A golden era of pop that refuses to die
IN the fast-changing world of pop music, careers can pass in the blink of an eye and only a few artists are lucky enough to be playing into their retirement.
But, while many of their contemporaries have long since stopped performing, 1960s chart stars The Tremeloes continue to play live to a fanbase that now bridges the generations.
The Tremeloes can look back on 50 years of music-making, having signed for Decca in 1961. The label famously auditioned two bands, agreeing to award one of them a three-year contract. The other group were The Beatles but it was The Tremeloes who Decca preferred.
The label's faith was rewarded with a string of international hits including Twist & Shout, Do You Love Me, Here Comes My Baby, Even Bad Times Are Good, Call Me Number One, Angel Of The Morning and their signature tune Silence Is Golden.
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Even though the hits dried up in the early 1970s, the appetite for the music hasn't and, for the last seven years, the band have been headlining the Sensation 60s Experience show that returns De Montfort Hall later this month.
The Tremeloes will be joined by Herman's Hermits, The Union GapUK and The Ivy League.
From 1964, Herman's Hermits chalked up 23 Top 20 singles and 10 hit albums. Their hits include Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter, Silhouettes, There's A Kind Of Hush, Something Is Happening and I'm Into Something Good.
The Union Gap gained worldwide recognition when their release Young Girl hit the top spot in the UK and No 2 in the USA. They followed that up with Lady Willpower and Woman Woman.
The Ivy League's hits include Funny How Love Can Be and That's Why I'm Crying.
But it's the Tremeloes who top the bill.
Joe Gillingham, from the band, says: "The show just seems to get more and more popular. We enjoy it and judging by the response we get from the audience, they do to.
"It's a bit of nostalgia for a lot of people. But some are coming for the first time, having picked up the music from their parents, which is great news for us.
"Everyone seems to know the songs."
Joe thinks there's something special about the 1960s that makes the pop songs from the era stand out.
"There was an abundance of good tunes," he says. "More memorable music than at any other time. There's also no doubt that everyone else around the world was copying what we were doing here."
This tour will see the band say farewell to original member Rick Westwood – but The Tremeloes will carry on.
Joe, who has been with the band himself for more than 25 years, says: "We will miss Rick as you can't do this kind of thing without being friends but we enjoy doing it and The Tremeloes will continue.
"There have been quite a few line-up changes but obviously Rick is an original member, so it's a bit different."
Joe was born and raised in Bournemouth and started his music career at the age of 15 playing bass with a group formed at a local music shop.
Soon, Joe wanted to see the world with his band.
He says: "At 16, I left home for Germany. We arrived at the border and were told that our passports were invalid, so we worked our way back to England playing gigs in a couple of Belgium towns. Once home, we obtained new passports and set off again. This time we stayed for two months playing one night stands in around that area. Being that young it was a very exciting experience."
He knew then that he could never devote his life to anything other than music.
Always a fan of The Tremeloes, his opportunity to join the band came quite by chance.
Joe found himself writing library music and jingles and had an idea to re-record a song with The Tremeloes' Dave Munden providing the vocal.
He says: "At that time, The Tremeloes were not really working so we spent time together writing songs and recording them in a friend's house.
"Eventually the Trems reformed and were asked to play a session for Radio 1.
"I filled in on piano for these sessions and soon after became a Tremeloe myself."
Joe never dreamed that a quarter of a century on he would still be with the band but says has no regrets having 'loved every second of it'.
"It has been a fantastic journey. And once we fire up those songs , we have a ball.
"Until it becomes physically impossible, we will carry on."