November 10th 2014
Date 27 of a substantial 40 date tour rock ‘n’ rolled into town Monday night as the Sixties Gold show arrived in Edinburgh. First up were The Fortunes. Jovial and well recieved by the audience, their strong vocal harmonies and tight arrangements made for a good start to the evening. One criticism would be that their set contained as many songs from the 70’s as it did from the 60’s. But this would prove to be a recurring theme throughout the night as other acts dipped into music from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s.
Next up was Spencer Davis, who had been drafted in to make up for the absence of Gerry Marsden of Gerry & the Pacemakers fame (Marsden had taken ill prior to the tours Scottish dates). Backed by the Pacemakers house band, he managed to fumble through four of The Spencer Davis Groups hits from the 60’s. It pains me to say it, but this was the low point of the evening. Spencer wasn’t the lead vocalist on the aforementioned hits (Keep on Running, I’m a Man, Somebody Help Me, Gimme Some Lovin), so you could cut him some slack for the wobbly vocals, but even his guitar parts were below par and at times it looked and sounded as if he’d only just heard the songs prior to taking to the stage. I hope, as a fan of the original group, that he just had an off night.
Brian Poole of The Tremeloes had also withdrawn from the tour due to illness and so it was up to his band mate Chip Hawkes to carry the torch. And carry it he did. He managed to get the crowd going again – the classic Twist & Shout had them dancing in the aisles. Good banter with the crowd in between songs made for an entertaining set. Hats off Sir!
The Pacemakers Band resumed proceedings after the interval, playing a selection of the bands greatest hits, including the anthemic ‘Walk On’. This for me was the highlight of the evening as – bar a few supporters of a particular Glasgow football team – the entire audience sang along in unison, lifting the atmosphere to euphoric heights. The Pacemakers may not be the original band, but they carried off all of the songs perfectly, both musically and vocally. They did their boss proud!
A man I confess I knew little about before this show was P.J. Proby. A name I subsequently will be entering into the youtube search engine! It’s sometimes easy to forget that some of the performers on this bill are in their twilight years, and as the big man exploded onto the stage you would be forgiven for thinking he was at least half his age (a sprightly 76!). Some strong vocal performances were delivered and some great tales of his time in the music business were sandwiched in between.
All in all, thoroughly enjoyable.
The Searchers finished the show off and seemed to go down well with the paying public. They didn’t sound as accomplished as the Pacemakers, or indeed opening act The Fortunes, but by this time there were more than a few well oiled punters ready to party. THREE STARS
Reviewer : Byran Hart