The track playing is "Need Your Love So Bad"
To see a selection of Concert Pics that I photographed click HERE!
Over the last, almost, fifty years I have been privileged to see some of the best musicians and entertainers in concert. I have, in my head, a league table of these shows although it is sometimes difficult to differentiate because of the diverse nature of the performers. Based on musicianship alone I would have to put, near the top of my list, ensembles like The Grimethorpe Colliery Band, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Halle Orchestra, The Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Band of The Welsh Guards. However such groups are not in a position to add showmanship etc. to their performances!
In the fifties and sixties some of the "Package Shows" that did the rounds were superb. I was fortunate to see a "Larry Parnes Package Show" starring Billy Fury & The Blue Flames, Marty Wilde, Joe Brown, Wee Willie Harris, Duffy Power etc: One with Dusty Springfield and Brian Poole & The Tremeloes and a "Tamla Motown Show" in which The Supremes (with Diana Ross) were completely upstaged by Martha (Reeves) & The Vandellas. Also on the bill were The Temptations and Stevie Wonder. However in 1964 at the Odeon Cinema in Liverpool I saw what must be the best show ever! The acts in the order that they appeared were: The Caravelles: Kingsize Taylor & The Dominoes: The Nashville Teens: The Animals: Carl Perkins: Chuck Berry. Need I say more?
Since the demise of the Package Show the emphasis has been on individual singers or groups. In the Blues field my favourite shows were those of B.B.King, Buddy Guy, Peter Green, Robert Cray and Gary Moore. Away from the Blues the shows I enjoyed most were by Gerry & The Pacemakers, Status Quo, Jools Holland, Z Z Top, The Hollies, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Alan Price & Georgie Fame (together and seperately!) and Max Boyce (well I am Welsh!). One that really surprised me was that of John H. Stracey former World Welterweight Boxing Champion. John is an excellent singer but intersperses his songs with stories from his days as a boxer. A most entertaining show that I can heartily recommend.
Having said all that two shows stand out as being even better than all of those.......In second place - The Shadows. Hank and the boys were magnificent and obviously enjoying every minute of their farewell (?) tour. Everything about the concert was right. Their musicianship, enjoyment, energy, sound.....everything was perfect. Why are they only in second place? Because I have been privileged to see, in my opinion, the best live band ever......The Beach Boys. Although only containing two members of the sixties line-up they produced, both vocally and musically, the best live sound that I have ever heard. From the opening riff of "California Girls" to the final chorus of "I Get Around", two hours later, the audience were still on their feet singing along with every word and bouncing along with every beat. Not only brilliant, but clever. The first time that I saw them was in Liverpool. When called back for an encore, Mike Love said "We'd like to do a song by the best band ever" and went straight into "I Saw her Standing There"! To say that they raised the roof is akin to saying that the Titanic had a bit of a problem!
Poor shows? Only one stands out. This performer appeared to be totally disinterested in the audience and gave the impression that he was only there because he had to be. I won't mention any names but some consider him to be the best guitarist ever and his name is nowhere to be seen on this page!
Update: Oct.2009 - went to see Cliff Richard & The Shadows in Liverpool. Great show (especially the Shads!)