Triumphant return for Frankie Valli

Apr 2013 Triumphant return for Frankie Valli

After their highly-successful first appearances in the UK for 18 years last June, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons return for a second year running.

This time, they are scheduled to perform twice as many concerts after last year’s originally planned three were increased at the last-minute, due to popular demand.

Frankie, who turns 79 just before this year’s tour – which includes two nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall – demonstrated last June that age has certainly not dimmed his unique and powerful falsetto voice. Plus, he is a gr eat and entertaining front-man who ensures a fast-paced show, with no let-up between the group’s large catalogue of hits like ‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Walk Like A Man’, ‘Rag Doll’, ‘Dawn (Go Away)’, ‘Let’s Hang On’, ‘Who Loves You’ and ‘December 1963 (Oh What A Night)’ as well as his solo chart numbers like ‘My Eyes Adored You’ and ‘Grease’.

The runaway success, over the past eight years, of the musical “Jersey Boys” has generated greater interest than ever before in Frankie and The Four Seasons, particularly from younger generations.

Frankie grew up in the tough streets of Newark, New Jersey where he said that if you didn’t watch out “you could wind up in the trunk of a car”.

The Four Seasons first hit the US charts in 1962 with the No.1 ‘Sherry’, written by fellow group member Bob Gaudio. Produced by Bob Crewe, it reached No.8 in Britain.

The sound of The Four Seasons was unlike anything else around at the time.

“Many R’n’B groups had used falsetto as part of their background harmonies, but we were different because we put the falsetto out front and made it the lead,” said Frankie.

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tour:

June 17; Manchester Arena, Manchester

June 18;  Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh

June 20; Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth

June 21; Hampton Court Palace Festival, East Molesey

June 23; LG Arena, Birmingham

June 25; Royal Albert Hall, London

June 26; Royal Albert Hall, London

Mirroring Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Albert Hammond is back for a UK tour this month after having been here last year for the first time since 1973.

albertAlbert has been a prolific songwriter and has been responsible for some of the most memorable hits recorded, including ‘The Air That I Breathe’ by The Hollies and ‘When I Need You’ by Leo Sayer.

Born in London, raised in Gibraltar and a resident of the United States, he stopped touring and concentrated on writing because he did not want to be away from his family. With frequent collaborator Mike Hazlewood, Albert got off to a flying start in the late 60s and early 70s by penning numbers like ‘Little Arrows‘ for Leapy Lee, ‘Make Me An Island‘ for Joe Dolan, ‘Gimme Dat Ding‘ for The

Pipkins, ‘Good Morning Freedom‘ for Blue Mink, and ‘Freedom Come, Freedom Go’ for The Fortunes.

Albert scored a number of hits in America, the highest of which was the No.5 ‘It Never Rains In Southern California‘ in1972.

His only single to chart in the UK was ‘The Free Electric Band‘, which reached No.19 in 1973.

“I´m very excited about my forthcoming tour, where I will be performing acoustically and telling stories and anecdotes about the songs and the artists I´ve worked with. See you at the gig,” said Albert

Albert Hammond tour:

April 17;   Bush Hall, London

April 18;  Artrix Centre, Bromsgrove

April 19;   Oran Mor, Glasgow

April 20;   The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen

April 22;   The Stables, Milton Keynes

April 23;   Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne

April 24;   Tower Theatre, Folkestone

Ben E. King will be teaming up with Jimmy James and The Vagabonds for a Superstars Of Soul tour of Britain in August and September.

Jimmy James and The Vagabonds

Jimmy James and The Vagabonds

Possessing one of the most elegant baritone voices ever, Ben E. King is perhaps best known as one of the principal lead singers of The Drifters as well as being the singer and co-composer of ‘Stand By Me’, a US Top 10 hit in both 1961 and in 1986 when it was used as the theme to the film of the same name. ‘Stand By Me‘ was a No.1 hit in the UK in 1987.

The Drifters’ manager George Treadwell persuaded him to join the group as lead singer in late 1958 and he sang on hits like ‘There Goes My Baby’, ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’, ‘This Magic Moment’ and ‘I Count The Tears’.

Ben E. King left The Drifters in 1960 and a year later had his first major worldwide solo hit with ‘Spanish Harlem’. His next single was ‘Stand By Me’, written with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and, since then, he has never looked back.

Jimmy James and The Vagabonds were a feature of the UK music circuit in the 1960s and 70s, registering hits like ‘Red Red Wine’, ‘I’ll Go Where Your Music Takes Me’ and ‘Now Is The Time’. Crosby, Stills and Nash are another leading American act heading to UK shores this year, for seven dates including two shows at the Royal Albert Hall on October 8 and 9.

The influential folk-rock supergroup, consisting of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, are on the road again this year after an extensive world tour in 2012.

Ralph Gowling