Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells, 6th March 2003

Photo by Helen Macdonald

Set List

Long Cool Woman / Here I Go Again / Jennifer Eccles / Yes I Will / Look Through Any Window / Sandy / Butterfly / I’m Alive / Fire Brigade / We’re Through / On a Carousel / Blowin’ In the Wind

How Will I Survive / Sorry Suzanne / Just One Look / The Baby / Soldier Song / Gasoline Alley Bred / Too Young to be Married / Bus Stop / Blackberry Way / Carrie Ann /  The Air That I Breathe / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Stop! Stop! Stop! / Tiger Feet / He Ain’t Heavy / It’s In Every One of Us

The concert at Tunbridge Wells was absolutely amazing from start to finish; this band really is a force to be reckoned with and this was undoubtedly a show I was very proud to have been a part of; proud of our boys and proud of the people of Kent who supported them with such tremendous applause I thought the roof would come off!

The band took to the stage in their usual fashion. The intro was very dramatic and from then on it rocked all the way. They stormed into 'Long Cool Woman'; I must admit, I do like the idea of this as a first number, it gets the crowd going right from the start.

Carl introduced 'Yes I Will' as his favourite Hollies song and he sings it wonderfully. 'Sandy' is a song I had not heard before, but it was brilliant, giving Carl the opportunity to extend the vocals, filling them with pure passion. Great to see him on keyboards on a truly rockin’ version of 'We're Through', too.

At this concert I took time to watch each member of the band individually. Alan Coates really is someone who is such a brilliant addition to the Hollies, he has such a wonderful exquisite voice and puts so much energy and passion into his singing and guitar playing. Tony Hicks’ guitar solos were a pure joy to listen to and to watch; the sheer concentration on his face while playing will be a lasting memory for me. The twelve string guitar and the guitar sitar were breathtaking. Ian Parker is so enthusiastic and seems to really enjoy playing and singing The Move songs. I think he particularly enjoys 'Fire Brigade'. Ray Stiles is great and  plays his part so well with Tony and Alan in 'Gasoline Alley Bred'. This was one of the highlights of the whole show for me. 'Tiger Feet' remains a firm favourite with audiences and had most of this one on its feet at the front. Bobby Elliott puts so much energy and force into his drumming he surely has to rate up there with the best of them. 

Carl, well what can I say but his performance was magnificent !! On songs like 'Yes I Will', 'Sandy', 'The Baby' and the wonderful 'Soldiers Song', which as he said had special meaning with the impending war, his vocals were incredible. The pitch of his voice was outstanding and you could hear a pin drop as everyone was totally mesmerized by the power of his voice. Thunderous applause greeted him as the songs ended; terrific stuff!

'Blackberry Way' was another big highlight, made even better by two guys at the front who were singing at the tops of their voices and who then proceeded to stand right in front of Carl and conduct the audience in their singing. Carl nearly collapsed with laughter and when he had finished gave the thumbs up to the guys and said that were they only two remaining Move fans!! Carl is fastly becoming a true comedian on stage and had us all in fits of laughter at many times during the night. These boys gel so well together, the banter between them is great.

'I Can Hear the Grass Grow' is undoubtedly a terrific addition to the set. They performed a a rockin’ version of this that Roy Wood would have been proud of. Each band member took their parts in doing the various bits of the song with such affection; Carl looked really happy to be doing this fantastic old Move song with The Hollies.

'The Air That I Breathe' was sung beautifully by Carl, a firm favourite with the fans. 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' had most of the people at the front on their feet holding hands above their heads, singing and swaying with the band. What a way to go out; the boys looked really touched by the audience appreciation.

The applause at the end was deafening; the crowd would have stayed all night if the band had kept playing, they just wanted more and more. This concert will be very hard to top and just glad I was there to witness it. We walked out to the strains of “How Do I Survive”

What a night !! What a band !!    

Review by Linda Janes

Photo by Helen Macdonald

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