Hollies still have magic

The Hollies - Ipswich Regent - Friday 20th MarchWHEN you've got a back catalogue as big as the Hollies you could excuse the band for sitting back and just playing a greatest hits tour.

The Hollies - Ipswich Regent - Friday 20th March

WHEN you've got a back catalogue as big as the Hollies you could excuse the band for sitting back and just playing a greatest hits tour.

But this year they have another album, Then, Now & Always, which is full of new material and they are using this tour to showcase the new songs amongst the favourites of old.

The band still has two of the original members, Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliot, who joined around 1960 so as you would imagine they are pretty good at what they do now.


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The whole of the group are very polished and really got into their stride as the evening progressed. Peter Howarth is now vocalist with the band, he took over from Alan Clark a couple of years ago and with his great voice has managed to keep vitality in the old song book whilst injecting something of himself into the new tracks.

The band started the evening with a few of their well know hits including Here I Go Again, Just One Look, Stay and Bus Stop.

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We then heard I Would Fly from the new album which was followed by the great track The Baby which includes a Tony Hicks Sitar intro.

The crowd were lapping it up and really enjoyed the classic We're Through into which they managed to cram two guitar solos, a drum solo and surprisingly an accordion solo. Before the interval they really rocked into Long Legged Woman.

The second half started with some more favourites; Can't Let Go, Jennifer Eccles, Sorry Suzanne and Yes I Will. Peter Howarth did a lovely solo acoustic version of I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top which managed to hush the crowd.

From this they went into my personal favourite of the evening, Weakness from the last CD Staying Power. Towards the end of the evening Tony's banjo playing on Stop, Stop, Stop got the crowd up and dancing but you could tell that everyone wanted to hear the two classics, The Air That I Breath and He Ain't Heavy.

The band took a long standing ovation and called it the best night of the tour so far. I'm guessing they will be back in Ipswich soon.

Mark Westhall.

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