FIVE of the stars of the swinging 60s are set to perform in front of 100,000 fans as The Solid Silver Sixties Show continues its march around the country until May, writes Martin Hutchinson.
The show, now in its 27th year, has been packing them in by showcasing the very best of that special decade, and this year’s show is no exception.
Topping the bill is Peter Noone, singer with Herman’s Hermits, and he will be appearing with Chris Montez, Brian Hyland, Brian Poole and Vanity Fare – who will be backing all the acts.
Having been a child actor (he played Len Fairclough’s son in Coronation Street), Peter Noone became the lead singer with Manchester band Herman’s Hermits, whose very first single – I’m Into Something Good – hit the top spot.
Peter tells me, while preparing for a show in Connecticut, how the band’s discovery was planned.
“It was all part of the plan,” he says, his northern accent still apparent after many years in America.
“Our management paid for record producer Mickie Most to come up to The Beachcomber Club in Bolton to see us. We got all the girls to scream at us, but it was obvious what we were doing as they screamed in all the wrong places.”
Most was suitably impressed anyway and signed them up.
A string of hits followed. I’m Into Something Good was succeeded by nine more top 10 hits including Silhouettes, Wonderful World, No Milk Today, There’s a Kind of Hush, My Sentimental Friend and Sunshine Girl.
“It was a great band,” he smiles, “and we had a huge fan club, too.”
They were massive in America too, outselling The Beatles in 1965. One of their American hits, Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter, topped the charts for three weeks, going on to sell 14 million copies.
At the beginning of the 70s, Peter left the group and went solo, later relocating to America.
“I was offered a lot of work and I was a Yank-o-phile anyway. I also wanted to meet Elvis…..
and I did!”
As a true Brit, he is looking forward to the UK tour, but it promises to be hard work as there are 67 concerts.
“I usually do about 100 concerts a year in America, but coming over to the UK will be a bit like a holiday – I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends from school again.”
Although he loves all the hits he sings there are a couple of songs he holds dear.
“I’m Into Something Good is special,” he says. “I always start the show with that.
Really it’s the story of my life.”
The Solid Silver Sixties Show will be at The Anvil in Basingstoke tomorrow and Salisbury City Hall on April 28.