Audience jumping to sound of Ol’ 55
VENUE: Jupiter’s Casino, Gold Coast
DATE: November 26, 2016
Review by SHIRLEY BROUN
FROM the very moment Ol’ 55 first leaped onto centre stage, the audience were ready to relive the music of the 50s and 60s.
Rock’n’roll dancers jumped to their feet in readiness and I heard one lady next to me say `I just can’t wait, I love their music’.
Celebrating with this 40th Anniversary Tour, the group did not disappoint delivering all their classic greats including “On the Prowl”, “Looking for an Echo” and “(I Want A) Rockin’ Christmas”, to name but a few.
It was evident by the crowd’s enthusiasm to get up and dance that Ol’ 55 – featuring lead singer Frankie J Holden, Wilbur Wilde (Nick Aitken) on saxaphone, brilliant songwriter Jimmy Manzie on bass guitar, Rob Jones on rhythm guitar and vocals and Patrick Drummond on lead guitar and vocals – were succeeding in winning over an auditorium full of music fans that transcended four decades of listening to rock’n’roll, within moments of them striking the first chord.
The A-listed repertoire began with Diana, followed by Won’t You Let Me Take You on a Sea Cruise, Ruby, Teenager in Love and that was just the start.
Adding to the night was the great banter on stage between Ol’ 55 members, led by Frankie J and Wilbur, which seamlessly and with great humour led into each bracket of music from their enticing repertoire.
All members had their moment to shine and it was captivating.
Moments in the bands history were also interwoven into the dialogue such as Holden and Wilde’s departure from the band in the late 1970s to, as Frankie put it `Get a Job’, a fitting intro to their hit of the same name.
The audience was delighted to learn that Skyhooks drummer Freddie Strauks was also included in the Ol’ 55 line-up on the night especially when the band paid tribute to the late Shirley Strachan with a performance of `All My Friends are Getting Married’.
Ol’55 may be one of Australia’s great bands that rocked legions of fans in the 1970s but age has definitely not wearied them. The crowd were inspired by their intense energy and commitment to reliving the great rock’n’roll era that had such a lasting and memorable effect on millions across the nation.
Seated in the audience, one could hear people remembering where they first saw the band performing or the events in their lives that were recalled by their songs.
The dance floor was full and the entire audience stood up at their seats as the band ignited the stage with `On The Prowl’ and a much deserved encore of `Rollover Beethoven’.
Their performance was capped off by a special cameo appearance by Australian broadcaster, journalist, commentator and rock music guru Glenn A Baker who was Ol’55′s first manager in 1975. A great and memorable night enjoyed by all!