Albert Halls, Stirling, 12th March 2004

Set List

I’m Alive / Here I Go Again / Jennifer Eccles / Yes I Will / On A Carousel / Listen To Me / Can’t Tell The Bottom From The Top / I Can’t Let Go / We’re Through / Fire Brigade / Look Through Any Window / Blowin’ In The Wind

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Long Cool Woman / Sorry Suzanne / Just One Look / The Baby / Soldier’s Song / Gasoline Alley Bred / Too Young To Be Married / Bus Stop / Blackberry Way / Carrie Anne / Stop! Stop! Stop! / The Air That I Breathe / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Tiger Feet / He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother / It’s In Every One of Us

Overheard in the bar before the show from a well-to-do Stirling couple:

“Do you think it’s the real Hollies or one of these tributes?“ / “Well, the only one I’ve heard of is Allan Clarke, actually.”   

Having become a Hollies convert in 1963 after seeing them perform “Ride Your Pony”  live on CRACKERJACK!, I knew even at the tender age of ten that these guys could perform. “Just One Look“ was the current single and with ‘Top of the Pops’ and another live appearance on The New Musical Express awards show on TV they became, for me, the top Sixties band. 

Having managed to see them live eight or nine times since the early Seventies, The Hollies have consistently produced the most brilliant vocals and harmonies and the highest level of musicianship that can be achieved in live performance.  

So it was with great excitement and anticipation that we set out for Stirling on Friday, having never heard the ‘new’ line up with ex-Move vocalist Carl Wayne fronting the band. With a sell out crowd to welcome them, The Hollies tore into their first three songs "I’m Alive" "Here I Go Again" and "Jennifer Eccles" in quick succession and were well into their stride by the time they came out with two brilliant variations of the classics “Look Through Any Window” (done in an American “West Coast Style“ with fantastic guitar interplay between Tony Hicks and Alan Coates) and a calypso style “We’re Through” with Carl Wayne taking over on piano as Ian Parker dazzled the audience with his virtuoso accordian playing in the balcony. Great stuff!

Other first half highlights for me were the “unplugged” versions of  "Listen To Me" and "I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top" and Alan Coates' fantastic singing and underrated guitar playing. It was also nice to see Ray Stiles and Ian Parker stepping forward to take on vocal duties.

The second half continued in the same mood with hit after hit. But I must congratulate Carl Wayne for his soulful rendering of "The Baby" and (for me) the highlight which had to be "Soldier's Song". Carl added even more drama to the performance and it sent a shiver down my spine. A few Move Classics were thrown in and "Blackberry Way" had the crowd singing along. They threw in "Tiger Feet" and the show was over all too soon. "He Ain't Heavy" and a beautiful and touching one-verse version of  "Its In Every One Of Us" finished off a truly professional performance that confirms the Hollies status as the greatest of the British pop groups. 

Review and photo by Davy Arthur

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