Twin Towns, Coolangatta, Australia

8th February 2001

The anticipation factor was high as we drove the 100 kms from Brisbane to Coolangatta to catch the Hollies in one of their few shows on this Australian/New Zealand tour.

I had missed the Hollies last time around about 10 years ago. I found out a few days later that a friend had been given free tickets but not being into the band he didn't go. He hadn't thought to give them to me! This time around though things were a bit special - Carl Wayne was singing with the band!

Of course the Move never toured Australia. The closest we have come in the past is that Bev Bevan has toured here with ELO and more recently with ELO II.  The Move did however have hits here with 'Flowers in the Rain' and 'Blackberry Way'.

Anyway - to the gig. The venue has just reopened it's auditorium after a major refit and it is a fitting place to see and enjoy any band. We weren't disappointed.  

It immediately struck me that the guys don't look anywhere near as old as you know they are and they still know how to "rock" as Americans love to say.  I am not one for recording set lists, but all the hits were there.

Carl is a great front man. He frequently but humorously berated people who walked in front of the stage, at one point asking a lady who was eating potato crisps (!) if he could have one.

That's not to forgot there were others on stage. Alan has an excellent voice as well and is a fine guitarist. Tony played various guitars including a 12 string electric and even a banjo like a demon, looking like a 20 year old with his Beatles style mop-top (we reckon it must be a wig!). Bobby has always sounded great on record but he looks, well, kind of awkward in the flesh but he is nevertheless the perfect drummer for the band (which he has been for some 37 years). Ray was quiet most of the night but is obviously a very competent bassist and Ian demonstrates his keyboard expertise on synths and accordion that is also put to great use in his other band Clannad.

The first mention of the Move came about two thirds of the way through the set but alas we were not treated to any Move songs. Perhaps in the encore but no, despite calls from the audience nothing eventuated. Carl later told me that his throat infection made him abandon the idea. After all that anticipation ..... but still we were treated to a great concert! 

A lot of bands from the sixties tour Australia with various numbers of original members, and the standard varies considerably.
The Hollies are at the top of the crop. 

Review by Marcel Safier

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