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hollies Post subject: 2011


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Wellington Convention Centre, NZ, 2nd February 2011 - by Simon Sweetman

Then, Now, Always: The harmonies from The Hollies still sounded fresh.


BRITISH pop act The Hollies were one of the most successful bands of the 1960s and 1970s.

The band has never stopped touring and recording but only two members from the heyday remain: drummer Bobby Elliott and guitarist/vocalist Tony Hicks.

Vocalist Allan Clarke retired from duties in 1999.

In recent times, Peter Howarth has assumed the lead-singer role, with Hicks and guitarist Steve Lauri sharing the vocals. Bassist Ray Stiles and keyboardist Ian Parker
supply some harmonies also.

A sold-out crowd waited to hear the hits. It didn’t take long – Jennifer Eccles, Just One Look and Sorry Suzanne were all early inclusions, the sunny harmonies still sounding fresh.

At first everything was in place but it still felt a little like a Stars In Their Eyes-version of the band; a common complaint of bands from the 1960s that continue with new members.

That small gripe became completely insignificant as the hits continued to tumble from the stage – The Hollies’ famous cover of Stay (by Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs) was a treat, as was Carousel.

At times the arrangements were slightly different, the songs in lower keys now – but the band was tight and the winning pop tunes were hard to argue with.

There was a short interval and the second set opened with I’m Alive and Bus Stop.

Howarth took a couple of moments to show his skills, first with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Sandy and then with an earlier Hollies B-side, I Can’t Tell The Bottom From The Top.

But ‘‘The Hollies was never about one person, it was about the blend of voices’’, as he rightly pointed out, leaving Hicks, Lauri and Stiles to work through more of the 1960s hits, such as Gasoline Alley Bred and Here I Go Again.

Hicks frequently delighted with guitar spots, and his banjo intro to Dance, Dance, Dance was superb.

The finale of Carrie Anne, The Air That I Breathe and He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother had everyone singing along and got a full standing ovation.

Great playing, great songs – you could not ask for more.
PostPosted:Fri Sep 16, 2011 21:39 pm

Last edited by hollies on Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:18 am; edited 5 times in total
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hollies Post subject: Mills Reef Winery, NZ, 30th January 2011 - by Tinka Mushett


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Tauranga, Mills Reef Winery, NZ, 30th January 2011 - by Tinka Mushett

The expectant crowd gathers in anticipation.

The Hollies concert at the Mills Reef Winery in Bethlehem, New Zealand was the most AWESOME experience................. amazing band.

It was the first time I had ever seen one of my favourite groups live and what a treat that was!

From the first note, they had me hooked and the hits kept on rolling - they never missed a beat!

I was lucky enough too to get a spot at the base of the stage where I could take some nice photographs.

Tony Hicks is a LEGEND - his numbers on the SITAR and BANJO were amazing and his guitar playing would take some beating.

It was wonderful to hear that The Hollies are one of only 3 groups from the 60's that are still together, the others being The Rolling Stones and the Seekers - a great tribute to a great band of guys that are incredible performers.

I wouldn't have missed this concert for the world.......................

The set list was wonderful as they rolled out favourite after favourite too and included two recent numbers that are also really good.

DO NOT MISS THEM!!!!

Tinka Mushett
PostPosted:Fri Sep 16, 2011 21:40 pm

Last edited by hollies on Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:16 am; edited 4 times in total
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hollies Post subject: Belfast and Dublin 17/18 Sept by John Truman


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The Belfast Waterfront 17th September 2011 and The National Concert Hall Dublin 18th September 2011 - by John Truman

Helen and I flew to Belfast on Friday morning for a long week-end to see two Hollies shows, the first in Belfast on the Saturday evening and the following night in Dublin.

We arrived in Belfast in torrential rain which lasted for most of the day! So after some sightseeing on Saturday, which thankfully was a much better day, we made our way down to the impressive Waterfront complex, a new venue for us.

We were seated on the second row and had a great view. After chatting to some familiar faces on the front row, we sat back and waited for the show to start.

The lads came on stage looking very smart in their matching white shirts, striped ties and black trousers, and the show was underway starting with hand-clapping during Curly Billy and then straight into I Can’t Let Go followed by Jennifer Eccles (started with a wolf whistle from Peter) and then Yes I Will which got the audience cheering.

Tony then said hello to the audience and introduced a re-worked On A Carousel. There were brilliant keyboards at the beginning by Ian, strong harmonies and a driving beat. It’s hard to describe but I just loved this version.

Then came She’d Kill For Me from the album, Then Now Always which went down well.

Peter then performed his acoustic version of Sandy, ably assisted by Ray and Tony
on harmonies and Ian on keyboards.

Tony then introduced Steve to take lead vocals on King Midas In Reverse which he handled extremely well.

Very Last Day was next up. This song was a number one in Sweden in the Sixties and the band had sung it on their recent trip to Scandinavia which went down so well, they decided to leave it in the set list. I’m glad they did. It went down really well here too.

Just One Look brought loud cheers, with Tony saying ‘So that’s what you wanted’, quickly followed by Stay.

The alternate arrangement of Look Through Any Window finished off the first half. The song started off slowly with beautiful harmonies then sped up and finished off with excellent guitar solos from both Steve and Tony. It went down very well with the audience.

The 20 minute interval soon came and went and the second half opened with the group in their casual gear and they sang their first Number One from 1965, I’m Alive.

Sorry Suzanne was next, quickly followed by Bus Stop, which Peter announced as the band’s first international hit, also got a loud cheer.

Tony then simply said “see what you think of this” and then launched into Stewball. This was also a number one in Sweden in the Sixties and The Hollies had also played this on the recent Scandinavia tour. I remember listening to this track on the ‘Would You Believe’ album back in 1965 and hoping that some day, I would see it played live. I got my wish today. The harmonies were outstanding.

Bobby then introduced Peter, who took centre stage with his acoustic guitar and performed a new arrangement of I Can’t Tell The Bottom From The Top, the band’s 1970 hit. A great musical arrangement, beautifully sung.

Peter then underlined the fact that The Hollies have never been about one person, but a blend of harmonies before leaving the stage in the capable hands of Steve, Ray and Tony up front. It was time for the ‘Listen To Me/Here I Go Again/Gasoline Alley Bred medley. Absolutely brilliant.

Weakness from Staying Power was next – recorded about 6 years ago, said Peter, and the band liked it so much they have kept it in and played it in every tour since then.

Then came Tony’s now familiar intro to The Baby on the guitar sitar which sounded excellent followed by Long Cool Woman which had the audience clapping along.

Peter then asked the audience to sing along to Carrie Anne which we all did. Stop Stop Stop had Tony’s long amazing banjo intro, which went down very well with the audience who clapped along enthusiastically, and finished with Steve, Ian and Peter jumping up and down to the beat. I think this song got the loudest cheer of the night so far.

It was then time for the finale. This time the order of the songs had been changed. Peter introduced the next song by saying that if everyone followed the meaning of this song, the world would be a better place and launched into He Ain’t Heavy. After a standing ovation, Tony started the classic guitar intro to The Air That I Breathe, followed by another standing ovation, followed by Let Love Pass before Bobby thanked the Belfast audience for coming along.

The lights went out and that was the end of another memorable Hollies concert.
I thought the audience’s reaction was excellent and really appreciative of the Hollies’ polished performance.

The following morning, we made our way to Belfast Central Station to catch the train to Dublin. It sounded straightforward but there were engineering works on the line and so a replacement bus was on hand to take us to Newry, then we caught a packed train from there into Dublin. The train was full of Gaelic Football fans heading to Dublin for the All-Ireland Final between Kerry and Dublin. Dublin won!

Eventually, we made it unscathed to our hotel in Dublin where we had a quick look around the city before making our way to the National Concert Hall, another new venue for us to visit. We were on the front row with another great view.

I sat next to Tony Marsden who I hadn’t seen since the Oslo concert in May 2010 and chatted to him, Carrie Anne, Claire and the other regulars before the show started.

The set list was the same as Belfast and the songs were sung with great enthusiasm.

There were humorous moments when Tony said that everyone in Dublin is very happy tonight and the audience clapped and cheered. Tony then added ‘It’s because The Hollies are here, isn’t it!’ knowing full well that it was because Dublin were All-Ireland Champions after winning the Gaelic Cup Final.

During ‘Bus Stop’ a lady was frantically waving her brolly about which made the audience laugh. Tony said at the end of the song that was the first time they had been upstaged by an umbrella!

An unusual feature of the concert hall was that some seats were at the back of the stage so the band had to keep remembering to turn round and speak to that section of the audience. The Hollies In The Round, I suppose.

After two well-deserved standing ovations at the end, Peter paid tribute to the two Hollies ‘stalwarts’ Tony and Bobby who had been touring every year since 1962 and had kept the sound of The Hollies going for all this time.

Both concerts were really superb but if I had to choose between the two, I would say that the Dublin one pipped Belfast in terms of atmosphere and crowd participation.

Overall, a really excellent enjoyable weekend.
PostPosted:Mon Sep 26, 2011 19:21 pm

Last edited by hollies on Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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hollies Post subject: Stockhom By Helena Moberg


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Before this summer I had never heard of The Hollies. Then in the beginning of July my boyfriends dad, Göran, which is a big Hollies fan played some records for me from the 60’s as well as an recorded video from back then when the boys where in the same age as I am today and I liked them a lot.

When The Hollies came to Stockholm to play in the Concert Hall, September 8, I did not have a ticket. But thanks to Göran and his contacts among other Hollies fans he managed to arrange a ticket for me, so I was one of the lucky persons in the audience representing the younger generation. I also got a great seat on row 6 right in front of the stage so I had full sight throughout the concert.

During the concert I picked out the two band members on stage which cached my eyes the most, the guitarist Tony Hicks and drummer Bobby Elliot. What I did not know then was that these two guys are the ones that have been in the Band since the 60’s.

Tony impressed with his charm and excellence on the guitar, especially in the intro of Stop, stop, stop where he after some technical problems glanced with a fast solo on his banjo.

Bobby Elliot had this power look in a black beret and his rhythm on the drums makes you want to dance when you see him live.

One of the few songs I really recognized was He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother which is beautiful song.

Other that that I could only sing along in some of the songs that had easy to learn refrains, for example in Carrie Anne.

I enjoyed the atmosphere in the Concert Hall with older lyrical fans that sang along and the power of the members on stage.

The concert just got better and better, after the break the pace got higher and you could tell that The Hollies felt more and more like home on stage and the audience got louder.

I did not buy a Hollies T-shirt but I have started to listen frequently on their albums which means that The Hollies after almost 50 years in the business have a new fan.
PostPosted:Mon Sep 26, 2011 19:27 pm
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hollies Post subject: Belfast, 17th Sept By Ron Allen


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Time was when “The Hollies” only had a few hits, but now their “successes” have even outshone “The Beatles” - in numbers!

“The Hollies” emerged to a delighted, packed house.

The band easily took us through a blockbuster-bash of “Smash-hits” spanning almost fifty years.

Highlights of the show were the traditional “Stewball” (“Screwball” in Ireland) and the beat-evergreen, “Stay”

Overall “The Hollies” were in fine tune and form.

With those beautiful air-tight harmonies, great musicianship and presentation, Hicks, Elliot and company should take a bow!

Thanks “Hollies” for two “Smashing” sets!

-“King Midas” would be proud?
PostPosted:Mon Sep 26, 2011 19:31 pm
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hollies Post subject: Dublin, 18th September By Michael Cummings


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The Hollies in 2011 have to be seen to be appreciated, live recordings and Youtube clips don't do them justice. Their concerts are live, energetic events and to experience this, you have to be there.

I last saw them perform in 2006 and since then the group seems to have grown more as a live act becoming both tighter musically and more relaxed in terms of performance. Peter Howarth now seems a natural part of the group with his undoubtedly powerful singing voice which is sometimes reminiscent of Mikael Rickfors in style while Steve Lauri takes a more active role in terms of vocals. Both seem to be enjoying themselves on stage.

The set kicked off with Curly Billy and then took in a few more hits to get the audience warmed up. Any group would envy the sheer number of Hollies hits as they are able to rattle off four in a row just to get things moving.

In the main, the night consisted of mostly respectful renditions of the classics with a few re-inventions and re-workings thrown in--- On A Carousel was given its "80s" arrangement, Look Through Any Window was done a la Dire Straits while Peter picked his guitar and gave full throated versions of Sandy and I Can't Tell the Bottom From The Top. They also provided an interesting medley which amongst others included Listen To Me and Gasoline Alley Bred. Gasoline worked particularly well and I think should be performed all on its own next tour!

Two unexpected highlights for me were King Midas in Reverse, sung by Steve, and Very Last Day. Both very rhythmic songs which fit the band's current style perfectly. Another unexpected highlight was Stewball, a song I certainly did not expect to hear.

Other stand outs included the electric sitar driven The Baby which suited Peter's vocal style perfectly and Stop Stop Stop. The latter saw Tony attack his electric banjo to give a demented, hillbilly style intro to the song, it really re-invigorated the 1966 hit making me enjoy it as much as the first few times I heard it.

Bobby's drumming, as always, was powerful. He showed great style and energy, particularly when channeling the spirit of '64 on Stay and Here I Go Again.

We also heard two newer songs--- one from Staying Power and one From Then, Now, Always. The band seems to have a particularly good time performing these.

He Ain't Heavy received a standing ovation and was followed by The Air That I Breathe, a standing ovation, Let Love Past...and another standing ovation.

All in all it was very entertaining return to Dublin after five years. The band gave an energetic performance to a packed concert hall. My only complaints are that Too Young To Be Married didn't stay in the setlist after being performed on this years' Australian/NZ tour and that it took so many years for them to come back.

_________________
Best wishes, Rob

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PostPosted:Mon Sep 26, 2011 19:37 pm
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