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Review: Into the Shadows at the Lichfield Garrick

A sold out Lichfield Garrick audience saw four musicians pay tribute to one of the most influential guitar bands of the 1960’s, when Into the Shadows appeared there.

The four piece of lead guitarist Rob Fellows, rhythm guitarist and lead singer John Haden, bassist Mike Steed and drummer Colin Evans played some of the group’s best known original material and their more famous covers by the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stanley Myers.

Recreating a guitar sound and style as distinctive as Hank Marvin’s, or a rhythm style as clean as the sound provided by Bruce Welch, Jet Harris and Brian Bennett is quite a difficult task in the live arena, but the four piece managed it with aplomb, using Fender and Burns guitars, Ludwig drums, attention to detail with modern technology and pin-sharp musical ability.

Too often, perhaps due to their early association with Cliff Richard, or their choice of material to cover, the Shadows are pushed into the easy listening category, but it is at concerts like this that the full range of the Shadows songs and influence can be easily seen. So we heard the likes of Dance on or Shadoogie, pieces aimed at getting an audience going, like the aptly named Foot-Tapper, but we also heard some great examples of the band’s ballad playing, with stirring renditions of Cavatina, known as the theme from The Deer Hunter, and Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, with Rob Fellows ringing every note of emotion from his guitar.

As the evening went on, the pace picked up, with a good smattering of songs from Cliff Richard and the group’s early instrumentals. The vocal harmonies that the group featured were also particularly impressive during On the Beach and In the Country.

Instrumental classics included such pieces as Kon-Tiki, Atlantis, Peace-Pipe and a special feature for the group’s Burns guitars during a medley of Glenn Miller pieces and a version of the Thunderbirds theme, which featured original footage of Cliff and the Shadows from the TV show. However, Into the Shadows waited until the encore to play two of the best known instrumentals, Apache and FBI.

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