Rock band The Hollies chat to The Buzz ahead of their Cheltenham Town Hall gig
THEY were major players in the iconic 1960s Brit pop revolution and are going as strong as ever today.
And it seems The Hollies have no plans to stop performing anytime soon.
Recently inducted into the American Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame, they have cemented their reputation as one of the finest groups around.
And luckily for you, they are heading to Cheltenham Town Hall this week as part of their 50th anniversary tour.
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It's a venue drummer Bobby Elliott has fond memories of. "We must have played the Town Hall about 20 times," he tells The Buzz. "We have very happy memories, I remember when they used to have dancers.
"It's a very established venue for rock music and we have played some of our biggest hits over the years."
As major players in the iconic 1960s Brit pop revolution the band enjoyed more hits than The Beatles from 1963 to the mid-1970s, clocking up 18 top 10 hits including The Air That I Breathe and He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.
And Bobby says they are excited as ever to start performing again in the UK, having recently flown back from New Zealand where they played a series of gigs.
"We've done quite a few gigs at wineries," Bobby says. They are great, the sun goes down and the lights come on.
"It's a great atmosphere and they are some of the most memorable gigs.
"Back in the '70s you wouldn't have seen any in New Zealand but now they're massive."
There's no shortage of hits for the band to choose for their set list, with an extensive back catalogue including The Air That I Breathe, Carrie Anne and Stop Stop Stop.
And who can forget the poignant 1969 hit He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother which recently featured in a fundraising video in aid of the families of those who tragically died in the Hillsborough disaster.
"You do get a sense if it's a great melody or harmony," Bobby says. "Music for me has to really grab me and move me.
"I think there's more depth in a Hollies show than people realise."
Named after pioneer of rock 'n' roll Buddy Holly, they recently released a double album of live hits. And an unlikely source proved the inspiration for the album's tagline.
"Tony (Hicks) was in Henley shopping in the Waitrose and Liam Gallagher was there with his basket and he came over and said 'hey man, great band, you got the tunes.'
"So on the back of that, the album has 'we got the tunes' written on it."
So what's the secret of The Hollies 50 years of performing, seemingly without incident?
It's simple really, according to Bobby.
"I think it's just the love of performing," he said. "We are a bit of an island really at whatever city or town we play at.
"It's not just the band, it's the crew as well. Everyone's a family really.
"It's just such a joy and a privilege. We play every gig like it's our last."
Catch The Hollies from 7.30pm on Thursday.
Tickets cost from £26.50. Call 08445 762210.