Saturday, 14 April 2012
History will rightly acclaim The Hollies as one of the truly great groups of the 1960s.
And they were still very much a creative force to be reckoned with well into the 1970s.
Those glory days might be just a distant memory now, but last night The Hollies proved emphatically to a packed-out Theatre Severn that – boy, oh boy – they still have plenty to give.
Only two original members remain in the current line-up: Tony Hicks on guitar and Bobby Elliott on drums.
But guitarist Steve Lauri, Ian Parker on keyboards, Ray Stiles on bass, and especially the fantastically powerful lead vocalist Peter Howarth (Alan Clarke’s replacement) bring their own considerable talents to the table.
The set featured a smattering of “reworkings” of classic recordings and I felt some of these hit the spot while others fell a little flat. Last night’s rendition of Look Through Any Window, for example, lacked the sublime jingle-jangle guitar and gorgeous harmonies of the incandescent 1965 gem, making me yearn for the original.
That said, the band, having warmed up nicely in the first half of the show, really turned on the magic for part two.
More brilliant hits brought us to the show’s climax – blistering performances of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, and, of course, The Air That I Breathe.
Glory be! The spirit of The Hollies is alive and kicking.