One of the original Merseybeat stars makes his return to the UK after 16 years away – kicking off a tour at the Grand Theatre.
Billy J Kramer gets on the road on Sunday with the 30th anniversary tour of the Solid Silver 60s show.
Billy, who had 1960s fame under iconic manager Brian Epstein and hits penned by Lennon and McCartney, was at one time a regular in Blackpool, playing summer seasons in the resort.
“My memories of summer in Blackpool is that it was such a change,” he explained.
“The 60s were really crazy and it was nice to be settled in one place for a while.
“The theatres had a bowling league, and we used to play against each other on Monday nights.
“Blackpool was always the Mecca for entertainment, it was a cool time.”
Now based in New York, Billy enjoys the benefits of today’s technology when it comes to recording new music – tracks from his new album I Won The Fight will feature alongside the 60s classics on Sunday night.
But he’s not about to start hiding behind the gimmicks of production. “There were people I wanted to have on these songs, I could email them the track, they could do their part and send it back,” he said. “I had people in England, in Chicago, and put it all together in New York – and I had a ball doing it.
“People have asked what it was like going back to the studio after all those years; it was exciting but I wasn’t using the technology to make myself better or to hide things.”
And what can fans expect of Sunday’s show, which sees Billy back touring the UK for the first time since 1999?
Also on the bill are Mike Pender – the original voice of the Searchers, Chris Farlowe and PP Arnold, all backed by the New Amen Corner, plus special guests The Merseybeats.
“The great thing about this tour, there are so many copy bands going round but this show is the real deal.
“I sing all my own recordings, Mike, PP, Chris all sing their own recordings.”
Solid Silver 60s plays at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, on Sunday, March 22. Call; (01253) 290190 for tickets.