BACHELORS PRESENT SENTIMENTAL
SMORGASBORD TO AUDIENCE

York gave the legendary Bachelors a fitting farewell to their WA tour in what can only be described as a memorable, magnificent musical feast in the town hall on October 23.

Comments from the mainly middle-aged audience ranged from ‘unbelievable, aren’t they great’ to ‘gob-smacked’. The professionalism they exhibited both on and off stage was commendable. They showed a quality that is sometimes lacking in the entertainment world today.

The timeless quality of their music with the precise timing and harmonies touched the very attentive audience. The cabaret-style concert was successful with patrons respecting the trio’s request for no dancing or talking during the performance.

All the hits were there from Ramona, Diane and No Arms Could Ever Hold You through to their very sentimental arrangement of My Heart Will Go On from the film, Titanic. As Jonathan Young quipped, “the Titanic was alright when it left Belfast” - such was the banter that accompanied each memorable number.

Founding member, John Stokes, enjoyed a quick trip to York FM with me and showed a genuine interest in the town itself. Kevin Neill made up for his shortness in stature with his wit and his virtuosity on Gretsch guitar. This was on show particularly with the number, Black Eyes, an original instrumental co-written by the Bachelors.

Neill has had a long career and backed the likes of Johnny Ray and Frankie Laine to name a few. I was bold enough back stage after the show to ask him his age and he proudly said that he was 78 years old!

The lighting and audio package that accompanied the show was capably operated by one man. It took nearly three hours to dismantle and remove from the town hall afterwards.

Support artist, Geoff Jones, from Sydney gave a flawless performance and revealed a strong, controlled voice running through popular numbers including some from Engelbert Humperdinck. One patron who was obviously impressed with Jones said, “If you’re the support act how good is the main act!”

The Bachelors are truly an international act and it was worth the 12 months of negotiating to bring them to York. A special thanks to Harold and Jan Rye who shared the workload in the presentation of this blue-ribbon event. The night will be long remembered.

Leigh Carmichael
  

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(Top) The Bachelors on stage during their concert at the York town hall.

(Below) During the Bachelors’ visit to York FM, (L-R) Leigh Carmichael and John Stokes with station manager, Sandra O’Brien.