On Wednesday 12th March 2003, the 'Reelin and a Rockin' show came to the Leamington Spa Centre. I am really lucky to have so many of these great shows appear locally. Tonight's line-up of 60's stars included Gerry Marsden (Pacemakers), 'Mike d'Abo (Manfred Mann), Dave Berry, Brian Poole (The Tremeloes), Mike Pender (The Searchers) and The Nolans! The show opened with Reelin' and a Rockin' with each singer taking a verse. They then took turns to take centre stage and to perform collection of Rock and Roll numbers! The Nolan sisters, Anne and Maureen, were singing backing vocals.
Because I wasn't around in the 1960's (and sadly can't travel back in time - much as I'd love to!), it's such a treat for me to see people like Gerry Marsden and Mike Pender in concert as I'm a fan of that music, especially Mersey Beat. In a way, it was like stepping back in time being at this gig! Also, in the first half, each performer sang a cover song and in some cases one of their own songs. Mike d'Arbo, for instance, did a brilliant version of 'Handbags and Gladrags' - A song, which he had written and has now become even more famous as the theme tune for The Office and has been recorded by Rod Stewart, Chris Farlowe and The Stereophonics.
I was familiar with all of the artists who were playing tonight, but not so much with Dave Berry. Dave has a very unique style of performing!! He appears to hover as he moves across the on stage! (One of the highlights of the night was 'Crying Game') They closed the first half with a tribute to Buddy Holly.
After a short break, the show continued with a collection of Elvis songs, including Suspicious Minds and Teddy Bear. Throughout the night they each told a few stories, history behind the songs and jokes. Many of the jokes were about Dave Berry and Brian Poole, which they laughed along with. Dave even got his own back at one point!
The Nolans had their own spot in this half where they sang a medley of Dusty Springfield hits and the others performed a handful each of their hits - Including 'I Like It', 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying', 'Needles and Pins', 'Ha! Ha! Said The Clown', 'Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James' and 'Do You Love Me?'.
They are all still fantastic live and all still so professional! - As are many of the 60's stars, who are still touring and playing. They finished with, what else, but 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. Gerry dedicated this to Liverpool, who were playing in Glasgow the following day (Gerry was flying up to watch them play). I must mention the fantastic Big Beat Band who were backing them tonight - All skilled musicians who helped re-create the records live on stage! - All were great, especially the guitarist (who was only 21) and the saxophone player!
Afterwards, I was lucky to see all of the stars (apart from Gerry Marsden, who had left via the main entrance) leaving at the Stage Door. They were all very nice and took time to speak to you and sign the special 'autographs' page in the programme. Dave Berry said to me, "You're a bit young for all this aren't you?!" - I just told him I was into all of the old music! (It was the first thing that came into my head!!) Although, I don't think you're too young or too old to appreciate great music like this!