Spring is the traditional time for The Solid Silver 60s Show to tour the UK reviving music and memories from that decade.
The 31st annual trek, which visits Sheffield, Buxton and Nottingham, promises one of the strongest line-ups yet.
Headlining the show will be Peter Noone, lead singer of Herman’s Hermits in the 60s, who will air hits including There’s a Kind of Hush, My Sentimental Friend, No Milk Today and I’m Into Something Good.
Dave Berry is a regular on the circuit, and he still enthrals audiences with hits like The Crying Game, Mama and Little Things.
Special guests The Merseybeats will be bringing their popular brand of music and humour to the proceedings with their hits which include: Wishin’ and Hopin’, I Think of You and Sorrow.
From America comes Brian Hyland, who had massive hits with Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and Sealed With a Kiss.
Backing the solo artists will be The New Amen Corner, who have undertaken many Sixties tours, not just backing the acts, but performing the hits of Welsh band Amen Corner (If Paradise is Half as Nice, Bend Me Shape Me).
Dave Berry said: “It’s just like the package tours of the sixties, when half a dozen acts would turn up in the town and perform for twenty to thirty minutes.”
When asked what keeps him touring year after year, he said: “It’s what appeals to the audience really, and for me it’s a nice way of condensing things.”
Dave also likes to ring the changes. He said: “I always try to include something different and I may do Don’t Ever Change by The Crickets this time. I’ve never done it before, and of course I’ll be doing all my chart hits and hopefully This Strange Effect. It was written by Ray Davies of The Kinks but they never recorded it for an album (a version appeared on The Kinks at the BBC); it was a big hit for me on the continent.”
When asked why he is a regular on the Solid Silver Tour, he said: “Because it’s the main 60’s touring show, it’s a fabulously organised tour and has first-class promotion.”
Simply, it’s the premier 60’s touring show.”
This is a sentiment shared by Tony Crane, a founder member of The Merseybeats.
“We love doing them.” he said.
“We have a great rapport with the audience and it all sounded like it did in the Sixties I think is important. It has to be authentic.”
“Sometimes it’s like playing in your own front room.”
The band started out as The Mavericks in 1961 but the name was accidentally changed to The Merseybeats.
Tony said: “We were due to appear at this club and they had listed us as The Merseybeats, which was the name of a paper. And to be honest, I think The Mavericks sounded a little too country and western.”
In 1966, Tony and Billy Kinsley (who had also been in the band from 1961, and is still in today) became The Merseys.
“Two of the band left and Billy and I became a duo and formed a backing band. We toured with The Who as The New Merseys and at the time we needed a new song.”
“One of The Who’s roadies mentioned Sorrow which was the b side of a McCoys’ hit and we worked on the song for a long time.”
And it has a stellar line-up. “As well as me and Billy, we had Clem Cattini (Tornados) on drums, Jack Bruce (Cream) on stand-up bass, and Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones on it.”
Billy left for a while and had success with Liverpool Express (You Are My Love), but came back in 1992.
It can be a busy time for the artists as they are touring while having other interests.
Tony handles it quite easily.“I switch off from all my other interests and just knuckle down and focus,” he said.
The Solid Silver 60’s Show visits Sheffield City Hall on April 14, Buxton Opera House on May 6 and Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on May 7.