Thursday, 20 December 2007

December Club Night - Part 3

Ten o'clock was the time set aside for the most eagerly awaited reunion since the Spice Girls - and what a reunion it was.

Marie and her old group the Sapphires were back on stage together for the first time in 42 years.

They started with a classy arrangement of the old Tina Turner number "I can't stand the Rain" followed by a stompin' rendition of "Mustang Sally" during which Marie was joined on stage by Emma and Joanne - who had been recruited only minutes before as backing singers following a quick rehearsal - IN THE LADIES!!

They finished their short set to enthusiastic applause with the classic "House of the Rising Sun" which left no-one in any doubt as to why Marie has had such a successful career in clubland and beyond.

Don't leave it another 42 years before you come back guys.

With such a hard act to follow it was no surprise that Catherine was more than a bit nervous. It was her first time EVER singing with a live backing. She was joined for her first number "Da Do Ron Ron" by our Paula - who never seems nervous about owt - and what a fantastic job they made of it. Then the tempo changed for her solo debut singing "Dream a little dream of me" with the beautifully sensitive backing supplied by the ever versatile Kenny, Colin W, BillyF and Mike.

As the cheers for Catherine died down her place was taken by AlanW. Alan can always be relied upon to choose a great track to perform and his great delivery of the Lovin' Spoonful's Daydream" fitted the bill perfectly.

Mike remained on stage to be joined by Brian Jones Alan Burnigill and Pete Lodge who had the floor rocking again with Alan's vocals on "I fought the Law" followed by a very seasonal choice of "Rudolph" and "Winter Wonderland" by Pete during which the stage was invaded by something which resembled a cross between Rudolph, Santa and Paula - complete with flashing nose, short Santa costume - AND SUSPENDERS!

Pete's face was a picture. He did not know whether to run or jump but, being the trooper he is, continued with the show regardless and soon recovered to rock the house with a couple of Chuck Berry favourites "Promised Land" and "C'est la Vie".

By now it was after 11pm and time to wind up three hours of top class non-stop entertainment. What could be better to end on than Kenny, Paula and AlanW's absolutely brilliant accapella - "After the Goldrush".

There were over 30 performers on stage tonight. Over the eighteen months since we started VSL many of them have become close friends. Heartfelt thanks to them and to the packed audience for their time and enthusiasm. Many thanks also to Tudhoe Victory Club management and staff.Between us we have proved that there is still a demand in clubland for quality entertainment. We are especially pleased that so many young(er) people have taken us to their hearts and entered into the spirit of the Sixties which we try to create.

It is often said these days that there is nowhere where a young performer can learn their craft in front of a live audience with live backing. There is - here at Vintage Sixties Live - and it won't cost them a penny.

See you all next year.

Monday, 17 December 2007

December Club Night - Part 2

After Jim and Don we had the first apppearance of the evening by Kenny following his recent guest appearance in Bishop Auckland General Hospital. He was accompanied on stage by Paula and AlanW and, as this talented trio have performed everything in the past from heavy rock to close harmony, it was no surprise when they pulled off an excellent version of the old classic "Reeling in the Years".

Next up was Regular Robin - a reference to his VSL appearances not his bowel movements. He, together with AlanL on harmony vocals, slowed the tempo down with the old Jim Reeves number "He'll Have to Go" then brought it back up again with the Monkees "I'm a Believer" followed by "Knock on Wood". Great stuff.

It was at this point that all hell broke loose when the stage was invaded by three "chavs"- who were anything but Middle of the Road - intent on causing irreparable damage to Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep (see picture). Hmm...I'm sure I recognised their faces

Happily order was soon restored just in time for Colin Ibbertson's sensational versions of the little heard instrumentals Sandstorm and Because they're Young with Colin Woodland, on guitar synth, adding the "orchestra" and the rest of the accompaniment being provided AlanL, Mark and Brian on drums.

The same line-up then helped Emma and Joanne to really excel themselves this month with their little set of Jimmy Mack, Rockin' around the Xmas Tree and Dance to the Guitar Man which soon had the crowd shouting for more.

During the course of the evening I couldn't help but notice the popularity of backing singers this month. I had probably started it by asking AlanW to help me out on Brown Eyed Girl.

Leo went one better by having AlanW AND Alan Burnigill for Juliet.

BrianM - also had two - Emma & Joanne - but they were much better looking.

Robin had THREE - Kenny, Paula and AlanL.

It was now time for a couple of vocals from Gentleman Jim . Would he use backing singers? Would anybody dare get up with him?

As usual Big Jim did not disappoint - HE HAD SIX!! (He would have had more but we couldn't get them on the stage.) What a star!

Jim never fails to delight and his renderings of Sha La Lee and Bits and Pieces, interspersed with his usual banter, soon had the audience stamping and singing along.

Still more to come ...

Friday, 14 December 2007

December Club Night .......

.... What a way to end a fabulous year of Vintage Sixties Live.

It was a bitterly cold night but the club was absolutely packed by 7:30pm and there was a definite "buzz" in the room (and not from Paula's handbag either)

Kenny was back after his short stay in hospital and as enthusiastic as ever.

Marie St Claire and her old group The Sapphires would be reunited later on stage after an unbelievable 42 YEARS. I've heard of having a "rest" between bookings but that is ridiculous.

Several other surprises had also been planned - most of which AlanL and myself did not even know about.

A quick look down the running order revealed a total of 30 performers doing 34 songs between them - so off we went with me drawing the short straw as usual followed by Leo, who can always be relied upon to come up with something a bit different.

AlanL was joined on stage by BillyB, Colin Ibbertson and Mark next for a couple of instrumental "crackers" for Xmas. Wonderful Land - but the Mike Oldfield version this time for a change - followed by the ever popular Theme from Local Hero.

Next up was Brian who had managed to recruit Emma and Joanne as backing singers for Suspicious Minds and Do you Love Me, followed by a very ambitious arrangement of the malcolm Roberts classic "Love is All" which they all managed to pull off brilliantly. It was hard to believe that this was a scratch band who had no rehearsal whatsover before the performance.

Brian was followed onstage by the inimitable James Tait along with sidekick, and Chet style guitarist extraordinaire, Don Boot for a couple of finger style gems.
Contrary to what Jim would have had us believe - Don did play all the difficult bits.

More to follow shortly........

In the meantime who can suggest a caption for the pic?
(I'm not sure why Pete is holding a tissue.)

First one from Kelly: This is Paula on her way to collecting her Xmas ASBO :>)

I have uploaded the first pics of the night here
More to come.