When we saw Shaky on stage for the first
time, it was unbelievable. Ive never seen anyone
move as well as him, or have the ability to whip up so
much excitement in the audience with just a
bend of his knee or something similar. Cliff is great on
stage, but so was Shaky, and I never got that buzz
watching Cliff move, like I did with Shaky. Hes
mellowed a little, in many ways, over the years, but even
on the 1999 and 2000 tours he still got them rockin
in the aisles. 1999 in Ayr was an unbelievable show.
Scottish audiences have almost always been, FANTASTIC!
(Even back to the Castaways days). The audience reaction
when Shaky walked on stage (having not toured for some
years) was awesome, and he responded to them, whipped
them into a frenzy, had them in his hand a
great night for all. The 99 show at Fairfield Hall
Croydon was another unexpectedly excellent show. You dont
really expect London audiences to be responsive,
certainly this lot hadnt read the script, they were
amazing!! Shaky put in one of his best performances of
the tour that evening. Glasgow Pavilion 2000 was
another great show from Shaky and the band, although if
youd read the national press the next day, you may
not have thought so. They concentrated purely on the way
the bouncers treated some of the crowd, who
were after all, only having a good time. That is
why you go to concerts isnt it?
I dont think Shaky gets the credit he deserves for
his contribution to British music. Wasnt he the
most successful recording artist in the UK in the 80s.
I remember doing a concert with him, at the London
Palladium where, for part of the show, we played a medley
of some(not all), of his hits, which
lasted about 30 minutes, and that was only playing parts
of the songs! He also kept rocknroll alive
and kicking , and in the charts! He sang the music
he loved and performed best. Occasionally he changed
direction a little, to keep up with changes going on in
music, but he was always based in rocknroll.
John Perry, Stu and me parted company with Cliff, we
also went our different ways. Stu had moved down to
Devon sometime earlier and decided to retire down there
due to ill health. He was involved in the church in his
local community and seemed happy to stay down there. John
Perry had also got religion in a BIG way. I wasnt
ready to give up just yet, even though the music
business had started to change and it didnt seem to
be in need of 3 blokes singing great harmonies anymore. (Although
when Cliff came back, after the musical, he went back to
using 3 blokes--- trouble was, it wasnt us!) I
still dont think our replacements ever
achieved the standard of harmonies that we gave him.
Theres an art to backing harmonies that
isnt just based on having three people who can sing
Photographs © copyright Tony Rivers
Mick, Tony, Ant, doing the ‘support’ for Shaky,
Ipswich Gaumont, March,1988.
Same again, Scarborough Futurist, March ‘88