Theatre Severn Audience Bowled Over!

Buddy Holly And The Cricketers

Theatre Severn

27 October 2015

 

Although the bulk of tonight’s audience may have been Buddy Holly fans from the first time round  it was refreshing to see quite a few younger people lapping up the tunes just as much as their parents and grandparents were. A clear indication that the Rock and Roll being played still holds the ability to lift the spirits and make you feel happy. It always has and thanks to bands like Buddy Holly and The Cricketers, it always will.

This was a good show. The musicianship was superb . The Cricketers, all talents in their own rights comprised Rhythm Guitars, Buddy’s Lead, Bass and Double bass, Keys, Sax and Drums; and they could play so well.

It was a tragic accident that took Buddy Holly away from us in 1959. It was a snowy night and Buddy was planning on travelling with the band to the next town. He was tired and the band had been squabbling as the strains of touring and Buddy’s  ego were both irking the boys considerably. When the Big Bopper offered Buddy a seat on the plane, he jumped at it. The rest is Rock and Roll history.

What might not be known or particularly considered is that he was merely 21 when he died. At  21 he had already enough material that 55 years later would fill a two hour show. Makes one wonder how much more he may have brought to the world of music; had that plane not left that snowy town bound for Lubbock, Texas.

The influence of this band on the world of music is immeasurable because not only were they making the entire idea of teen culture a real and important part of life; they were also constantly standing up against the old order. They were the original ragers at the machine. So innocuous now, but that will never negate the importance of Buddy Holly’s work and influence. This was a vital  change for youngsters as the shadow cast over the world by the Second World War was clearly still in view,  as just ten years later Rock and Roll was telling people everywhere that things were changing.

There was no doubting that early role as there was no doubting that these guys could really entertain. The audience loved them. Amongst whoops , claps and cheers the guys ran seamlessly into hit after hit.

Not just restricting themselves to the music of Holly the band presented hits by Richie Valens, The Beatles, The Everly’s and so on. All the hits sounding as fresh and as important now as they ever did then.

On a technical note , due to the line being positioned as it was, the bassist stood on extreme stage left. Maybe another spotlight would have given Andy Ingham, a seriously great bassist , a little more room to move around and still be seen properly. There was a slight sound issue too as the first couple lines of several songs were lost  owing to levels. The vocal would then come through as the respective knobs were twiddled.

However technical issues notwithstanding, this was a show presented by a highly talented and enjoyably skilful band. They were tight and well-rehearsed ensemble. Their humour creaked a little as it was extremely corny but the boys were pitching their act at a multi aged audience and remained mindful of that.

Their fifteen minute encore whilst long, was earned and one is of the mind that if the audience had wished it they would have been happy to play all night.  As countless Rock and Roll bands have already predicted Rock and Roll will never die. Maybe there is more truth in this than any of us ever imagined.

This is a three star review.

Owen J. Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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