Golden sixties moments
We went to the second house of Sixties Gold at Leeds on November 3 and it was full.
Amazing how many people these shows get at Leeds, much more than at other local venues.
It was great to see Chip Hawkes back in action. He opened the show with Brian Poole, backed by the Pacemakers. They sang six of their combined hits, with Chip thanking all his fans as he sang the “now I’m back” part from Do You Love Me.
This was the sixth night on the trot of the tour, and with two shows that day, Chip was not up to meeting his fans at the interval.
PJ Proby, again backed by The Pacemakers, showed what a great voice he still has, opening with the Wanda Jackson classic Let’s Have A Party. Talking about the stars he had worked with, we got Eddie Cochran’s Three Steps To Heaven and Lonely Weekend which, he told us, he sang with Elvis, and Tommy Sands).
Somewhere led into a song he wrote himself in 1962 which The Searchers recorded as the lead song on an EP in 1963 – Ain’t Gonna Kiss Ya. Closing with
Hold Me, PJ left the audience wanting more.
Gerry closed the first half – yes, The Pacemakers did the entire first half!. A panoply of hits which included How Do You Do It, Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying and the ever-popular Ferry Cross The Mersey and a selection of comments with the audience had everyone clapping along. Walk Hand In Hand got the biggest cheer of his act; while You’ll Never Walk Alone had us all joining hands and singing along, to close the first half.
Special mention must go to The Pacemakers, who supplied excellent, unobtrusive backing throughout the first half.
The Fortunes opened the second half with sound harmonies throughout the group’s major hits such as Here It Comes Again and You’ve Got Your Troubles. Michael Smitham gave excellent vocals on Caroline and showed off his guitar skills on Crying In The Rain (from their new CD).
Closing the show, The Searchers, led by front man, Frank Allen, gave us some of their hits, as well as Mr Tambourine Man –which always sounds as if it should have been theirs – and Solitaire, which they recorded in 1972 before it became a hit, although it did nothing for them. With so long in the pop industry, Frank has many stories to tell. You can read many more of them in his excellent books Travelling Man and The Searchers And Me.
If you haven’t read them, get them for Christmas: you won’t be disappointed). He talked about working with Roy Orbison. Keith remembers seeing them on a package tour in about 1964. Spencer James did a super version of Running Scared. Laughing about John McNally still doing this at the age of 72 – he looks nowhere near that age – John showed he could still rock with Bruce Springsteen’s Seven Nights To Rock. Closing with Needles & Pins and When You Walk In The Room, the audience gave them a well-deserved standing ovation.
It was another excellent Sixties show, perhaps just marred by the fact that we went home feeling slightly deaf!
Keith & Pam Pickles