The Hollies Sunderland Empire in the 90s

The Hollies Sunderland Empire in the 90s
holliestixalanempire The Hollies toured quite regularly in the 80s and 90s often calling at Sunderland Empire theatre. By 1991 the line up had stabilised to original members Allan Clarke (vocals), Tony Hicks (guitar) and Bobby Elliott (drums), alongside Alan Coates (vocals, guitar), Ray Stiles (ex-Mud, bass) and Ian Parker (keyboards). Stiles and Parker remain in the band to this day. The set during those days continued to focus on the many hits, alongside a few albums tracks and covers. Towards the end of the 90s it was widely reported that Allan Clarke’s wife was very ill with cancer, and he missed a few shows. John Miles stepped in at short notice and covered for Alan at a handful of shows (now that would have been interesting to see), and some shows were postponed and rescheduled. The Sunderland Empire show in 1999 was one gig which was affected. I received a call on the night of the show to tell me that it wasn’t happening. holliesprogalan3 However it was rescheduled shortly afterwards. I went with David and I remember them playing After The Fox from the film of the same name, complete with Peter Sellers’ voice, which amused David. The Hollies continued to be professional and perfection itself in concert, playing all those great songs to sold out crowds. At the end of the tour Allan Clarke announced his retirement from the Hollies. It was generally felt that the band would find it difficult to continue without their lead vocalist. However, continue they did and in 2000 Alan was replaced by 60s star Carl Wayne of the Move. I saw the band a couple of times with Carl, and I’ll write on those gigs next. The Hollies setlist from 1999 was: Here I go again; Jennifer Eccles; Just one look; Sandy (Springsteen cover); Stay; After the fox; Bus stop; Running through the night (the B side of I’m Alive), 
Not that way at all (the B side of Sorry Suzanne); Butterfly (this a beautiful sing from the album of the same name. I remember seeing Cilla Black sing this one on her TV show in the 60s!); Im alive, When I’m dead and gone; On a carousel; Interval. 
I cant let go; Sorry Suzanne; Yes I will; King Midas in reverse; Were through; Peggy Sue got married (from their Buddy Holly album which was their latest at the time); Blackbird (a cover of the Beatles song)
; Look through any window; Carrie Anne; Stop Stop Stop; The air that I breathe; He Aint heavy; Maybe baby / Lets dance (rock n roll medley); Long cool woman.

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