Here Is Greg Ogarrioís Absorbing Take On Bournemouth & Hammersmith...
Ten days after seeing The Shadows give their antepenultimate show on their British "farewell tour", I'm still happy to pester the curious about hearing Hank B. Marvin tear off a scary 10 seconds of biting surf guitar in front of his famous tricky solo in THE SAVAGE.
"See? I can distill THAT American instrumental genre into my chops, when I want to."
Or so it seemed Hank spoke direct to me, a child of surf music who came late to The Shads. Knocked out by the cocky brashness, I let out a yelp.
The rest? A blur of bliss spaced over two nights at Bournemouth's BIC and London's Hammersmith Apollo: Bruce Welch's clear-as-a-bell electric and acoustic rhythm guitar playing shining through the perfect PA mix, especially on WONDERFUL LAND, and his self-penned THEME FOR YOUNG LOVERS; Brian Bennett's hypnotic, 15-minute tour-de-force LITTLE ĎBí drum solo; Hank and Bruce's spine-tingling harmonizing on 1965's last-chance-at-the-Beat Hit Parade, DONíT MAKE MY BABY BLUE; the lads' jocular repartee (Bruce: "I haven't played acoustic on stage for about 42 years." Brian: "It sounds like it!"); one famous solo after another from HBM's CV (particularly memorable:Cliff Richard's GEE WHIZ ITíS YOU and PLEASE DONíT TEASE) and, most joyously, the endless meetings, drinks, handshakes, "Hullo's!" and hugs with Shadowmaniacs from the four corners of the globe.
"Fine, fine, fine," I hear you asking. "But what did Colin Pryce-Jones, life-long devotee of That Sound who vowed never to see the latter-day Shads live, think about That Show?" Doggedly, I tried four separate occasions -- Hammersmith interval, post-Hammersmith milling about, fan get-together at the Bonnington Hotel in Bloomsbury the next evening, transatlantic phone call a week later -- to find out. Here's the best I could extract, carefully measured responses all: "Outstanding musicianship across the board... They looked very comfortable together... Hank, even at his age, looks so incredibly fit and well... Brian Bennett's drum kit was a thing of beauty..."
OK, let's cut to it. "Colin, are you glad you went?"
And a purer purist you will never meet. Frustrating? Sure. But, again, I came late to the fold, didn't get to hear "Apache" when the world was young(er), nor have my world upended as Colin's was by the original combo.
Instead, let me fill in more gaps from a California Yank on a Shadows summer holiday:
God Save The Shadows!
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