Shakin’ Stevens, York Barbican Centre, Saturday night
Review by Paul Brook
IF you’ve only ever seen Shakin’ Stevens performing his Christmas hits wearing bad jumpers on Top of
the Pops 2, you might find it hard to appreciate the kind of fervour the man can create. But on Saturday,
only the most resolute non-dancers remained in their seats as Shaky fever gripped the Barbican Centre.
Stevens was given a rapturous reception on his return to York and he gave his adoring fans a night to
remember.The jumpers and denims may have been replaced by a stylish dark suit, but the moves are the
same, the songs are as catchy and the voice still quakes as it did back in the early Eighties.
As time goes by, it seems Shaky accumulates more and more fans of all ages. The swivelling of his hips
was greeted with screams from the chicks and cheers from the cats. Boys and girls alike clapped until
their hands were sore. And the retro rocker was clearly enjoying himself. Between numbers, a broad
grin appeared on his ever-youthful face. With the help of an exceptional band, Shaky tore into his hits,
and it didn’t take long for a mass of rock‘n’roll crazed revellers to surge to the front of the auditorium.
Shaky was supported by Rosie Flores, who delivered a spirited and enjoyable set of up-tempo songs
with an appealing Nashville twang. But the night belonged to the Welsh king of rock ‘n’ roll.
If Shakin’ Stevens returns next year, don’t bet against a sell-out.
small piece on page three of The Sun titled “No Shaken’ Here” claimed that
“Rock n’ Roll fans stormed
out of a Shaken’ Steven’s show last night after being barred from dancing. The 53-Year old Green Door
singer had insisted that the audience at Glasgow’s Pavilion theatre stay seated. Pavilion manager
Ian Gordon said “I have total sympathy with the fans. He is not welcome back.” A spokesman for Shaky
said: “We have a lot of disabled people at our shows and if everyone stood up they wouldn’t be able to
see.” The Article in the Evening Times read “Shakin’ Stevens was today threatened with a stage ban after
hundreds of his fans were told to stop dancing during a packed concert at Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre.
Last night dozens of fans, some dressed in Rock’n’Roll gear , walked out in disgust after the order was
given. One angry man caused the singer to walk of stage by shouting at the rocker. The furious fan then
smashed a glass door as he was led out by ushers. Shakey returned to once the man left the theatre. The
singer’s management had ordered theatre bosses to put up notices ordering fans to stay seated. If they
didn’t, last night’s concert - part of a UK-wide tour would be cancelled. More than 1000 mainly
middle-aged fans turned up for the show to see Shakey, who had a string of hits in the early 80s. But
after they were warned not to stand in the aisles more than 40 walked out in disgust. A theatre official
said: “The singer’s management insisted that fans didn’t like people standing up in front of them.
“People who go to a rock and roll concert do stand up ... It’s not a poetry reading. It seems Shakin is
trying to cultivate a softer style.” Theatre manager Iain Gordon today said: “In my 28 years at the
Pavilion I have never encountered anything like this. “Fans are here to enjoy themselves.” He added:
“If Shakey insists on this he is not welcome back here.” The 53-year-old singer could not be contacted
for comment today. I was at the Glasgow gig and the only time Shaky left the stage was to come back
for the encore. I was a fantastic show with the best atmosphere I’d ever seen. On the theatre plan it
showed a standing area at the back of the balcony but I was told I couldn’t stand there.