Still Twisting - Still Shouting

They do say if you can remember the sixties you weren't there. Not sure if that's true, but if it is, you now have the chance to relive at least some of the inspirational music that enveloped the era. Sat October 22nd saw the Sixties Gold tour roll into The Dome in Doncaster, with some of the biggest names in the business still actively involved in the music scene.

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First up on the stage was Wayne Fontana, best remembered for his UK no2 chart hit, Game of Love. Fontana formed his backing group, The Mindbenders in 1963, securing a record deal with Fontana Records. The hits continued with A Groovy Kind Of Love, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um and his most successful single solo release, Pamela, Pamela. Inbetween the songs, Fontana proved he was quite the comedian.

Despite turning 77 years old, American singer songwriter, and actor, P.J. Proby, will go down in history for upsetting Mary Whitehouse with two trouser splitting incidents when he was touring the UK with Cilla Black in the 60's. Proby was in good spirits: with a still powerful voice he belted out the hits he made famous: Somewhere, Maria and Hold Me, the latter gaining the highest of his UK chart positions at number 3. Proby also proved he could hold an audience with his little stories of the past.

Brian Poole & The Tremeloes were formed in 1958 in Dagenham and were perhaps one of the most distinctive sounding bands of the 60's, first charting in 1963 with Twist & Shout, written by Lennon & McCartney, which reached the UK no 4 slot. They opened their show with Here Comes My Baby before continuing with a number of crowd favourites including Suddenly You Love Me, and Do Ya Love Me. As expected, they finally finished with the impressive harmony sound of Silence Is Golden, a track that required total audience participation.

Born in Hibbing, Minnesota, the only other American on the bill was Gary Puckett, hitting the stage with one of his most powerful numbers, Lady Willpower. Quite surprisingly, Puckett informed the audience that this was in fact his first ever UK tour – and hoped it would not be his last. Appearing with Elvis in Las Vegas was high for him, for which, there were plenty of stories. Woman, Woman, and Young Girl were amongst other popular live tracks during the evening. Sadly none of them reached the top of the UK charts.

Arguably the most successful band of the whole show, The Searchers, was formed as a skiffle group in 1959. Founded by the only original remaining member, John McNally, they still have an extensive workload even today, playing some 200+ theatres a year. The hits were plentiful: Sweets For My Sweet, Needles & Pins and When You Walk In The Room, being perhaps the most remembered. Also featured in the show were What Have They Done To The Rain, and Love Potion No9. The Searchers also have an impressive list of cover tracks in their repertoire such Roy Orbison’s Running Scared and Bette Midler’s The Rose – all performed in their inimitable sound and style.

It was billed as the ultimate 60's line up, and it couldn't fail. It was and it didn't. A packed Dome crowd were treated to polished performances from seasoned professionals who still enjoy how they earn their living. You get the feeling when you're sitting and listening to the show that they could simply go on forever. Let's hope they do.

Ray Clark (2016)