave Berry has been on the Solid Silver Sixties tour in three of the last four. His hits Mama, Little Things and The Crying Game all peaked at No.5 in the charts. Wayne Fontana makes up the three-line solo vocalists. His hits, with and without The Mindbenders, included Um Um Um Um Um Um, Pamela and The Game of Love.
They will be ably backed by The New Amen Corner. They have no members of original Amen Corner but they recreate the sound of the Welsh band with Amen Corner’s hits (If Paradise Is) Half as Nice, Bend Me Shape Me, and Hello Suzie, written by Roy Wood.
Special guests for the tour are The Merseybeats with two founder members Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley. The band started out as The Mavericks in Liverpool.
The hits Wishin’ and Hopin’, Don’t Turn Around and I Think of You kept the band in the charts from 1963 to 1966, then they went on the cabaret circuit. Billy got tired of it and formed Liverpool Express who had some success in the seventies, but he went back to The Merseybeats in 1992.”
Despite their advancing years, the artists have no plans to stop playing – in fact, of the original artists, Wayne Fontana – at 67 years old – is the youngest. Tony said: “I intend to carry on till I drop.”
The tour doubles as a celebration as it is 50 years this summer since The Merseybeats brought out their first record.
In fact, 2013 is The Merseybeats 50th anniversary of their first record, but also the first releases by Dave Berry, The Searchers and Wayne Fontana! The artists have been responsible for no less than 16 Top 10 hits including four No.1s.
The tour starts on March 7 in Sheffield and ends on April 28 in Norwich.
By Martin Hutchinson