Welcome the ‘second beatles’!

The Cryin Shames on stage
The Cryin Shames on stage

A BAND once billed as The Second Beatles will be re-living the glory days of rock ‘n’ roll in Wigan for the first time in more than 40 years over the festive period.

The Cryin Shames, who cracked the UK top 10 with their biggest hit Please Stay in the World Cup-winning year of 1966, will conjure up the era of mods, rockers and three-minute pop songs at The Bellingham this December.

The band, comprised of guitarist Dave Ferguson, lead guitarist Steve Maloney, bassist Kevin Murphy, drummer Charlie Gallagher and keyboardist Colin Gort, joined by guest vocalist Frankie Connor, formed part of the second wave of The Merseybeat sound, coming to notice alongside fellow Liverpudlian act The Hideaways, who included Frankie in their line-up.

The Cryin Shames will perform a three-hour set at The Bellingham, with the first half of the concert taking in the finest songs from their long career in the music business and the second taking the audience on a whistle-stop tour through the history of rock ‘n’ roll, including everything from the early Elvis Presley records of the ‘50s through to the British ‘60s bands such as The Kinks and classic tunes by the likes of Chuck Berry.

The band re-formed to play a sell-out gig at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel in Liverpool after meeting up again at jam sessions, and the Bellingham appearance will be their first concert in Wigan since they played at The Casino in 1966.

Guitarist Dave said: “It’s a lovely venue and people have been really good to us. All the bands used to play Wigan and it was a major part of the touring circuit.

“I think Buddy Holly came to the town to play once. We’ve got a set of our songs and a historical look at rock ’n roll for a vintage second half with all the hits.

“It’s incredible to be back on stage, we all just keep laughing about it when we’re playing. I can’t really believe it.”

While the Cryin Shames’ re-appearance in Wigan promises to have plenty of nostalgia about it, Dave hopes it will be another opportunity to showcase their classic sound to a younger generation, who have been attending the group’s gigs in greater numbers.

He said: “We get a lot of young people and they seem to have a real affinity with it.

“It’s rock ‘n’ roll, which I think will never die.

“I think everything in music goes full circle. At the moment there’s a lot of kids unhappy with all the X Factor stuff, and there’s been the whole garage scene for many years, and that’s basically the sort of thing we kicked off with.

“The whole scene of ‘60s music is growing like anything thanks to the internet, and people seem to really appreciate that we can put in the original flavour of the era.”

The Cryin Shames will play the Bellingham Hotel, on Wigan Lane, on December 23, starting at 8pm. Tickets are £10, available on 01942 243893.

The hotel is also providing discounted rooms for any fans looking to stay overnight after the gig.

For more information about the band, visit www.cryinshames.com