Wednesday, 21 October 2009
CLiff Richard & the Shadows line in Cardiff 2009
Harry Webb & Drifters 50th Anniversary Tour
Cardiff - 20 October 2009.
Much to my amazement I really enjoyed last night's Cliff Richard and Shadows 50th anniversary gig in Cardiff, bought tickets for the Mrs last Xmas thinking well, at least I`ll enjoy the Shadz.
Great stage set up, Brian on raised drums, his lad on keyboard alongside Mark Griffiths (Cliff n Evs bass). Bruce, `ank and pink jacketted one stage front, no backing singers or gawdawful dancers, no eurovision, xmas or falsetto warblings, great big video screen above band with the big three getting their own space.
Sticking to green Columbia era 58-63 primo C & S, the old codgers romped thru the rockers with aplomb and even made a decent fist of the ballads and pop/film tunes. Cliff kept his usually irriating shape throwing in check and concentrated on warbling whilst having the pee taken out of him frequently by Hank and Bruce (which did save mne the bother of getting nudged by the mrs). Long show, just
under 150 mins. We had a night of tunes by the likes of Sammy Samwell, Cliff n Shads, Johnny Otis, Ral Donner, Jack Clement, Jerry Lee, Bobby Freeman, Leiber n Stoller, Ruth Brown, Jerry Lordan, Eddie Cochran, Huey Smith, Melvin Endsley and Santo & Johnny.
The singalong biggies were kept to a 15 min section near the end when he sea of balding and greying heads could be seen swaying in front of me like crazed penguins. Highlights included High Class Baby which woulda made uncle Darrel H proud, a super Dynamite, C` Mon Everybody, Gee Whiz, I Could Easily, and a stonking 9 Times Out of 10 straight into It`ll be Me which had ole Harry gasping for breath before the next ballad ( I Love You I think). Move It sounded great, closer to the original than the solo Cliff`s recent versions. Nice acoustic bit with Travellin Light and All Shook Up slowed slightly ala Billy Swan.
In an ideal world he wouldn't have bottled out of the knife in the back line in Sea Cruise going for a more politically correct train on a track, he would have acknowledged esp in Cardiff the Dave Edmunds arrangement of Singing The Blues, mentioned Jet, Tony,Liquorice etc and esp Ian Samwell and ole Ernie cos he kept on about bleeding uncle Norrie P all night and his chart positions, which were often wrong and he had to re do Next Time cos he got the words wrong - senility strikes Peter Pan.
A lot of the audience were happier with the ballads like Voice In the Wildernes, Next Time etc but he did keep saying people forget we were a rock n roll band originally. If they fine tune this tour in the future ( the Shads final ever show was supposedly the one in Cardiff a couple of years back) then hopefully some of his better songs like Apron Strings, Choppin` and Changin`, D In Love & Mumblin Mosie would get a look in. Thankfully, Schollboy Crush was left on the shelf where it rightly belongs.
Shadz seemed to get louder applause for their sets, Savage and Sleepwalk shone out amongst the usual suspects, Brian Bennet was excellent throughout. Night was spoilt by some tall football yob shouting out Jack Army when Hank made a joke about Swansea, same loony kept shouting out "where's Jet, look you, isn't it, bach, Livin` Lovin Doll" but my ribs have healed now. If you like Ricky or the Evs, then you would enjoy this professionally done and musically sound show - the DVD will be out in Nov.
Flip don't Tease.
And lest we forget what the fuss was all about.