PUBLISH DATE: 6 August 2008


I'll start this review by going back 40 years or so, when I first discovered
Chris and bought much of his earliest material. I then met my wife to be Audrey, and she soon recognized the immense talent that is Chris Farlowe. Despite intervening years being taken up with family, mortgage etc we have never forgotten those early days and the pleasure that Chris' songs gave us.

About 4 years ago we chanced a meeting with
Norman Beaker's brother, Malcolm, who owns a record shop in Machynlleth. The conversation soon turned to Chris Farlowe and from that point we were determined that if Chris ever came to West Wales we would go to see him in concert. Imagine our delight when the Aberystwyth gig was added, at a late stage, and we must have been among the first to buy tickets!
Anyway the big day arrived and we were like 4 year olds heading for the beach! Aber is almost a two hour drive from home and we got to the Arts Centre in good time, to find the foyer full already of fans keenly anticipating the gig. We settled into our seats near the stage in the compact auditorium which was just about full to capacity.
We did not have long to wait, as Chris was first up, and hit the ground running with '
All or Nothing'. I think the emotion of seeing Chris for the first time was too much for both of us and I am not afraid to admit that we were both in tears. His voice was as powerful and full of emotion as we had found on vinyl all those years ago and we were just gob smacked by his performance. There was no let up, with 'Hand Bags and Gladrags' being followed in quick succession by 'Stormy Monday Blues' and finally 'Out of Time'.

His performance was, I think, better than we could ever have imagined and the rest of the audience agreed, judging by their reaction. A special word of thanks to
Vanity Fayre who gave tremendous backing support. After Chris there was an excellent performance by P J Proby and some solos by Vanity Fayre, before the break.

Audrey had taken the precaution of making sure I had brought some of my oldest LP's, in case we had the chance of getting Chris to autograph them. As I went to get the LP's from the car, Audrey spotted Chris and when I got back to the foyer, Audrey was frantically trying to attract my attention as she was waiting with him. I think I was 'star struck' and as usual in these circumstances never got to round to asking the questions I really wanted to, but I have to say Chris was very polite and accommodating. I did manage to ask him about ' I've been loving you too long', my favourite Farlowe song, and his antique shop, while he was signing the LP's.

After the break there were further excellent performances by
Mike Pender and Brian Poole, and the gig wound up with everyone on stage singing 'the games people play'.

As we made our way home we reflected on a wonderful evening which lived up to all our expectations and made us determined this would not be the last time we see Chris Farlowe live. Since the gig we have discovered that Chris will be in
Torquay at the end of November. It will mean an overnight stay but we will do everything to be there. Hopefully we can get a request to him for our favourite song, 'I've been loving you too long' which is perhaps appropriate in the circumstances.