19 April 2015
Reviewed by Debbie Tasker
The Hollies arrived at The Lowry in Salford although they did keep saying Manchester (which is kind of funny because some of the original members where actually from Salford!) and correcting themselves on the last leg of their spring tour. I have always enjoyed The Hollies music and pretty much know all their work as my Dad is a big fan – so who better to take along than the man himself!
We were seated in the stalls and had a good view of the stage. The audience, I was surprised to see, were of a very mixed age so they obviously have touched many generations with their superb songs.
Formed in 1962 by Graham Nash and Allan Clarke this English rock band enjoyed huge success from the 1960s through to mid-1970s. I would say He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother and Air That I Breathe are the songs most people know and would associate with The Hollies but there are many more fantastic numbers and I was lucky enough to hear them live last night. They performed a back catalogue including ‘Sorry Suzanne’, the brilliant ‘Bus Stop’, ‘Carrie- Anne’, ‘Jennifer Eccles’ – where were the wolf whistles guys? ‘I’m Alive’ and many more excellent songs from other artists along with some of their later work and a beautiful song that had never been heard before. On a Carousel and Look Through Any Window were given a twist which I felt really worked. Peter Howarth showed just how talented he is and how he deserves to be part of a group that were added to The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 with a hauntingly beautiful song ‘Sandy’.
Early members Bobby Elliott and Tony Hicks are joined by Peter Howarth on main vocals, Ray Stiles of Mud fame (Tiger Feet!) on bass and backing vocals, Ian Parker on keyboard and Steve Lauri on guitar. To be honest when the concert first started I thought Peter Howarth was out of place up there but, I was very wrong, I think it is just getting used to it not being Graham Nash and Allan Clarke’s well known voice singing the main vocals. He actually has a very strong clear voice and the three part harmonies gelled perfectly, after the show my Dad said he had thought the same to begin with but hey! What do we know? Like I said we were wrong.
Bobby Elliott is still playing those drums like there is no tomorrow it was interesting to learn that Phil Collins and Cozy Powell amongst others think of him as their inspiration.
The whole evening was special when they performed ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother ‘ towards the end of the set the audience seemed to come alive. They ended with ‘Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress’ and by this time everybody was up on their feet dancing and singing even my dad was getting his groove on. The lighting deserves a mention as it was magnificent throughout setting the mood for each song.
If you are not familiar with The Hollies music I urge you to have a listen you won’t be disappointed. I give the show a massive 5/5 as does my dad. Go and see the show if you get a chance. The show lasts just over two hours which includes a twenty minute interval.
The Hollies are currently on their Spring Tour, for more information and tour dates visit www.hollies.co.uk.
For other shows are The Lowry visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000