I recently overheard two young relatives express the opinion that The Shadows had only been Cliff Richard’s backing group.
They were, in fact, the first backing group to emerge as stars in their own right and had careers both as a band and as solo performers outside the shadow of Cliff Richard’s phenomenal success.
Formed in 1958, initially as The Drifters, they went on to dominate the pre-Beatles, British rock and pop scene in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They were active for various periods up until 2015.
The Shadows were pioneers of the four-member line up with which we have become so familiar. That is to say, lead, rhythm, bass guitars and drums.
Their output was mostly instrumental but they also wrote and performed songs.
Virtually the entire soundtrack of the film Finders Keepers, starring Cliff Richard, was attributed to them. Their musical range covered rock, surf-rock, pop and ballads.
Their influence on many guitarists who followed in their wake is evident. These include artistes such as Brian May and Eric Clapton.
The band also had a profound influence on the musician Justin Daish, who will be presenting his show Shadowing Hank at Brixham Theatre on Friday, December 10.
This is a stunning tribute to The Shadows and, in particular, lead guitarist Hank Marvin.
Justin virtually becomes the legendary performer.
One of the most impressive aspects of Shadowing Hank is the high quality of all the lighting and sound systems which take Justin three hours to set up before a performance.
It is possible that no one else in the world has developed a show of this scale to be such a complete production.
He has altered the vast majority of commercially available backing tracks to suit his personal take on Hank and, in some cases made his own from scratch.
He has also designed the lighting settings and synchronised them with the music so that they move and change colour exactly as he has programmed them to do.
In addition, he has constructed the guitar sounds himself with assistance from the Echoes from the Past sound system that Hank used for many years.
Shadowing Hank is a full look-alike and sound-alike tribute to the great guitarist.
It covers all areas of Marvin’s career with more recent, dynamic pieces proving this is much more than simply another 1960s show.
There is a slightly larger vocal content than an original Hank Marvin concert so as to appeal to a broader audience. The vocal material includes songs by Cliff Richard and The Shadows and numbers by musicians who influenced the band such as Buddy Holly, The Everley Brothers and Chuck Berry. What a line-up!
Why not come and roll back the years with The Shadows greatest hits such as ‘Apache,’ ‘Wonderful Land’ and ‘Tapper.’ Join us for a journey through the decades and immerse yourself in the exquisite soundtrack of our lives created by Hank Marvin.
Better still bring along some younger relatives and give them the chance to experience this wonderful music, as a Christmas treat perhaps.
The show starts at 7.30pm with doors open at 6.30pm so you can enjoy a pre-show drink. Tickets are available at the box office during opening hours or on 01803 415987 or online at www.brixhamtheatre.uk They also can be bought on the evening of the show or in Brixham library during opening hours. Price £12, concessions £10.
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