An evening the with the Hollies – The Anvil – Basingstoke – Friday 3rd November 2023
My partner and I grew up musically in the late 70s and 80s, so when I said we were going to see The Hollies, my partner asked me two questions.
Do you know any of the songs?
Are there any of the original members?
The first question was answered by asking Alexa to play “the Hollies and Spotify” and she played: –
The Air that I Breath
Long cool woman (in a black dress)
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
In fact, we knew all of those tracks. I do remember my mother saying, looking back, somewhat ironically, in 1974, when we heard “the air that I breathe”, “that’s the Hollies, are they not past it now?”
“The air that I breathe” did get to number 2 in the charts but had to compete with; Alvin Stardust, David Bowie, The Wombles, Suzi Quatro and Mud.
To answer the second question; Tony Hicks has been a member of the Hollies since 1963 and Bobby Elliot, the drummer, has also been a member since 1963. The other members now include Ray Stiles on bass, Ian Parker on keyboards who joined the Hollies in 1991, Vocals by Peter Howarth who told us on the night he had been in the Hollies for 20 years. And the second guitarist, Steve Lauri who has played in many bands.
The Anvil was full, after all it was a Friday and the Basingstoke people sang and danced throughout the night as The Hollies gave us hit after hit. To give it a bit of variety, singer Peter Howath played a few numbers on solo guitar and Tony, introduced a few of the songs were different arrangements to what had appeared on records.
Tony Hicks and Steve Lauri shared the guitar duties and solos, but it was Tony that led on the songs that needed the electric banjo and the guitar / sitar.
The songs from the 60s, were played in the arrangements of the day, which meant there was no keyboards and Ian played the tambourine and in one song, walked up and down the audience shaking hands and hugging those that preferred a hug.
It was a wonderful walk down memory lane and you would be surprised how many songs you do know.
Timothy Hughes | Now Spinning Magazine