Bowl of Brooklands rocks to the lively Hollies

Die-hard Hollies fans spread their picnics and revelled in the music of the Hall of Fame hit sensations last night.

TSB Bowl of Brooklands wasn't bursting at the seams (the official tally was 3250) but there was plenty of spring in the joints of those who chose to dance to the hits that first made the charts 40 odd years ago.

Many at last night's show praised the calibre of musicians playing at the New Plymouth venue in recent years and most spoken to had been at the Joe Cocker/George Thorogood concert two weeks ago.

Good night: UK band The Hollies performing at the Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth.
Good night: UK band The Hollies performing at the Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth.

Hollies disciple, ex-pat Englishman Mike Churms, now of Inglewood, said he had seen the Hollies several times and rated the band one of, if not the best.

"It's going to be a great night, we've got top conditions and the Hollies are incredible live."

Hollies lead singer, Peter Howarth, welcomed the crowd with a cheeky wave and insisted on united "hands in the air," adding, "get excited people, it's not raining".

Guitarist, Tony Hicks, and drummer, Bobby Elliott, have been here before and in a pre-concert interview were quick to say how good it felt to be back.

An unexpected detour by bus from Hamilton when New Plymouth's airport was fog-bound on Saturday hadn't fazed the crew too much.

"I'm not quite sure why this is called the Midas Touch tour, we should have just called it the By the Skin of our Teeth tour because that's how it's been the whole trip."

Hicks and Elliott, agreed the Bowl of Brooklands was a stand-out venue. "Last time we were here [in the 1970s] there were people swimming in a duck pond in front of the stage. I see it's still there," said Elliott.

In a moment of spontaneity earlier in the day, Hicks, borrowed a guitar to strum the tune of All I Need is the Air that I Breathe while bandmates sang along, acknowledging the traditional reply appreciated but not often practised when visitors experience a powhiri.

Elliott says being in a position where the band can pick their tours contributes to the longevity of The Hollies.

"Being able to come to places like New Zealand that are truly beautiful is a pleasure. I often say to friends and family that New Zealand is the future.

Taranaki Daily News