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ALBUM AND SHOW  THE SIXTIES IS BACK!  -   A review of ‘Child of the Sixties Vol. 2’ – Colin Paul

The second collection of sixties covers from talented Mancunian vocalist Colin Paul is all the more endearing for containing tracks of personal significance to him – ‘Child of the Sixties Vol.2’ takes us on a journey through the singer’s favourite tunes from an era which will never be equalled. The question of whether it is worth listening to an album of cover versions, rather than sticking with the originals, is soon answered: Colin’s warm and sincere delivery breathes new life into these special songs.
There are songs by Elvis, Cliff, and Bobby Darin, among many others, all of which are shaped by Colin’s richly expressive vocal – he is a fan of these recordings, and it is great to hear the reverence with which he treats them. Any Day Now, the B-side of Suspicious Minds, really suits Colin’s register, and Dream Lover excites with its remodelled introduction and punchy production. On ‘String Along’, a relatively obscure Ricky Nelson number, Colin affects a delightfully easy swing, but one which also cuts through to the sorrow at the heart of the lyrics.
Listeners will want to put his version of The Animal’s Bring It On Home To Me on repeat play, as Colin and the band totally immerse themselves in this bluesy classic. His vocal is pitch perfect, and there is some delightful phrasing. The much covered What Am I Living For, notably recorded by Billy Fury, is similarly bluesy, with great accompaniment, and a nicely crafted vocal.
There are plenty of ballads to enjoy on this set, including a superb reading of Love Letters, but perhaps it is a Des O’ Connor song which steals the show. I Pretend, a UK chart topper for Des in 1968, is beautifully performed. As with many of these songs, Colin really feels the lyric, and creates a new listening experience.
A hidden bonus song, Cliff’s Nine Times Out Of Ten, concludes a thoroughly impressive album. It will take you back to a time when the charts were packed with 45 after 45 of pure quality. This writer was born too late, but it reminds me of days in Great Yarmouth, strolling down the main thoroughfare with the smell of candyfloss in the air, and versions of vintage tunes wafting out of the many music shacks and sweet stalls. It began and ended with the sixties, and Colin Paul has earned the right to add his voice.REVIEWS

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 A review of Born To Sing (Colin Paul, 2013) by Aaron Spicer

This is an essential purchase from the ever-growing Colin Paul catalogue, the long-awaited follow up to 2010's excel...lent first volume, a concept which sees Colin choosing and performing songs suited to the style of Elvis Presley. With Born To Sing, Colin has drawn from a more obscure and eclectic well than was the case with the first album; here, we have a compendium of lesser-known gems and perhaps a couple of guilty pleasures. Colin's remarkable voice is stronger than ever, always putting the listener in mind of Elvis, the paradox being that Colin never attempts to sound like him; that's what makes these recordings an authentic and credible wish-list of what Elvis might have done.

Born, originally recorded by Elvis sound-alike Jimmy Ellis, sets the tone for the album, Colin's deep and reassuring baritone putting down a marker and moving impressively up the registers, the `I know' aside being reminiscent of Elvis's `sleep on' in My Boy. This Train is an unadulterated slice of revivalist joy, eminently suited to Colin's style; it featured in Johnny Cash's 1977 Christmas special, rendered as a posthumous tribute to Elvis, and the connection goes even deeper given that Elvis's back-up vocalists, The Imperials, sang the song in their warm-up spots. Colin's performance allows us the privilege of imagining an Elvis version, perhaps the sort of thing he would have enjoyed during one of his informal all-night gospel sessions.

It's a genuine treat to hear We Had It All, a song attempted but abandoned by Elvis during his 1973 Stax sessions. Colin's judgement is impeccable, not bulldozing the evocative lyric, but carefully considering the tone, and he pulls it off magnificently. It also features a commanding instrumental break. Don't Tell Me Your Troubles (the Don Gibson song) is a joy from start to finish - CP grabs the song by the scruff of the neck and doesn't let go until the final note. There can be few better exponents of this type of material. Willie Nelson and Ray Charles's Seven Spanish Angels tells the tale of a Mexican outlaw and his girlfriend who are both shot, after which the seven angels gather to pray for the, `lovers in the valley of the gun.' Colin's treatment is utterly beguiling and, in this case, it doesn't matter if you could imagine Elvis doing it or not.

Jimmy Ellis's Texas T, a pleasant Glen Campbell like tune, gives way to Eddie Rabbit's (writer of Elvis's `Kentucky Rain') We Can't Go On Living Like This, a nicely stylised love-gone-wrong lament, which is so effortless for Colin, in which it is possible to conjure with an aural fantasy of Elvis letting rip on the chorus. Country artist Randy Travis's Forever and Ever Amen is most pleasing, its light and airy feel taking the listener to another place; the singer will love his girl `as long as old men sit and talk about the weather,' a line which Colin delivers with characteristic flair. Dwight Yokam's It Only Hurts Me When I Cry is a sprightly and well executed number, which precedes an acoustic version of Colin's own song, Still Nineteen: startlingly good, clean, elegant and very accomplished (the slight voice crack on the line `it cuts me like a knife' gives real feeling). Colin plumbs the wells of obscurity with the intriguing Where Would I Be, a late 1977 song which had been intended for an Elvis session (writer unknown).

Billy Ray Cyrus's She's Not Crying Anymore, sounding like an Elvis Stax-era track, is given the full-bodied treatment, whilst Colin really brings Elvis to mind with Ral Donner's One Broken Heart For Sale pastiche: You Don't Know What You've Got. The harmonizing is beautiful and the music is enough to make you weep. Nothing, however, can prepare the listener for the sensational El Camino Real (Lee Dresser) which excites from the first guitar strums. Colin's singing is nothing short of brilliant as he paints a vivid picture of the 600 mile California mission trail. The quality continues with Kenny Roger's She Believes In Me, beautifully rendered, and fit for the Jungle Room era. The Shape I'm In is a welcome throwback to rock and roll, although it's harder to imagine Elvis doing this one. More Elvis like is Ricky Van Shelton's I'll Leave This World Loving You, which is redolent of his early `60's gospel song If We Never Meet Again. The infectious Look Me Up brings back the beat, the lyric, `Honey look me up and lay it on me' showing off Colin's signature sound and style.

It's nice to hear Elvis song-writer Ivory Joe Hunter's Since I Met You Baby, immaculately performed here. Originally released in 1956, it undoubtedly appealed to Elvis, and he probably considered recording it. Another Elvis pastiche, this time borrowing heavily from Treat Me Nice, comes in the form of the cute Ain't Giving Up Nothing (Ben Hewitt), before the mood changes completely with Colin's take on Michael Buble's atmospheric 2005 song, Home, on which he excels: judgement, tone and diction are all first class. The album ends strongly with some very personal, Elvis-related pieces, the first of which, Sweet Sweet Spirit, is given a really soulful treatment, one which the man himself would have enjoyed. Perhaps the standout track on the whole album, however, is a sublime version of Sweet Inspiration (recorded in the 60's by Elvis's soon-to-be backing group): the song sizzles as an amazing synchronicity is achieved between the vocalist, backing singers and musicians: it cries out for a wider audience as a definitive measure of Colin's ability (buy the album for this alone).

Most Elvis fans know the story of Dolly Parton turning down an Elvis recording of I Will Always Love You over publishing issues. Rather like We Had It All, it's another great song that got away, but Colin gives us a more than convincing flavour of what might have been on this powerful version. The album concludes neatly with an extended version of the heartbreaking I'll Be With You Always, a favourite of Colin's. There is so much to recommend on this record, clocking in at 25 tracks. Colin Paul is the only artist who has truly captured the Elvis spirit without using cartoonish or exaggerated vocal mannerisms. The voice is all his. Listen and enjoy.
Produced By Geoff Taggart.








BURNING WITH LOVE CD



Burning With Quality - another winner from Colin Paul 4 Oct 2013

By Aaron Spicer

Format:MP3 Download

The latest original country album from Colin Paul continues the high standards set by 2012's `That's Cool'; if anything Colin sounds even more at ease with the Jim Newcomb, Geoff Taggart and Rayburn Anthony penned material thi...s time around, it being a genre that fits the timbre of his voice like a glove.

`Honey Sweet' kicks off proceedings in fine rockabilly style, the authenticity of the sound and Colin's delivery taking the listener back to the Sun records era, the references to `King of the Whole Wide World' perhaps a tip of the hat to his main inspiration: Elvis Presley. `You Baby You' is a very pleasant, infectious and well-crafted song with a compelling chorus: this is one you'll want to put on repeat. `Pardon Me' is the first of the country-style tearjerkers on the album, lamenting the break-up of a relationship. Colin's rich baritone is often to the fore, whilst some of his singing, contrastingly, recalls Elvis circa.1962 (think `She's Not You'). Some neat guitar work takes us back to rockabilly with `Let The Jukebox Keep Rocking Tonight', which gives way to the incredibly poignant `Heart To Heart', a ballad of regret about love gone sour. Colin is able to convey a real sadness and lines such as, `And for a while we're still reaching for the moon, it's just like yesterday again,' are vividly painted.

`Too Many Teardrops' boasts an urgent backbeat and evokes both Elvis's `Hard Knocks' and `Devil In Disguise' (`I got wise'). Colin has a deft hand with this material. `She Should Be Dancing With Me' is a track which will stay in your head for days, such is the lovely, intriguing melody and Colin's wonderfully understated performance. `Born With The Blues' boasts some funky guitar work and instantly evokes Elvis's `I Gotta Know', Colin convincing us, as ever, that he really was born with the blues. The bad luck continues into the next track, the cumbersomely titled `Never Rains But What It Pours', which has a nice, quirky, rhythm, and a neatly delivered chorus.

`She Wrote' is the one song that stands out as a No.1 record in a different time and place. In 1963, this could have been a smash, such is the lyrical and musical class of the composition. The chorus has such an exquisite hook and Colin sings the song to perfection. `You Sure Know How To Make Me Blue' bounces along nicely and builds the general feeling of melancholy, which is shattered by the next number, the supremely romantic `On A Night Like This', which makes a nice counterpoint to the more poignant material. Colin is always believable, whether in the depths of despair on a country lament or singing effortlessly about the joys of love.

`Lovin' Fever' is a most intriguing composition, the backing music giving it an ominous feel, which suggests that there is something dangerous about the singer not being `able to live without love.' Colin gets the vocal just right, a slight menace frothing under the surface. `Too Much Water Under The Bridge' is beautifully delivered, whilst the jaunty, upbeat sounds of `Hanging On My Mind' belies the trauma being experienced by the singer who wants to `tear up the pages of the past', yet is trapped by his woman. `Burning With Love' provides an excellent conclusion to the album, it being good to finish on a simple, positive note, as if all of the complications of some of the previous songs have been ironed out.

`Burning With Love' is an album which will insinuate itself into your consciousness as you play it. Some of the tunes and lyrics are deceptively simple, yet they carry a deeper message about the power of music to make sense of human experience and there are few better communicators than Colin Paul.


IN THOUGHTS OF BILLY FURY WKD - 1st – 3rd MARCH 2013

It’s a lovely March morning at the Metropole hotel’ Blackpool. And so looking forward to the weekend ahead. As usual Around 100 fans have booked in early, excited is an understatement over 250 people in all and what a great party its going to be. Thursday night and a few drinks in the main ballroom with many Billy Fury fans and regulars of the fury weekenders from all over the uk and europe. Time to rock like Fury said DJ- Nutty Neil Williams and Andy Cordwell aka the nutty brothers, and Nutty they are. Neil plugged in his decks and along with Andy they had the place rockin. The other guest wonder what the hell has hit them. You can tell they just don’t want to leave, but leave they have to, to make way for another 150 plus excited fans. Unfortunatly this weekend Billy’s Mam Jean, could not be with us as she is in hospital. We wish her a Full recovery and hope she is home very soon. Neil invites our good friend and fellow tribute artise Alan Wilcox up to sing, what a great voice and style this guy has. And what a way to start the weekend.

9am Friday morning
The backdrops and pictures are placed on the stage and all around the room.
The stage looks fantastic. After setting up the PA, the big screen and projector, you could feel the excitement building. Everybody is excited and looking forward to this great rock ‘n’ roll party. Mo coopers gear stall is in place and the Persuaders arrive while Neil is already playing some great Fury classics and rare Billy recordings. The stage is now filled with musical instruments and Billy is as large as life on the big screen and the room is soon full with excited Fans. 4.00pm the stage is set’ sound check finished everyone has their room keys and are now gathered in the ballroom. It’s now time to welcome everyone and go through the weekend’s events and make sure they all have a programme. Its time to introduce The Nutty Brothers to the fans and along with a complimentary glass of champagne’ we toast the weekend ahead and of course the uk’s greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll icon - Mr Billy Fury.

After dinner its now 7pm and Neil and Andy are on stage and playing many of Billy’s great songs and hits’ along with hits from his Rock ‘n’ Roll Friends, whilst actually watching Billy and co on the big screen.
The jivers are on the floor and the place is rockin’ myself and the Persuaders – Joe, Peter, Chris and Ped are backstage going over the set and soon its that time again, Neil introduces Colin Paul and the Persuaders as the intro kicks in, Hit after hit... wondrous place, Last night was made for love, Maybe Tomorrow, will you still love me tomorrow, like ive never been gone’ run to my loving arms, collette, once upon a dream’ I’d never find another you, nothing shakin, once upon a dream, Devil or Angel, Love or Money and many more. . over 25 top Billy Fury songs and everyone a hit with all the fans, The fans are rockin out and its great to see. We also pay Tribute to Billy’s brother Albie, with a few songs he liked to perform onstage including a mess of blues, my babe and ofcourse Helpless.
So a massive thanks to Joe Peden, Chris Evans, Peter Thomas and Ped Taylor for a great job

Nutty Neil is back on stage playing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Greats and then its a welcome on stage Mr Vince Hughes, Vince was on ‘stars in their eyes’ many years ago as Dion. What a voice and did he deliver. Songs by many great rockers including ofcourse Dion, Bill Haley, Frankie valli and much, much more. Outstanding. More Rocking’ tracks from Neil and its time for some great prizes won in the raffle. The Persuaders return to the stage to rock some more. rock this town, great balls of fire, rock around the clock, shakin all over, no particular place to go, then I return with Mean woman blues, don’t knock upon my door, one more last chance, im coming home, Marie Marie, collette, a thousand stars, I will, dancing shoes, do you wanna dance, rockin my life away, Johnny b goode’ and more. Before we finish off with a few more Billy songs including forget him, jealousy and his anthem ‘Halfway to paradise. Everybody in the room was singing along. Our part in Friday Evenings entertainment is over as Neil and Andy take us into the early hours. As always a very special thanks to Neils wife Sarah who as always did a fantastic job on the lights and took plenty of photos of the weekend.

Saturday 10.00am the Billy Fury 'in thoughts of you fan club' have set up shop with as always some fantastic cd's dvd's posters/photos etc. Also some amazing mini statues and bust of Billy.
11.00am and lots people are gathered in the ballroom for Sarahlea’s jive lessons. As always a great turn out. This is so popular and everybody is soon on the dance floor jiving away to Billy and friends rock ‘n’ roll classics. Have i told you lately, Get on the right track baby, That’s love, sweet little sixteen, well done to Sarahlea for a great dance class, a big Thank you also to Bob Cooper and Steve and Diana Foy, Trevor and Lynn and not forgetting Lucia. for all their help. its an hour of great fun and exercise and very popular

At 12.30 the sun is shining and the rest of the day is left free for everybody to take in the sights and shops of Blackpool or stay around the hotel and watch Billy on the big screen.
Neil and Andy decided to add a little karaoke to the afternoons proceedings and its proved very popular.

After dinner, the ball room is packed and ready for this evenings entertainment. Mo and Bob coopers gear stall as always is attracting many people and with the help of Flo Shaw' and George and Sheila Evans. Some great rock n roll clothes including drape jackets' Billy fury shirts and 50's dresses and skirts.

8.30pm Neil introduces us back on stage for our Rock ‘n’ Roll show., I need your love tonight, fools errand, High school confidential, cotton fields, don’t be cruel, paralysed, Cross my heart. to name a few. and very soon it was time to introduce Mr Allen Heyes. Allen was one of the first artiste we had back in the Carousel Hotel days. Again a welcome return of a great artiste, hit after hit of all the top rock ‘n’ roll greats, and again a job well done. Everybody was on the floor and again the drinks were flowing. A great set from a great guy. more tunes from Neil and Andy then myself and the Persuaders are back on stage. Promised land, Slowdown, cmon everybody, Only make believe. Say mama, Running around 20 flight rock, once upon a dream and loads more. Its now time to introduce another guy back on stage with a great voice Mr Alan Wilcox, he is a massive Billy fan and it really does show. He sang Like ive never been gone, I cant stop loving you and don’t knock upon my door. A job superbly done and a big hit with the fans.

It was time once again for some more Fury classics, In thoughts of you and halfway to paradise, im lost without you and with John Maule joining us onstage for a thousand stars.Time for an encore with more fury classics’ everybody in the room with their arms in the air singing along.
Then Neil and Andy were back on stage Rockin everybody once again until the early hours.


Sunday morning 10.00 am the nutty brothers are back on the decks and everybody getting ready for the jive competition. 3 couples received a fabulous Billy Fury trophy. Including to extra trophys for two young ladies both named Grace. we thank Neil and Andy for an outstanding job over the weekend.
Its time for my solo Tribute to Billy. A million miles from nowhere, Lady, All my hopes, Give me your word, Be mine tonight and many more Billy classics along with some other Rockers from the era, plus a couple of request for Somewhere, I’ll never fall inlove again.

At this point it was time for something a bit special. what is believed to be the last song that Billy wrote. It’s Called 'In Danger' and was written by Billy at his farm in south wales, late 1982. The Fans got a sneak preview of the song last November. It was released as a single on Billy’s 30th Anniversary on 28th January. It was recorded and produced by the very talented Geoff Taggart, who is one of the song writers behind my ‘That’s Cool’ album. Its very in keeping with Billy’s style of 1982. This was the first time I’ve performed the song live. Thanks for all your kind words and thanks for buying it. If you haven’t yet and you would like a copy then email me at
colinpaul1@hotmail.com or you can download from amazon/itunes of purchase from the Billy Fury Fan Club.
Now it was time to give out some cash to some students of Lipa. Three students each receive a £500 gift to put towards a music career in the Name of Billy Fury. It’s a very worthy cause and nice to be able to help the next generation of could be Stars. You could see, they really appreciated it and each one had learnt about Billy’s music.


Soon it was time to invite members of the audience onto the stage to sing their favourite Billy song. Including Alan Wilcox, and a welcome return of Maggie Clarke. A large queue had formed to book for next November. Nobody wants to miss out on our next event.

its time for dinner as we dismantle the Pa’ Backdrops’ Posters’ with the help of Sarah Williams. Load it into the van and after saying our goodbyes and looking forward to the next one, its time for home as we all look back on a fantastic weekend.

A great big thank you to you all for making it such a very special and popular weekend. thats down to you the fans of Billy Fury.
As always a very special Special thanks to the Management and staff at the Metropole Hotel,
And [ Blackpool Holidays ]
A massive big thanks to The Billy Fury Tribute Weekend organisers Diane Wardle and June Roth.

This weekend is a must for any Billy Fury fan and fans of the music from the late 50s early 60’s. Hope to see you in November.
For booking forms and details contact Blackpool Holidays on 01253-722300

I would also like to say Thanks to the Billy Fury fan club. Thanks to Jenny, Albert and Gail and Margaret for all their hard work and part in keeping Billy’s memory alive. The Fan club souvenirs were fantastic. we look forward to seeing you all in November.

I would like to dedicate the whole weekend to Billy’s Mam Jean Wycherley, and hope she is on her feet very soon.
One very Special Lady. and of course to the Memory of her Boys.

As always a Big Thanks to Billy Fury whom without this weekend would not be possible. Long Live his legacy and Music. THOUGHTS OF BILLY FURY WKD - 2ND – 4TH MARCH 2012

Its March and once again we arrive at the Metropole hotel’ Blackpool. Its Thursday afternoon and time to settle in’ relax and get ourselves ready for the great weekend ahead. And as popular as it is, its always great to see more people are arriving early. good to catch up and talk to everyone before the weekend starts. Chris and Eunice parsons join Sarahlea and myself at our favourite Chinese Restaurant and then back to the Hotel to for a few JD’s. Once in the bar in the main ballroom we meet up with many Billy fury fans and regulars of the fury weekenders from all over the uk. The weekend starts here said dj’ Nutty Neil Williams and what better way than to start with the best dj in the business.
Neil plugged in his decks and along with new comer Andy Cordwell they have the place rockin. And once again Everybody who was due to leave the next morning asked for leaflets for november. As we have heard many many times before.
Friday morning 9am and already people are in the ballroom arranging their seating and singing along to the many hits of Billy being piped through the hotels speaker system.
The backdrops and pictures are placed on the stage and all around the room.
The stage looked fantastic. After setting up the Pa and The big screen and projector , You could feel the excitement in the air. Everybody was so looking forward to the weekend ahead. time for a brew or four. Mo coopers gear stall is in place and the Persuaders arrive while Neil is already playing some great Fury classics. including many rare Billy recordings. The stage is now filled with musical instruments and Billy large as life on the big screen and the room is soon full with excited Fans. 4.30pm the stage is set’ sound check finished everyone has their room keys and are now gathered in the ballroom as I welcome everyone’ and go through the weekends events and make sure they all have a programme. As always iIntroduce Neil and Andy to the fans and along with a complimentary glass of champagne’ we toast Britains greatest Rocker Billy Fury.

After dinner its now 7pm and Neil and Andy are back stage and playing many of Billys great songs and hits’ along with hits from his Rock ‘n’ Roll Friends. while actually watching Billy’ Elvis’ Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent etc on the big screen. The fans are on the dance floor.
The jivers are on the floor and the place is Rockin’ myself and the persuaders – Joe, Peter, Chris and Ped are backstage going over the set and soon its time. Neil introduces Colin Paul and the persuaders as the intro kicks in and were off. Hit after hit... Last night was made for love, Maybe Tomorrow, just because, like ive never been gone’ run to my loving arms, baby what you want me to do, once upon a dream’ unchain my heart, im lost without you’ and many more. I introduce Billys ' Mam to the audience and as always with a heartfelt standing ovation. over 25 top Billy Fury songs and everyone a classic.
I gotta say again there are a lot of chords in these songs and they need to be played right. So a big thanks to Joe, Chris, Peter and ped for a job very well done.

Nutty neil is back on stage playing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Greats and then its a return to the stage for Kenny Johnson and his brand of country rock with plenty of Billy in there too. Everybody singing along to the hits of 50’s/60’s After more Rockin’ Billy tracks from Neil on its time for some great prizes won in the raffle. And time to rock some more. Cmon everybody, it’ll be me, rock this town, one more last chance, that’s alright
Marie Marie, collette, a thousand stars’ for the heart, rockin my life away, Johnny b goode’ and much more. Before we finish off with half a sozen or more Billy songs including his anthem ‘Halfway to paradise. Everybody in the room was singing along. It was really nice to see. Our part in Friday Evenings entertainment is over as Neil and Andy take us into the early hours. A special thanks to Neils wife sarah who did a fantastic job on the lights and took plenty of photos of the weekend.

Saturday 10.00am the Billy Fury 'in thoughts of you fan club' have set up shop with as always some fantastic shirts' cd's dvd's posters/photos etc. Also some miniature statues and bust of Billy. They were very nice!

11.00am and lots people are gathered in the ballroom for Sarahlea’s jive lessons. Infact its the biggest turn out to date even more than last November and that was packed. we quickly allocated more room for Dancing. This is so popular and everybody is soon on the dance floor jiving away to Billy and friends rock ‘n’ roll classics. Have i told you lately, Get on the right track baby, That’s love, sweet little sixteen, were amongst the Billy fury versions

At 12.30 the rest of the day is left free for everybody to take in the sights and shops of Blackpool or stay around the hotel and watch Billy on the big screen. The weather was pretty good all wkd. Just the odd shower here and there but most of the time the sun shone. I think most people hit blackpool.

After dinner the ball room is packed and ready for this evenings festivities. Mo and Bob coopers gear stall as always is attracting many people and with the help of Flo Shaw' and George and Sheila Evans. many drape jackets' Billy fury shirts and 50's dresses and shirts are sold.
8.30pm Neil introduces us back on stage for our Rock ‘n’ Roll show.
Rock around the clock, great balls of fire, Dont knock upon my door, I need your love tonight, High school confidential, nothing shakin , Cross my heart. to name a few. and very soon it was time to introduce back by popular demand Mr Billy Dean. Billy was with us last november and delivered a great Rockin set. He went down a storm and its always nice to hear songs other artiste don’t perform, many billy fury songs, some john leyton and the most amazing version of cara mia. well done Billy. Everybody was on the floor and again the drinks were flowing. more tunes from Neil and Andy then myself and the Persuaders are back on stage. Promised land, Running around, Slowdown, Do you wanna dance, Only make believe. Say mama, 20 flight rock, Forget him. And a tribute to Johnny cash who would have celebrated his 80th birthday last week.
we struck up with In thoughts of you and halfway to paradise and Billys mam appeared on stage, and she sang her heart out. I gotta say again there wasnt a dry eye in the house. Jean will be celebrating her 91st birthday later this month. A truly amazing woman.
all to soon another Fabulous evening was drawing to a close. Time for an encore with 5 Billy fury classics’ including a tribute to Albie with his song Helpless. I gotta record that song. I love it. every body in the room with their arms in the air singing along.
Then the lads were back on stage Rockin everybody until the early hours


Sunday morning 10.00 am NuttyNeil and Andy are back on the decks and everybody getting ready for the jive competition. 3 couples received a fabulous Billy Fury trophy. Including to extra prizes for two young ladies both named Grace. we thank Neil and Andyfor a great job over the weekend.
Its time for my solo Tribute to Billy. Gonna type a letter, A millon miles from Knowhere, All my hopes, Somebody else’s girl, Give me your word and Lady dedicated to Billys mam. and many more Billy classics along with some other Rockers like Fabulous, dancing shoes and cmon everybody.
Event organiser diane’ took to the stage to thank everybody for coming’ and then thanking all the acts’ and thanking all for being at this legendary weekend. She announced bookings were now being taken for november. then presented jean Wycherley with a bunch of flowers and a giant birthday card signed by all. Jean Thanked everybody for their love and support then Jenny from the fan club took me by suprise and presented me with the original demo single of Albies ‘Heart and Soul’ on behalf of jean and the fan club. Thank you all, i will treasure it. a donation from Mo Cooper to the Lipa wards. As we know Its a great idea to keep Billy’s name alive and introduce him to a younger generation


Soon it was time to invite members of the audience onto the stage to sing their favourite Billy song. Including Chris Parsons, Mark Tate, [Little Elvis] Joe. Maurice, and many more. a great big Thank you to all who got on the stage to give us some great Billy fury songs. As i said The booking desk was open for November and a large queue had formed. Nobody wants to miss out on our next event and why should they.

its time for dinner as we dismantle the Pa’ Backdrops’ Posters’ Load it into the van and after saying our goodbyes and looking forward to the next one, its time for home as we all look back on a fantastic weekend.

A great big thank you to you all for making it such a very special and popular weekend. thats down to you the fans of Billy Fury.
A Special thanks to the Management and staff at the Metropole Hotel,
And [ Blackpool Holidays ]
A massive big thanks to The Billy Fury ‘in thoughts of you’ tribute weekend organisers Diane Wardle and June Roth.

This weekend is a must for any Billy Fury fan and fans of the music from the late 50s early 60’s. Hope see you in November 2012.
For booking forms and details contact Blackpool Holidays on 01253-722300

I would also like to say Thank you to the Billy Fury fan club. Thanks to Jenny, Albert and Gail and Margaret for all their hard work and part in keeping Billy’s memory alive. the fan club souvenirs were fantastic. as always we look forward to seeing you all in November.

I would like to dedicate the whole weekend to Billy’s Mam Jean Wycherley,
One very Special and Brave Lady. and of course to the Memory of her Boys.

Also A Great big Thanks to Billy Fury whom without this weekend would not be possible. Long Live his legacy and Music.

To all who are going to The sunnyside in Northampton. Enjoy Its going to be a great weekend, have fun and hopefully we will see you all very soon.

The next statue meeting is on Sun 15th April @ 1pm Albert dock.
Then from 2pm at the Tangerine club, Blundell Street, Liverpool. i Hope to see you all there.


Ps - 2013 is Billy’s 30th Anniversary and something very special is planned. If it comes off it will be massive and i mean massive. Watch this space because you will here it here first.
www.thebillyfuryfanclub.com / www.colinpaulandthepersuaders.co.uk


THOUGHTS OF BILLY FURY WKD 4TH – 6TH NOVEMBER 2011

we arrived at the Metropole Hotel’ Blackpool Early Thursday afternoon to settle in’ relax and get ready for the weekends events. And again its great more people are arriving early. it’s always good to catch up and talk to everyone before the weekend starts. chris and eunice parsons joined Sarahlea and myself at our favourite Chinese Restaurant  and then back to the Hotel to for a few beers. As we arrived at the bar in the main ballroom we met up with many Billy fury fans and regulars of the fury we
ekenders from all over the uk. The weekend starts here said dj’ Nutty Neil Williams and what better way than  with a nice Jd and coke.
So for our early starters for the weekend Neil plugged in his decks and the place was rockin. As always Everybody who was due to leave the next morning asked for leaflets for March. As we have heard many times before.What a start. Unfortunatly Phil [Shaky] couldn’t join us this time.
After setting up the Pa and The big screen and projector , As always You could feel the excitement in the air. Everybody was excited about the weekend ahead.  Although a little sad with the passing of Billys Brother Albie in September.
Friday morning 9am and already people are in the ballroom arranging their seating and singing along to the many hits of Billy being piped through the hotels speaker system.
The backdrops and pictures are placed on the stage and all around the room.
The stage looked fantastic. time for a brew or two and a few more Piccys. Mo coopers gear stall is in place and the Persuaders arrive while Neil is already playing some great Fury classics. including many rare Billy recordings. The stage is now filled with musical instruments and Billy large as life on the big screen and the room is soon full with excited Fans. 4pm the stage is set’ everyone has their room keys and are now gathered in the ballroom as I welcome everyone’ and go through the weekends events with everyone and make sure they all have a programme. Introducing Neil to the fans and along with a complimentary glass of champagne’ we toast Britains greatest Rocker Billy Fury’ And remind people that our Guest of Honour [Mrs Jean Wycherley] will be arriving soon and to Approach her tactfully as im sure they would.

After dinner its now 7pm and Neil is back stage and playing many of Billys great songs and hits’ along with hits from his  Rock ‘n’ Roll Friends. while actually watching Billy’ Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Elvis etc on the big screen. The fans are on the dance floor. As you know, If a song is played with no visuals a montage of rare and many unseen Billy fury photos are shown on the screen.
The jivers are on the floor and the place is Rockin’ myself and the persuaders – Joe, Peter, Chris and our new Keyboard Player Peter [Ped] Taylor are backstage going over the set and soon its time. Neil introduces Colin Paul and the persuaders as the intro kicks in and were off. Hit after hit... Wondrous Place, Maybe Tomorrow, Running around, like ive never been gone’ run to my loving arms, once upon a dream’ collette’ im lost without you’ And a nice Little Duet with Billy! On Nobodys child, and more. I introduce Billys ' Mam to the audience with a heartfelt standing ovation.  again how sad we all Are for the Loss of Albie. We performed Albies singing the blues, a hit he had in the 60’s for Joe Meek. With everybody singing along it was great.  Then it was Time for in my opinion Albies greatest song Helpless. a nice Tribute to a very Dear friend who will be greatly missed. over 25 top fury songs and all classics All to soon we are off stage and ready for a few beers.
I gotta say again there are a lot of chords in these songs and they need to be played right. So a big thanks to Joe,  Chris, Peter and Peter [ped] it has to be said with us being so busy we hadn’t had time to rehearse the Billy set and Ped did a fantastic job A great job very well done. He has fitted into the band perfectly. Im so proud of my band.

Nutty neil is back on stage playing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Giants and then its a much welcome return to our friend Dean Hubert. and the floor is packed. Everybody singing along to the hits of 60’s  and the hits of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Dean performed many rare Billy tunes including i’ve gotta horse, your swell and play it cool amongst others. After more  Rockin’ Billy tracks from Neil on its time for some great prizes won in the raffle. Its time to rock some more. Cmon everybody, shake rattle and roll, one more last chance,Marie Marie,  it’ll be me, rock this town,  walk the line revisited’ a thousand stars’ just pretend, sweet little rock ‘n’ roller, Let it be me, true love travels on a gravel rd, Johnny b goode’ nothing shakin and much more. Before we encore with more Billy songs including his anthem ‘Halfway to paradise. Everybody in the room was singing along. It was really nice to hear and see. Our part in Friday Evenings entertainment is over as Neil take us into the early hours.

Saturday 10.00am the Billy Fury 'in thoughts of you fan club' have set up shop with as always some fantastic memorabilia' shirts' cd's dvd's posters/photos ect.

11.00am and once again lots people are gathered in the ballroom for Sarahlea’s  jive lessons. Infact its the biggest turn out to date and we quickly allocated more room for Dancing. This is so popular and everybody is soon on the dance floor jiving away to Billy’s rock ‘n’ roll classics.

At 12.30 the rest of the day is left free for everybody to take in the sights and shops of Blackpool or stay around the hotel and watch a Tribute to Albie, a concert he performed in tribute to ‘our kid’ on the big screen.

After dinner the ball room is packed and ready for this  evenings  festivities. Mo and Bob coopers gear stall is attracting many people and with the help of Flo Shaw' and George and Sheila Evans. many drape jackets' Billy fury shirts and 50's dresses are sold.
Its not long before Neil introduces us back on stage for our Rock ‘n’ Roll show.
Rock around the clock, Dont knock upon my door, I need your love tonight, High school confidential, Fools Errand, A mess of blues, Cross my heart. to name a few. and very soon it was time to introduce back by popular demand Mr Billy Dean. Billy was with us about four years ago and always delivers a great Rockin set. Pleny of Jivers  and more. Everybody was on the floor and the drinks were flowing. more tunes from Neil then myself and the Persuaders are back on stage. Running around, Whole lotta shakin , Slowdown, Move it, Do you wanna dance, Only make believe. Say mama, Maybe Tomorrow, 20 flight rock, Forget him.
Then something quite special happened, we struck up with In thoughts of you and Billys mam appeared at the front of the stage, I held the microphone to her and she sang her heart out. I gotta say there wasnt a dry eye in the house including myself. The applause was deafening as she held on to me tightly the tears were flowing then she made her way through the crowd back to her seat. The next song for us was i will, and i found it very hard to sing. God bless Jean Wycherley. What many people don’t know is that Albies Hat was on stage all wkd sat on top of a microphone stand as a mark of respect. Jean knew and gave her permission. A cd of Albies music was released over the wkd called Heart and Soul and is available from the fan club. It sold out at Blackpool.
all to soon another Fabulous evening was drawing to a close. Time for an encore with 3 Billy fury classics’ every body in the room with their arms in the air singing along.
Then Neil was back on stage Rockin everybody until around 3 am.


Sunday morning 10.30 am Nutty Neil back on the decks and everybody getting ready for the jive competition. 3 fantastic couples received a fabulous Billy Fury trophy. we thank Neil for a great job over the weekend.
I was back on stage for my solo Tribute to Billy. Gonna type a letter, A millon miles from Knowhere, All my hopes, Somebody else’s girl, Give me your word and many more classics along with some Rockers and with some Tom jones and Des o connor  thrown in, yes i said Des o connor. A beautiful song called I pretend. Thats the only one though. lol.
Event organiser diane’ took to the stage to thank everybody for coming’ and then thanking all the acts’ and thanking all for being at this legendary weekend. She announced bookings were now being taken for march. then presented jean Wycherley with a bunch of flowers and all our thoughts for Albie. A book of condolances was there for all to sign over the wkd. Then a donation from Mo Cooper to the Lipa wards.
As we know Its a great idea to keep Billy’s name alive and introduce him to a younger generation


Soon it was time to invite members of the audience onto the stage to sing their favourite Billy song. Including Chris parsons, Mark Tate, [Little Elvis] John from Liverpool And a great big Thankyou to all who got on the stage to give us more great Billy songs. As i said The booking desk was open for march and a large queue had formed. Nobody wants to miss out on our next event.

all too soon its time for dinner as we dismantle the Pa’ Backdrops’ Posters’ pictures. Load it into the van and after saying our goodbyes and looking forward to the next one in march its time for home as we all look back on a fantastic weekend.

A great big thank you to you all for making it such a very special and popular weekend. thats down to you the fans of Billy Fury.
A Special thanks to the Management and staff at the Metropole Hotel,
And [ Blackpool Holidays ] organisers Diane Wardle and June Roth.

This weekend is a must for any Billy Fury fan of the late 50s early 60’s. Hope see you in March 2012
For booking forms contact Blackpool Holidays on 01253-722300
I would also like to say Thank you to the Billy Fury fan club. Thanks to Jenny, Albert and Gail and Mags and Margaret for all their hard work and part in keeping Billys memory alive. the fan club souveniers were fantastic. as always we look forward to seeing you all at the next one.
 I would like to dedicate the whole weekend to Billy’s Mam Jean. One very Special and Brave Lady. and of course to the Memory of her Boys. 
Also A Great big Thanks to Billy Fury whom without,  this weekend would not be possible. Long Live his Music. 


  

TALE OF TWO KINGS 28TH FEBRUARY 2011 - Review by Edna ling.

Sunday 6.30pm we thought we would arrive at the Garrick theatre a little early so we could park and have a drink before the place got a little full. On arrival at the front of the theatre already was a line of around 40 people waiting to get in and browse through the Elvis and Billy fury memorabilia stall that we could see through the window. Soon we were inside and picking up our souveniers of Elvis, Billy and Colin paul. There were t-shirts, pens, badges, cd,s dvd,s ect and all reasonably priced. I bought an Elvis watch, a Billy fury shirt and a Colin paul and the persuaders dvd and cd. We were escorted to our seats to the sounds of Elvis and Billy in the background. Sitting comfortably 7 rows from the front we noticed a large screen at the back of the stage with a picture of  Billy and Elvis together and the title ‘A tale of two kings’ i have heared many good reports about this show and now very excited, i was about to witness for myself what im sure would be a great show. The stage was packed with instruments and two ten foot high picture stands of the two kings. I knew this was gonna be great.
 Part 1 – Billy Fury 7.30pm the theatre was full. The lights dimmed to the sound of we want Billy. We want Billy. The band then kicked off with a meaty vertion of wondrous place. The Passionettes [backing singers] danced across the stage to take their place and dressed in a beautiful grey suit on walked Colin Paul to a thunderous applause. Hit after hit followed and the sound was spot on. The guys in the band wore very tidy grey suits and ties and the girls were dressed in 50,s fashion grey skirts and tops. They all looked fantastic.The screen lit up with images and movies of Billy and all the memories came flooding back. I’d never find another you, cross my heart, collette, its only make believe. The hits just kept coming. a very sexy don’t knock upon my door including two couples jiving on the stage. Soon followed by a beautiful tear jerking vertion of , im lost without you, with Colin putting so much emotion into this number, I don’t think there was a single person in the audience who wasn’t touched by this song. More hits followed.... running around, once upon a dream, forget him, nothing shaking, fools errand, a thousand stars, in thoughts of you, jealousy and many more. Everything about this set was magic and the whole audience were bopping and singing along. Colin told us stories about each individual song and his love for Billy and his music really shone through. All to soon it was end of part one and a fantastic tribute to our greatest original rocker. Halfway to paradise was in full flow as the music dipped a little in the middle so the audience could be heared singing along and building up to a great finish. Well done Colin Paul and the persuaders/passionettes. Part two was in half an hour and i can’t wait. Off to the bar for a top up i think.  Part 2 – Elvis Presley Sitting patiently in our comfy seats the lights dimmed to a fantastic intro and explosion and that familier sound of 2001. Everybody clapping along with the passionettes as colin makes his entrance to see see rider. Dressed in a black high collared suit with a beautiful white shirt. Loads of elvis classics here.... burning love, jailhouse rock, moody blue, you gave me a mountain, girl of my best friend, if i can dream, a big hunk o love. Then the Suprise of the evening. Colin announced that the ideal dream would be to do a duet with Elvis, but seeing as he wasn’t around anymore, it would be difficult to do. Then he said his voice will always be around and Elvis would be heared forever more. And what followed was amazing. Joe peden the lead guitarist picked up his acoustic guitar and while sat on a stool started to play the 1969 Elvis classic ‘in the ghetto’ then unbelievably it was Elvis talking then singing. Then Colin came in and they were dueting, with Elvis on the screen. I can tell you everybody in that theatre had goose bumps. It was totally amazing. I believe you can view it on you tube. How do you top that? More Elvis classics followed and Colin joking around with the audience and band. It was a joy to see. People were jiving in the aisles to promised land, Johnny be goode ect. Next the guys performed some of my fave Elvis songs from the 70’s just pretend, what now my love and colins trademark ‘hurt’. more classics followed including suspicious minds, the wonder of you and American trilogy with everybody stood up waving their arms in the air. Colin thanked the light and sound crew and introduced the members of the persuaders. Joe peden on guitar, chris evans on bass, dave lea on piano, peter Thomas on drums and the passionettes- Dionne and louise. a Truly talented band and singers.The sounds of cant help falling in love filled the air and we knew this was the end of a fantastic evening. The guys and girls walked to the front of the stage to the sounds of the audience clapping, shouting for more and cheering. They held hands and took a final bow before leaving the stage. All i can say is what an unbelievable experience. Colin proves time and time again you don’t have to hide behind an Elvis jumpsuit to pull off the best show i have seen in many years. We headed to the bar where everybody was on a high. Colin and the guys/girlsjoined the large crowd and talked and mingled with everybody. If a tale of two kings comes to a theatre near you. Don’t hesitate. Get yourself a ticket for three none stop hours of great music you will remember. Cant wait for the next one. 

TALE OF TWO KINGS 28TH FEBRUARY 2010

By Jeanette Johns.

Sunday 6.30pm we thought we would arrive at the Garrick theatre a little early so we could park and have a drink before the place got a little full. On arrival at the front of the theatre already was a line of around 40 people waiting to get in and browse through the Elvis and Billy fury memorabilia stall that we could see through the window. Soon we were inside and picking up our souveniers of Elvis, Billy and Colin paul. There were t-shirts, pens, badges, cd,s dvd,s ect and all reasonably priced. I bought an Elvis watch, a Billy fury shirt and a Colin paul and the persuaders dvd and cd. We were escorted to our seats to the sounds of Elvis and Billy in the background. Sitting comfortably 7 rows from the front we noticed a large screen at the back of the stage with a picture of  Billy and Elvis together and the title ‘A tale of two kings’ i have heared many good reports about this show and now very excited, i was about to witness for myself what im sure would be a great show. The stage was packed with instruments and two ten foot high picture stands of the two kings. I knew this was gonna be great.
 Part 1 – Billy Fury 7.30pm the theatre was full. The lights dimmed to the sound of we want Billy. We want Billy. The band then kicked off with a meaty vertion of wondrous place. The Passionettes [backing singers] danced across the stage to take their place and dressed in a beautiful grey suit on walked Colin Paul to a thunderous applause. Hit after hit followed and the sound was spot on. The guys in the band wore very tidy grey suits and ties and the girls were dressed in 50,s fashion grey skirts and tops. They all looked fantastic.The screen lit up with images and movies of Billy and all the memories came flooding back. I’d never find another you, cross my heart, collette, its only make believe. The hits just kept coming. a very sexy don’t knock upon my door including two couples jiving on the stage. Soon followed by a beautiful tear jerking vertion of , im lost without you, with Colin putting so much emotion into this number, I don’t think there was a single person in the audience who wasn’t touched by this song. More hits followed.... running around, once upon a dream, forget him, nothing shaking, fools errand, a thousand stars, in thoughts of you, jealousy and many more. Everything about this set was magic and the whole audience were bopping and singing along. Colin told us stories about each individual song and his love for Billy and his music really shone through. All to soon it was end of part one and a fantastic tribute to our greatest original rocker. Halfway to paradise was in full flow as the music dipped a little in the middle so the audience could be heared singing along and building up to a great finish. Well done Colin Paul and the persuaders/passionettes. Part two was in half an hour and i can’t wait. Off to the bar for a top up i think.  

Part 2 – Elvis Presley Sitting patiently in our comfy seats the lights dimmed to a fantastic intro and explosion and that familier sound of 2001. Everybody clapping along with the passionettes as colin makes his entrance to see see rider. Dressed in a black high collared suit with a beautiful white shirt. Loads of elvis classics here.... burning love, jailhouse rock, moody blue, you gave me a mountain, girl of my best friend, if i can dream, a big hunk o love. Then the Suprise of the evening. Colin announced that the ideal dream would be to do a duet with Elvis, but seeing as he wasn’t around anymore, it would be difficult to do. Then he said his voice will always be around and Elvis would be heared forever more. And what followed was amazing. Joe peden the lead guitarist picked up his acoustic guitar and while sat on a stool started to play the 1969 Elvis classic ‘in the ghetto’ then unbelievably it was Elvis talking then singing. Then Colin came in and they were dueting, with Elvis on the screen. I can tell you everybody in that theatre had goose bumps. It was totally amazing. I believe you can view it on you tube. How do you top that? More Elvis classics followed and Colin joking around with the audience and band. It was a joy to see. People were jiving in the aisles to promised land, Johnny be goode ect. Next the guys performed some of my fave Elvis songs from the 70’s just pretend, what now my love and colins trademark ‘hurt’. more classics followed including suspicious minds, the wonder of you and American trilogy with everybody stood up waving their arms in the air. Colin thanked the light and sound crew and introduced the members of the persuaders. Joe peden on guitar, chris evans on bass, dave lea on piano, peter Thomas on drums and the passionettes- Dionne and louise. a Truly talented band and singers.The sounds of cant help falling in love filled the air and we knew this was the end of a fantastic evening. The guys and girls walked to the front of the stage to the sounds of the audience clapping, shouting for more and cheering. They held hands and took a final bow before leaving the stage. All i can say is what an unbelievable experience. Colin proves time and time again you don’t have to hide behind an Elvis jumpsuit to pull off the best show i have seen in many years. We headed to the bar where everybody was on a high. Colin and the guys/girlsjoined the large crowd and talked and mingled with everybody. If a tale of two kings comes to a theatre near you. Don’t hesitate. Get yourself a ticket for three none stop hours of great music you will remember. Cant wait for the next one. 





Any Place is Paradise


         ELVIS WEEK HEMSBY 2009
 
          
REVIEW BY SIMON GRAY.
      
                  
SEACROFT HOLIDAY VILLAGE
Checking in was completely painless and very efficient. I know some people were a little surprised by the accommodation both good and bad. Your first site of the budget "huts" is a real eye opener, Hi-Di-Hi comes to mind. That or the scene from Great escape where Steve McQueen takes his ball and catching mitt into the cooler! They are however surprisingly warm and although small, fine for one’s or two’s who don’t have 13 suitcases of clothes. Before any panic, Kevin has secured the up market accommodation so next year you only get the cooler if you book last minute!!! The other accommodation is well maintained and the heating and hot water is constantly available (even if the shower wasn’t hot enough). Obviously we miss the kitchen facility and having a chalet-party is probably out. You can fit in a small fridge and toaster fine and there is a kettle, cups & saucers and you do get towels. You could tell anyone who has been before because the George Forman grills were a must-have accessory, must have seen a dozen being unpacked. One thing that never had a bad word said about it was the ballroom, brilliant stage, great shape, right size and you are never far from the bar. Talking of which the bar staff were very good indeed, even with the influx of weekenders making them very busy Fri/Sat/Sun they served with a smile on their faces and I was impressed that waiting time was minimal. I think its fair to say that once people got settled in they liked their hut, shed or luxury apartment. All of which are much nearer to the main facility than before, so much easier to stagger back home to. The food facilities were a mixed bag, by which I’d say the food was well cooked and very reasonably priced but I think they only had 6 recipes translated into whatever foreign language the chef was. As you walked past the food initially it was very impressive with Curry, Lasagne, Steak & Kidney Pie, Fried Fish, Shepherds Pie, Curry, Lasagne, Steak & Kidney Pie, Fried Fish, Shepherds Pie, Curry, Lasagne, Steak & Kidney Pie, Fried Fish, Shepherds Pie. Then you realised it was one lot of food and a shit load of mirrors (Peter Kayism) and what was worse was the moment you realised you were stuck with these same 6 items every day, for lunch and evening meal. If I ever see another Lasagne it will be too soon! Joking aside you did also get choices of all sorts of potatoes and veg and it’s the first time I’ve got home after Elvis week without craving for something healthy to eat.
Monday
As soon as I saw the stage set with Nutty Neil spinning the discs I knew that the lovely ballroom had at last got a crowd of people worthy of it and Elvis had a new room to shake into life. The first night, which just happened to be a Monday this time around, was all Elvis as usual. He soon blew away the memory of the over 80’s playing bingo and the night came alive with the sound of the KING. First nights are brilliant because you get to see most of your extended family in one hit and it’s as if you have never been away. Of course there are always a few people that are conspicuous by their absence for various reasons and this year that number was higher than normal. Some did turn up for the weekend and others I’m sure will be back in their rightful place next year. Neil had the place rocking and it took all of 5 mins for us to be back in the swing of Elvis week and then it didn’t matter where on earth the ballroom was, it was Elvis and it was home.
 A word or two of respect for one member of the Elvis family, who very sadly passed away during the year. Mary Roberts may not have been with us in person but I’m sure that Mary was there in spirit and you were remembered by everyone.

Tuesday
The day began with the usual lunchtime frivolities of a quiz and Karaoke, a few sore heads and loads of people still too comatosed to emerge yet. The quiz was all on album covers mixed up to disguise them but I think the hardest part was seeing the screen and keeping the pictures on there long enough. Nobody wants to admit they’re not 18 any longer and we had a few technical hitches with our equipment but it was all taken in good spirit and laughed off which is the Hemsby way. Fortunately Chris held it all together while the other chap watched in wonderment and they got away with it. This was pretty much the theme for the quiz all week along with questions over Chris’s sexuality. How a guy with a beautiful wife and 5 kids can be questioned is beyond me, they will be saying Rock Hudson was gay next. Karaoke was also a bit lightweight this year and no Tony Graham to help Geoff compere, hope he’s back next year. Geoff did admirably and got every day off with a song in tune. Unfortunately it didn’t always stay in tune throughout the hour despite best efforts. It would be unfair to pick out any wobbly performances so I can’t mention a Be-Bop-A-Lula, which went from middle C to off the chart and of course the now famous one off wonder who can only be Mark Coopey. It is little publicised that Mark was actually a choir boy and as a young boy and stunned audiences with his vocal range. He only sings out of tune at Hemsby for the comic effect and just like Les Dawson on piano it takes great skill to sing every 6th note out of pitch. Mark, we wouldn’t have you any other way mate, a diamond. Talking of diamonds there was some great Neil Diamond songs from Glen. Others of note were Simon (Crisp), Matt and Phil. At one point I did think I’d walked into the dream or in this case "nightmare" sequence from Edge of Reality. The only way I could describe the said performance is, it looked like a rabid dog, on heat, which had just been castrated and force fed a plate of hot coals. It was then trying to bark for its owner to put it out of its misery with a shotgun. I’m sure that there would be many takers for the last part as the performer in question was none other than Little Elvis barking Great Balls of fire. Kelvin says he’s a good old stick, I’d rather beat him with a good old stick. If you are reading this Little Elvis you know I’m only joking, I wouldn’t use a stick when I have a baseball bat in the car.
The lunchtime band was Blast Off and loads of people danced and strolled throughout the set, as always great entertainment and really nice to see the original line up again, great show guys.
Koo Ka Choo provided the night time show and that is what you always get with them a real show. They certainly put on a show this time and the kids at the front of stage were mesmerised by the music, dancing and costumes, not to mention Keith’s bum! I have to say that I have heard Keith (lead singer) in better voice on previous occasions but fortunately KKC are a show band and that part was up to usual standards. I understand that 70’s isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but being of a certain age now 70’s music helps me relive my childhood for an hour or so. Good fun and although the wobbly bum bit may have been a bit much for the kids I have to say that the way they got the kids up to do Wig Wham Bam was brilliant. Those kids will remember that for a long time and they were still smiling hours after the show.
 Wednesday
As well as the usual Karaoke and quiz, (co stars as they look now, god help Nancy Sinatra) we had a impromptu stand up show from Little Elvis. I’m sure that he’s practised the jokes since last year but both the jokes and impressions were older than the Turkey and Tinsel mob and thankfully Chris intervened and put us out of our misery, shame he didn’t take that further and put Little Elvis out of his, permanently. The lunchtime band were The Kingcats and the response to them was excellent. They managed to get everyone going and are more than worthy of an evening spot next time around. With great energy and a very good sound they rocked through some classics and lesser know tunes and the hour flew by. New talent to Elvis week but I’m sure we’ll see them back, hopefully the same won’t be said about the evening act Matchbox. Now in late ‘79 these guys rocked into the charts with “Rockabilly Rebel” (charted to 18) then “Midnite Dynamos” (charted to 14) and managed a top ten hit “When You Asked About Love” (reached No 4) All of which means MATCHBOX came with a big expectation and sadly they just didn’t live up to it. They weren’t actually bad, just a let down on what was hoped for. The fact that they saved the already mentioned songs until they had finished and were supposedly just the encore backfired because people had lost interest early in the set. The hits did mean the encore was much better than the rest of the show and people sang along but it didn’t quite make what was a dull set a memorable performance. I accept Graham is knocking on a bit and that has to be taken into account, can’t expect him to be bopping around like the early 80’s but sorry they don’t gain my thumbs up for a Hemsby return, or at least not our side of the camp the oldies would love him.

Thursday
The quiz was pictures of famous people morphed with Elvis and the last one had people really guessing, was it two pictures of Elvis ? Was it Lisa Marie and Elvis or the most popular answer which was film hunk George Clooney? All of which gave Chris a chuckle as it was actually no other than the multi-talented Chris Bowdidge himself. What a compliment, to be taken as a young Elvis must have made his week.The lunchtime act was Colin Paul complete with loads of new songs, Bobby Goldsboro’s  “Honey”, “Turn Around Look At Me“, “Poor Man’s Poor” which Elvis buffs will recognise the significance of. There was a wonderful version of the Orion song “I’ll be with you always”, (feel a video coming on) but it was a song I’m sure not everyone will have heard before “Nothing Short of Dying” written by Travis Tritt that got me, what a great rendition of a beautiful song, just superb. Of course the big Elvis ballads knocked your socks off and its no wonder that Colin gets through quite a few microphones, just how far away does he have to hold the mic when he sings “Hurt“, Colin you need longer arms mate … Fantastic entertainment from start to finish cheers.Evening act sent a whisper around the room as the Firebirds took to the stage but without Richie on base! I’m sure Kelvin heard this whisper because by the end of the first song he’d asked Jim to introduce the new slap bass player. Of course any band would miss a character like Richie, his big smiling face and antics were always a part of the show. However Jim’s vocals were as usual excellent and he was ably backed. In fact the new guy seems to have added to the aesthetics for half the audience at least. After all JJ is getting on a bit! Only Joking JJ, mind you the track-suit bottoms don’t enhance your reputation. I enjoyed the set and although I did miss Richie messing around I think that the Firebirds are well and truly alive and kicking, sounding great as always. FridayRockin’ The Joint no that’s not what Steve Mc-A-hula did on the karaoke or even Chris with the quiz (along the lines of Jeopardy) it was the name of the lunch time act. They were ok but would have to come last for me, if I put the lunch time acts in order of entertainment value. If I’m honest they didn’t do anything to make you remember them and it was pretty run of the mill. Friday lunch time wasn’t the easiest day to get people going and I’m sure that a few people were taking a break ready for the weekend push but it did seem a little flat. The evening saw the first of two nights of the Number One Show with 60’s hits performed by two very pretty girlie’s and I think there might have been some blokes as well. Entertaining to watch and the girls have pretty good voices. The guys voices are quite average but the overall sound is good and musically they are excellent. Good mix of songs and outfits and I enjoyed it.  SaturdayHemsby is a family affair and so were the Saturday lunchtime act Class of  58. Dad on lead guitar and main vocals, mum on slap bass and vocals, 15 year old son on drums and 13 year son on keyboards and vocals. A talented family who made a good sound and put on a show. Dad who covered the vocal duties didn’t have the greatest voice and once the youngest sons voice breaks vocals may be a problem as his high voice vocals were a very entertaining feature. Mum wasn’t exactly “eye candy” but she sure could play bass and that was the main thing. Good lunchtime act.Second instalment of the Number One show and it was 70’s. Rather more tame than Monday’s 70’s but still entertaining especially the ABBA outfits! I think they did the 60’ numbers slightly better but it was fairly close.  SundayThe quiz answers were all marked and congrats to the “Smokey Mountain Boys” who was ably led by Aaron Spicer and also thanks to everyone who took part. Without fans joining in it wouldn’t be fun for everyone. Chris did a great job of not only compereing but juggling DVD players, laptops and the sound desk while looking just like George Clooney. The Karaoke saw its last song and we should say a really big thanks to Geoff who worked tirelessly to entertain us and ensure those who want to have a sing song to get the chance. Thanks to all that did sing because again if no one takes part we don’t have a holiday. The lunch time band were Union Gap but without Gary Puckett but still with “Young Girl”. They surprised me because the set was entertaining, I expected some semi-famous has-beens who would be lost without the main star but they obviously weren’t and when they finally played “Young Girl”  (and not as a encore) the whole crowd sang along. Another good lunch time act.The last night was fittingly left to Colin Paul and the Persuaders along with The Passionettes and I have to agree with Kelvin when he said if anyone didn’t enjoy the show they must be crazy. Colin tore up the stage with power ballads and rockin’ songs and the band were there on every beat. Love the extra sparkle added by the Passionettes, it was a brilliant end to the weeks entertainment. Once again Colin surprised with different songs, Young and Beautiful was terrific , Bridge Over Troubled Water was powerful yet soft in places and What Now My Love was pure brilliance. No song was a let down and it was a performance right from the very top draw and all without a jumpsuit or wig in sight. Colin is a must for the 30 years after event and I can’t wait to see which new songs we will be treated to. There’s talk of a Gospel show next year and I for one can’t wait “Bosom of Hemsby”Of course we always pay our respects to Elvis and this year was no exceptions, the minutes silence was impeccably observed and you good have heard a pin drop throughout. All the younger fans seem to know how important this minute is and were brilliant. Following the silence we had “A Single Shinning Star” a tribute song by Colin Paul played with pic’s up on the screen and I’m sure people had Elvis in their hearts. Family is what Hemsby is about and the family were together in that moment. Then Neil got the dance floor packed again and we boogied the last hours away. Throughout the week Neil was great, working tirelessly despite fighting Hemsby throat and missing his lovely Sarah. He was tops in not only quantity but more importantly quality, great job. Getting all the younger fans on stage to do Queenie Wahine was one of the highlights, its so great to see Elvis is in good hands and the kids just love it. Chris was also really busy looking after all the acts and at times I thought he had cloned himself as he was in the sound/light booth and on stage (one of them must have been George). Sorting out the quiz stuff or propping up the bar he always has time for everyone, top guy. Karaoke Geoff not only entertained us with some great songs but is always happy to help other fans and Little John silently goes about making sure things run smoothly. Nice to see him tripping the light fantastic so much this year, perhaps he could teach jiving lessons next year, he has some great moves. Colin gets his praise for what he does best, using that god given voice of his to entertain but I have to say this week he also worked real hard, sound checking and setting up. Lastly Kelvin, what can I say except thanks for sticking with it and making sure we have Hemsby. I know he was concerned and obviously disappointed that numbers dropped due to the circumstances. I think he might of mentioned it once “but I think he got away with it” or maybe not. I’m lucky to have known Kelvin for 30 years and I understand that he says what he feels and maybe not everyone see’s it that way. All I can say is many people would have thrown in the towel half way through this year but not Kelvin and that’s why we had Hemsby this year and next, Kelvin I get it. Bookings for 2010 the 30 year anniversary started well and I really hope to see you all there, all those who enjoyed this year and those who sadly had to miss it. Hemsby is fit and well and I wish the same to our Hemsby family ………..Until next year, take care  

SIMON


        

                       
                                            SUCH A NIGHT

The Festival Hall, Kirkby in Ashfield- Saturday 12th February 2005.

              Review: John & Margaret Street, Nottingham.

 

This Elvis night starring Colin Paul and The Persuaders and Glenn Darren and The Krew Katz is always a special event here at the Festival Hall. It has a very large room, plenty of seating, a spacious dance floor, and a huge stage. The bar at the rear is well staffed and hot food is served at an adjacent hatch.

This event is held twice a year and is organised by Reg Atkins to raise money for charity. Since 2001 having done 6 concerts here he has raised over £2,000 for kidney research, £2,500 for the Alan Shipley trust, a man who died tragically in an accident, which goes to his family, and £260. to Rona appeal, a little girl suffering from a rare form of cancer. Reg is a very caring, honest, and genuine man who does every thing possible for charities!

At 8:00pm the place was heaving, every one buzzing as DJ Dave ‘B’, although having a few problems with the decks, introduced the music.The atmosphere was right and it had all the ingredients for a crackin’ night.

First on stage was Glenn Darren and The Krew Katz. Looking immaculate in a white jacket, black shirt, and black pants, he gave us a set of no nonsense rock’n’roll. ‘Matchtbox’, ‘The Shape I’m In’, onto the strollers with ‘Your Cheating heart’ and ‘Think It Over’ then back to ‘Clickety Clack’ and ‘Honey Don’t’. Glenn sticks to the classics and always gives 110% when performing, and with a packed floor you knew he’d got it right. Finally finishing with ‘Old Black Joe’ it was straight back to the DJ for more wax, playing us in with our favourite ‘Shakin’ Mama For Ya’.The floor eased off slightly, was this an energy saver for what was to come?

After 15 minutes the voice of Elvis hit the stage in the shape of  Colin Paul and The Persuaders giving us ‘Aint That Loving You Baby’, carrying on with the powerful ‘Such A Night’, ‘I Got Stung’, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, and ‘All Shook Up’. The number one’s were all there and the floor once again ‘fizzing’. His version of ‘Jailhouse Rock’, so visual, so explosive, simply awesome! And what a jiver.

The early Sun Studio songs ‘Baby Lets Play House’, ‘That’s Alright Mama’, ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ just letting everyone know how it all started.

Elvis is in the building he shouted as he swivelled his hips and gyrated through ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ to the delight of his screaming fans. All the mannerisms were there! ‘It’s Now Or Never’ enticed all the romantics for a smooch and those that wanted  joined in with the singing. Finishing with ‘If I Can Dream’ Colin and his band faithfully recreate that Presley Magic!

After all this excitement, more excitement as the raffle produced some excellent prizes, 3 bottles of whisky, a DVD player, and 2 tickets for the Americana. Hardly any time for the DJ as it’s back to Glenn Darren and The Krew Katz who open up with ‘Rockabilly Man’. This is a night of non stop rock’n’roll with Glenn packing more songs into his set than probably any other band, with the enthusiastic jivers equally matching him with their dancing. Another good set from a great bunch of guys.Once again Dave’B’ had a chance to play a few more tracks but most of the dancers preferring to sit it out and just listen.

Then suddenly it’s show time, the drums start rolling, the cymbals crashing, the organ rising to a crescendo and the spot light hits the centre of the stage. Appearing through the smoke screen dressed in all white, complete with tassles walks Colin Paul . Grabbing the mic he belts out ‘CC Rider’, then ‘Burning Love’ arms almost a blur. This guy has style, polish, and charisma. Hardly pausing for breath he slows it down to sing the smouldering ballad ‘Hurt’ The Persuaders just know how to deliver, backing Colin brilliantly, dare we say fit for a KING!

11:30pm and folk now dancing any where they could, between tables,at the back in front of the now closed bar, it’s very hard to compete with a night like this. Elvis is number one in the charts and we had our number one with us as flags were then draped in front of the stage, arms were held aloft as he bowed out with ‘American Trilogy’.

To end a fabulous evening we had both bands, DJ and Reg back on stage to give the inevitable finale with ‘Johnny B. Goode’ with everyone involved.Tremendous ending, wonderful atmosphere, 
                                             SUCH A NIGHT!!         
        

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PERSUADING YOU TO ROCK