Herman’s Hermits at the King’s Hall

Twenty-three hit singles including a dozen in the top ten and a number one made Herman’s Hermits one of the top bands of the 1960’s. And 55 years later, they are still going strong, as was evidenced at the King’s Hall in Ilkley last Thursday.

There have been a number of changes to the personnel of the band over this time but Barry Witwam on drums is a surviving member from the sixties. The rest of the current line-up is lead singer and bassist Geoff Foot, guitarist Paul Cornwell and keyboardist Tony Hancox.

The show opened with Silhouettes, their number three hit from 1965 and was followed by Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat, Love Potion Number 9 and then Mrs Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter which never charted in the UK but became a number one hit in the USA.

The rest of the first half of the concert comprised hits and album tracks including Wonderful World, She’s A Lady, My Sentimental Friend, Jezebel, Hold On, Years May Come – Years May Go, Dandy, and Leaning on a Lamppost. Hold On was the theme song to one of their three films whilst Dandy was written by Ray Davies of The Kinks. To end the first half, the group played a melody of 60s hits made famous by other groups and singers – Poetry In Motion, O Carol, Dream Lover, Diana, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow & finally Runaround Sue.

The second half of the concert was introduced by Steve Halliwell who played Zak Dingle in Emmerdale and is an old friend of Geoff Foot and this then continued in a similar manner to the first half with a combination of hits and album tracks. These included You Won’t Be Leaving, Listen People (written by Graham Goulding of 10CC), Just A Little Bit Better, Something’s Happening, Sleepy Joe, She’s A Must To Avoid, No Milk Today (another Graham Goulding composition) and then That’s Life which is a brand new song the group have written over the last few months. After this the audience were treated to a great drum solo by Barry Witham of Sandy Nelson’s hit, Let There Be Drums. To conclude the concert, the group then performed End Of The World which was in the Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter film, a rock and roll medley of Let’s Dance and C’mon Everybody, Something Good (their UK number one hit) and finally A Kind of Hush. The ovation at the end meant they had to return for an encore and this was I’m Henry VIII I Am, which again whilst not charting in the UK gave the group their second number one in the USA.

A great evening’s entertainment for those of us who remembered virtually all these songs from being youngsters or teenagers in the 60s.

John Burland