Rock ‘n’ roll hero brought to life

Halfway to Paradise

Halfway to Paradise

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A 50s rock and roll hero will be brought back to life at the Grand Theatre on Sunday.

Halfway To Paradise - The Billy Fury Story marks the year that would have seen the star turn 75.

The original Tornados band will recall their time with him, playing the timeless hits - Last Night Was Made For Love, I Will, Jealousy, Halfway To Paradise and many more - with Colin Gold recreating Fury’s vocals.

Band member Chris Raynor said the Tornados were Fury’s longest running band, working with him from 1970 until his retirement later that decade due to ill health - and had even been talking about reuniting in the early 80s, shortly before his death.

“At the time, we probably didn’t realise we were working with such a huge name, but as the years went by it made more sense,” he said. “In the 60s there were so many acts and Billy was one of those who’s become a national treasure.

“In the Sixties, he sold more records for his record company Decca than the Rolling Stones, who were also on the label.

“Even now we are finding things out about Billy, he was actually quite a prolific poet which we’ve incorporated into the show - but don’t worry it’s just a moment, not some big recital.”

With Billy’s loyal fans behind then, Colin said they were still enjoying playing the classics, especially with Colin on board as lead singer.

“Finding him was bizarre,” he said. “It was 1996 and we were thinking about auditioning for somebody to play Billy, and he had been on Stars In Their Eyes,” Chris explained. “Nobody had done Billy on the show before so we phoned him and didn’t have to look any further.

“Colin was just excellent and he was able to sing the high range of some of the songs - it will have been 20 years next year.

“The first show with him was strange, a lot of emotions and it being a complete sell out.

“Billy was known for his big quiff, and Colin had this tiny one to start with and it kind of got bigger and bigger as he got into character over a couple of months.”

* Halfway To Paradise - The Billy Fury Story, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, Sundays, August 2 and 23. Call (01253 290190 to book. All seats £22.