New line-up but same old greats

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The Platters - North Pier Theatre

It was the third time I’d seen The Platters, but I’ve probably not seen the same singer – least of all the same line-up – twice.

The name’s still synonymous with the world famous 1950s African American band whose massive hits, Only You and The Great Pretender being just two, make them even now a household name.

And let’s face it, there wouldn’t be so much litigation surrounding the Platters identity if nobody wanted to hear their music any more.

But for those who braved a cold and blustery evening to watch the first in a 16-week series of Saturday night shows, it was really just a chance to hear a few of their hits and relive a little of the doo-wop fun of a bygone era. This largely out-of-town audience wasn’t demanding anything like the same exacting standards we’d enjoyed before; my dad had even seen them in 1959, in their heyday, as well as in Las Vegas and Miami; this time, it was £15 a ticket at an end-of-pier show in breezy Blackpool. While their legacy lives on in scores of groups, all calling themselves The Platters, playing mostly in America but over in the UK too, here on the pier it’s geared to those who have no objection to It Takes Two, River Deep Mountain High, Simply The Best and one or two other numbers being scattered into the set.

There are none of the glorious harmonies of days gone by but, while most of the theatre seats were empty, those who were there rewarded this line-up with a standing ovation and thoroughly enjoyed clapping along to whatever material they were offered.

In the first half, too, the banjo-playing Andy Eastwood went down well, his one-man Wlliam Tell overture alone worth the price of admission.

The show runs Saturdays to October 29.