Richard Cowling Offers This Report & Fantastic Pics From The Opening Concert...

The Shadows provided the footprint for what was to follow pre The Mersey Sound. It was as if they had never been away.

On a personal note, it was sad on two counts to see the Shads play the Futurist, one to witness their last visit to Scarborough and two the theatre is soon to be redeveloped or demolished in the next twelve months. I still hold the lasting memories with images of the crowds not seen in the town since the 60sÖ..? Massed crowds outside the theatre for the arrival of our heroes, never had we seen so many people queuing as far down as the Olympia complex, I recall crossing the road under the Spa Bridge just in time as catch a glimpse of Brian Bennett as his vehicle swept by, I wondered what their thoughts were at that point. My thoughts where simply: I donít care what they play, I just wanted to see them all together again on stage. I understand they spent the best part of the week on the outskirts of the town, leading up to the concert in rather nice surroundings: it was a dream come true who would have thought it, back on stage together again. There was so much love, such an atmosphere of expectation and an added bonus as I had never seen The Shads play the Burns guitars in the flesh.

Looking back, I think to 1984, waiting outside after that particular concert at this same theatre, just thought I would hang about outside after the show way back then to see them leave; everyone came out and off into a Saab. Hank came last with what looked like a music satchel: this was to be my first contact, dry mouthed, not really knowing what to say... we shook hands; I thanked him for a fabulous evening.

Now here we are in 2004 witnessing the guys who provided the footprint for what was to follow pre The Mersey Sound... it was as if they had never been away... embarking on this very tall order from their fans... they pulled it off a dream... I thought an excellent set list, representing their highly successful career.

My final salute of nostalgia was to continue to York, Hammersmith and finally to the Palladium along with thousands of dedicated fans from all over the world.

All Photographs © Richard Cowling, Scarborough 30 April 2004

RC, 2004

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