Tameside Hippodrome, Ashton-under-Lyne, 18th November 2000

Set List

I'm Alive / Here I Go Again / Jennifer Eccles / Just One Look / On a Carousel / Soldier Song / Bus Stop / Flowers in The Rain / Butterfly / I Can't Let Go / The Baby / Blowing In The Wind 

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Stay / Sorry Suzanne / Yes I Will / Look Through Any Window / Peggy Sue Got Married / Blackbird / We're Through / Carrie Anne / Stop Stop Stop / The Air That I Breathe / Blackberry Way / Tiger Feet / Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress / He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Well, well, hasn't Carl done well ! I wasn't sure what to expect but this was an outstanding show.  I wondered how they would combine Carl's impressive CV with the might and longevity of  The Hollies without losing the plot, but they did, admirably, supplemented by the musical quality of Alan Coates on guitar /vocal and Ian Parker on keyboards and accordion. Then there was Ray Styles (ex Mud) on bass/ vocals and as much at home with Hollies originals Bobby Elliot and Tony Hicks as you could ever wish. Lots of fun and banter and Carl totally at ease singing hit after hit , at his very best on 'The Air that I Breathe' and 'He Ain't Heavy, He's my Brother', complete with the mouth-organ intro.

Carl showed his keyboard skills with an impressive break during one of the more improvised pieces - but he was equally as happy to play tambourine, leave the set from time to time, or do backing vocals.

The harmonies, as you would expect, were spot on - and it felt good to hear The Hollies fans show their appreciation when Carl did the Move songs. 'Flowers in the Rain' was a bit too acoustic for my liking but the audience loved it and I felt very proud -I knew all the words!

After a two hour set the audience clambered for more  - and guess what was the first part of the encore ? I knew something special was about to happen as Carl started chatting about a young lad he met, who was just six years old when Carl was ten, and what a brilliant song writer he became. The  next song was dedicated to him -   Roy Wood. Then with the synth droning in the background and the whole band plugged in came an absolutely electric version of  'Blackberry Way'.  Roy Wood, you would have been very proud of Carl Wayne; he played a blinder ! 

I remember  reading somewhere that the Move were  once described as The Hollies with balls !  Well, I have to say this was an absolutely tremendous rendition, as good as I have ever heard. When you go to see The Hollies - and you must if you get the chance - you will know what I mean. 

Because now we can all  live 'happily ever after' and sleep safe at night. The Hollies have found their balls at last!

Review by Peter Manion

Photo by Ralph Emerson  

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