We Were There But We Will Remember!

Bringing Back the Sixties.

The New Amen Corner/Mike D’Abo/Little Miss Sixties

Theatre Severn

Thursday 7th June 2018

One is always concerned with the Sixties bands as to who were the original members and who is related to who. It is impossible to say that The New Amen Corner have any originals at all. They were all too young with the exception of the Bassist. On checking the internet it seems that they do actually have none of the originals …but it doesn’t make an iota of difference as they are stunning.

Fronted by Glen Leon the former Welsh R&B band, The New Amen Corner can cover every tune ever written for the sixties and with some aplomb. They are the must see Sixties band. They are powerful, energetic and there is no doubt over the singing and the musicianship. It is fair to say this four- piecer is every bit as entertaining as they ever were back in that very distant day.

The New Amen Corner stayed on stage throughout Mike D’Abo’s set and gave him the solid backing that he needed. D’abo rather proudly told us about his song Handbags and Gladrags, covered later by both Rod Stewart and The Stereophonics and made a spectacular job of it himself. He also wrote Build Me Up Buttercup, who doesn’t love that one? He sang that well too. Operating however, maybe at the top end of his range there were a couple of moments when one suspected his voice might not arrive tunefully where it should. But it did, every time he was bang on the money.

If you have heard of D’abo but can’t think from where he took over from Paul Jones in Manfred Mann but he is a great writer and has made his zillions by penning the classics that so many of us have in the backtrack of our lives. It was an honour to watch him work. Hit after hit note, after perfect note The New  Amen Corner and Mike D’Abo, is  a marriage surely made in heaven. Excellent.

Offering up the female element of the show was Nancy Ann Lee A.K.A. Little Miss Sixties. She is a powerful singer with a big stage presence but with a voice a little too nasal for this reviewer, she was necessary to move the show forward and really had such a strong and powerful voice but occasionally her diction faltered and it was hard to actually make out the lyrics. The songs are important and no one wants to miss the words.

Watching sixties shows always gets one thinking why the decade was such a phenomenon, then you realise Lennon and McCartney were actually singing, “I wanna Hold Your Hand,” a mere eighteen years after the liberation of Auschwitz. Realising the horrors that everyone had come through it was no surprise there should be an explosion of relief manifesting itself in the luxury of art and colour. That era, one believes is the very bed where the generation that changed the world were conceived. It wasn’t, of course, all flowers and love. One had to still dress like Father at work and one still had to serve in the forces mandatory two years.  I wonder, any one fancy that today? Understanding where we have come from puts a whole lot into context.

But tonight without a demob suit in sight this band did exactly what they said they were going to do, they revisited the Sixties and it was an exciting journey they led us on.

This Is a Four 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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