Crown Casino, Melbourne, Australia

5th February 2001

Crown Towers

At long last the Hollies have returned to Melbourne fronted by new boy Carl Wayne.

Before the show all of the talk was about Allan Clarke and how good the new boy would be. We were about to find out. At ten past eight The Hollies walked on stage with Carl announcing this is The Hollies 2001. They started with 'I'm Alive' and took us rapidly down memory lane. All the hits were there as well as some pleasant surprises. 'Flowers in the Rain' and 'Blackberry Way' were fantastic additions to the Hollies set as to was the Beatles' 'Blackbird'

Carl dedicated 'The Air That I Breathe' to Allan Clarke.The crowd sang along to most if not all the songs; The Hollies' harmony has not gone away, if anything it is bigger and better. 

One of my highlights was 'Too young to be Married' which was a number one here in 1971. Tony's solo in the middle was just brilliant. 

Carl's voice is strong and powerful and was well demonstrated with his rendition of 'Soldiers Song'. 

The Hollies were so entertaining with their anecdotes and told how their equipment went missing around New Zealand and they were using borrowed instruments.

The concert ran for an hour and a half with no breaks. Finally came the rockin' 'Long Cool Women'. They still know how to rock, what a crowd pleaser. The biggest hits were left until last. Before leaving the stage Tony, Alan, Ian and Carl sang an acapella verse of  'It's in Everyone of Us', just the four of them centre stage, brilliant. 

The show was over. I spoke to the couple next to us and we all agreed that Carl was a perfect choice as the new lead singer. My thanks to Tony, Bobby, Alan, Ian, Ray and Carl for a wonderful night.

Review by Anthony Strelley

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