Rock 'n' rolling back the years

They've still got it.

While their moves may have some dust on them Sir Cliff Richard and The Shadows had about 14,000 people dancing and singing along to their clean rock 'n' roll at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands on Saturday night.

As the music began the crowd started to clap and with the energy of 20-year-olds, The Shadows exploded on to the stage closely followed by Sir Cliff, clad in a hot pink blazer and bedazzled tie.

STILL GOT THE MOVES: Sir Cliff may be 69 but he shows why he is the Peter Pan of Pop.
STILL GOT THE MOVES: Sir Cliff may be 69 but he shows why he is the Peter Pan of Pop.

The crowd, while definitely of the older persuasion, rose into a cheer as the original men of rock 'n'roll, took them on a trip back in time to the 50s and 60s.

The 50th anniversary concert saw the musicians deliver an assortment of hits from their long careers including It's All in the Game, Travellin' Light and Wonderful Land.

At 69, Sir Cliff was moving like he was 19 again, belting out song after song to a televised backdrop of the cartoons which were in tune with the era of the songs.

Halfway through the first set Sir Cliff disappeared backstage and let The Shadows – lead guitar legend Hank B Marvin, rhythm guitarist Bruce Welch and drummer Brian Bennett – take over the show, providing the crowd with their instrumentals almost effortlessly.

Other supporting musicians at the concert included Bennett's son Warren, who accompanied the group on percussion and keyboard, and Mark Griffiths on bass guitar.

The weather was clear and so was Sir Cliff's voice when he reappeared on stage in a black sequinned blazer.

"Thanks for coming out tonight," Sir Cliff told the crowd.

"There must have been nothing on TV. We have chosen songs that we hope will bring back memories." And with that, the group busted out Living Doll to which the crowd erupted into cheers.

One by one women pulled their husbands, friends or whoever was close by up for a dance.

"This is just brilliant," Sally Criston of Palmerston North as she held her cellphone out towards the stage. "My friend Sarah and I have waited and waited to see this show but she couldn't come so I'm letting her enjoy it from home."  

And surely Sarah would have enjoyed the well-rehearsed jokes made by various members of the band in between songs.

Welch reckoned the band were too old to be back on the touring circuit but was impressed all the same when he asked the crowd whether they had attended their show at the Bowl in 1961 and several of them said yes.

Police said everyone at concert was well behaved and there were no problems.

Taranaki Daily News