Eighties band’s set to take you back to groovy nights

TRIBUTE DATE Stiff Richard are getting back together for a one-off performance on October 19, proceeds going to Trinity Hospice
TRIBUTE DATE Stiff Richard are getting back together for a one-off performance on October 19, proceeds going to Trinity Hospice
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Cast your mind back 25 years.

In 1988 the first BBC Red Nose Day raised £15m; Wimbledon – Football League members for just 11 seasons– won the FA Cup with a 1–0 win over league champions Liverpool; a new magazine called Hello was launched.

You probably spent your Saturday nights watching 3,2,1 with Dusty Bin or listening to the big songs of the year, like Kylie’s I Should Be So Lucky or Phil Collins’ Groovy Kind of Love (who says music was better in the old days?)

Chances are you’d have also – if you liked local music – been to the Royal Oak in South Shore to see Stiff Richard.

If so, here’s the good news – the legendary local band, who were one of the biggest around in these parts back in day, are getting back together for a one-off performance.

The band are taking to the stage at the pub on Saturday October 19 as a tribute to the late landlord Johnny Walker, and his wife Ivy, who both recently passed away. All proceeds are being donated to Trinity Hospice Cancer Trust.

“It’s about giving something back to people who not only gave us so much pleasure from performing in their pub, but also to remember they put the pub on the local music scene map,” said the enigmatically named Mole, lead singer of the band.

“Johnny and Ivy were real characters and their enthusiasm and vision helped make the pub a really great music venue.

“Back then, there were only really a handful of bands and venues, and it always seemed to be a choice between either Shady at the Belle Vue or Stiff Richard at the Royal Oak. They were great days.”

Getting all the lads in the band back together, however, wasn’t straightforward.

“It’s something which has been in discussion for about 18 months, but it has been difficult to get everyone together at the same time,” said guitarist Rob.

“We’ve almost achieved it though, and we really hope that this gig is going to be a lot of fun and also a trip down memory lane for a lot of people”.

Stiff Richard had quite a few line-up changes over the years they performed (late 80s, early 90s), and plan to use as many of the people involved as possible during the night.

As well and Mole and Rob (who now plays with De Palma), the other band members are guitarist and keyboard player Joe (who plays in various bands including 24 Carat Purple and AC/BC), and keyboardist Jamie, who can be seen regularly with Glyn Bailey and the Many Splendid Things.

There is another keyboard player, Martin, who recently returned to the North West after moving away three years ago, and bass player Steve will perform during some part of the evening, despite not playing regularly since Stiff
Richard finally split up over a decade ago. His space will be filled by Brother Rabbit’s bass player, Alan Holford, while Kim Sweeney from Gatorville and AC/BC will step in for the original drummer Alex.

On top of that – and this is a nice touch – Emma Wright, granddaughter of Johnny and Ivy, will be performing. She reached the Boot Camp stage on X-Factor and will open the evening.

Music on the night starts at 8pm and both bars will be opened to accommodate as many people as possible. The event is free, with an extended licence until 2am.