The UK leg of The Hollies 50th anniversary tour came to an end at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall on Friday evening, and the band known for their mixture of harmony blending pop rock are showing no signs of slowing down.
The band synonymous with hits such as I’m Alive and He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother have had several line-up changes over the years, however guitarist Tony Hicks and drummer Bobby Elliott have remained constant for over half a century.
Whilst retaining the traditional Hollies vocal style that kept them in the charts during the 60s and 70s, the band has also developed a harder rock sound on some numbers, particularly evident on Hicks guitar work on Too Young to Be Married and Look through Any Window. Lead vocalist Peter Howarth grabbed the audience attention from the offset by delivering a fine vocal on The Day that Curly Billy Shot down Crazy Sam McGee while later delivering a mesmerising solo acoustic performance of I Can’t tell The Bottom from the Top. Undoubtedly the band was in their element when they had audience participation. Keyboard player Ian Parker picked up a tambourine and even mingled with the crowd during their rendition of Stay, while songs such as Carrie-Anne and Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress had people on their feet and joining in.
Undoubtedly this sense of fun mixed with a fresh approach to classic material has contributed to The Hollies longevity during their 50 years in show business. Long may they continue!