Few singers or musicians can turn their hand to a new set list five years into their career, but anyone witnessing 1960s pop star Dave Berry’s performances on stage whenever he tours five decades on from his initial chart success are frequently treat to a little more than just a run through of his hits.
Famed for songs Little Things, Mama and The Crying Game, Dave features a wide range in his act including Blues material and lesser known recordings. “It gives me the opportunity to play different sets when I'm on stage,” Dave recently told Andy Howells, “its nice people notice that I'm working on my show and not singing the same old songs. I do a couple of JJ Cale songs like Cajun Moon that suit my style.”
Dave is back on tour in 2016 for The Solid Silver 60s Show and will join Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, The Merseybeats, Brian Hyland and New Amen Corner for an evening of classic hits at St David’s Hall on April 29.
The announcement of the tour coincides with a recently released triple CD set of classic 60s tracks which features all the participating tour artists as well as The Searchers, Wayne Fontana, Gerry & the Pacemakers and the late Cilla Black.
Dave’s contribution to the collection is a rendition of his debut hit Memphis Tennessee, “That came about before the time of social media through the fans response,” says Dave, “I’d been signed with Decca for 6 or 7 months and they couldn’t find a song for me. We’d done Memphis Tennessee on (BBC Radio’s) Saturday Club and it was the producer who said “We’ve had a terrific response for Dave Berry’s version of Memphis Tennessee.” Chuck Berry’s version hadn’t been released at that stage and Chuck was virtually unknown apart from within the industry so we got in touch with Decca, went in to record it and that’s how it came about.”
Dave was also famed for his theatrical stage style; something he admits was owed to the influence of American pop stars such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Gene Vincent. Dave remembers “It developed from people like that, to looking at visual things in theatre, ballet and mime, sort of like what David Bowie did after me. I worked a lot with strippers and picked up a lot of ideas from them. There was one stripper who walked on naked and got dressed during her act, I've never tried that yet!”
- Tickets for The Solid Silver 60s tour are available from Flying Music and The Solid Silver 60s Album is available on Compact Disc and download now.
- A version of this interview by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on September 25, 2015
- Read on.. Sixties legend Dave Berry On why he's still happy to be touring