Concert: Solid Gold Rock ’N’ Roll Show 80th Birthday Marty Wilde
Venue: Grand Opera House, York
Review by: Julia Pattison
Original “Dreamboat“ Marty Wilde is a national treasure; his walking on and off stage might have been a tad tentative, but his voice, and stage presence was as powerful than ever – we were in the presence of a rock ‘n’ roll legend, who is still as active as ever, still releasing albums, and composing new songs.
He started the concert off with an impressive version of King Creole, backed by his amazing band, The Wildcats, quickly followed by one of his hits, Rubber Ball.
If we had been in any doubt that at eighty he might struggle with the vocals, he told us all in his powerful cover of Roy Orbison’s “Anything You Want, You Got It”, and we certainly Got It – with no holds barred!
Self-deprecating and witty, “this is a fast moving show with slow moving people…” he and the other 60s icons in the show clearly demonstrated throughout the night that rock ’n’ roll rules!
Mike Berry was his first guest, and received resounding applause when he sang Tribute To Buddy Holly, as well as his own tribute to his musical mentor and partner of an astonishing 59 years, the late Chas Hodges, by singing There Ain’t No Pleasing You, one of Chas and Dave’s iconic hits.
A charismatic and talented performer, leaving us all with big grins as he finished his set with one of his hits, The Sunshine of Your Smile.
He praised the band warmly and said they were like brothers, a sentiment echoed by Marty and all the other performers that night; the affection and camaraderie, and solid gold talent of these vintage rock n rollers shone out, lighting up the whole auditorium with their passion and enthusiasm for the music they just loved to play.
It was good to see special guest Little Miss Sixties Nancy Ann Lee, who packed a powerful punch with her dynamic rendition of The Boat That I Row, and Shout; her duet with Mr Birthday Boy himself, performing Proud Mary, was one of many highlights of this show.
Sadly Eden Kane had just recently had a heart operation, so was not able to appear as advertised, but, and this is so Rock ’n’ Roll was replaced by the irrepressible Charlie Gracie who at a mere 83 years old had flown in from America to join the tour! He was awesome, and wowed us all with his slick Guitar Boogie on his beautiful, and obviously much played and loved Guild guitar. It was a privilege to hear him play his set.
When all the performers gathered together for the finale the roof was almost raised by our cheers of appreciation, oh boy, what an amazing concert.
Will rock ’n’ roll ever die? That’ll Be The Day!