in the U.K. The Evening Shadows keep the spirit of the 60s
burning brightly on their 2011 CD entitled 60-63.
What theyre referring to are the magical musical years of
1960-1963, when every great thing that was possible in the music world
did in fact happen. Before world wide Beatlemania ensued late in 1963,
The Shadows were the key band in the U.K. With their sophisticated
blend of pop instrumentals, The Shadows sort of stepped aside (as
did every other band worldwide) when the Beatles truly arrived on
the international stage yet the songs The Shadows wrote and recorded
during that magical pre-Beatlemania era still sound great. On 60-63,
The Evening Shadows offer a short but sweet set of a dozen Shadows
classics. Starting off the Shadows signature song Apache,
The Evening Shadows cover a number of classics, including a dozen
songs Shadows fans have known inside out for the past 50 years. What
they lack in originality is made up for in a devoted and fresh approach
to recapturing the greatest era of guitar instrumentals. Armed with
his Fiesta Red Fender Strat, played through his VoxAC30,
guitarist Chas de Lacy gets solid support from his fellow band
membersincluding Alan Peacock (bass), Tony Grubb (rhythm
guitar) and Peter Precious (drums and percussion). Close your
eyes and its 1961 all over again! www.CliffAndTheShadowsTribute.com
mwe3.com presents an interview with
Chas de Lacy of THE EVENING SHADOWS
mwe3: The impact Cliff Richard and the The Shadows has had on most
young people in England and most of the world has been a quite long
lasting occurrence. What do you attribute "The Shadows phenomenon"
to and when and how did you first start listening to them?
Well, my viewpoint is from one who was aware of The Shadows from their
first hit. Ive sometimes wondered how people much younger than
me have been taken on to Shadows music. I mean on the one hand I totally
understand because I love it, but on the other hand its interesting
how they like music that comes from a generation before. Certainly
when I was young the music my parents enjoyed was very different!
I guess the rock and pop of the 50s & 60s which was
so very different from what went before has formed the basis of whats
happened since, so maybe not so different to the younger generation?
When I was young I started to notice a new electric guitar soundfor
instance Duane Eddy and Scotty Moore's work on Elvis Hound
Dog in particular.
In 1960 when The Shadows released Apache, I felt that
they had taken things to a new level, and I was hooked. As they released
subsequent singles I was never disappointed with their recordsboth
A and B sides. I think I realized after a while that it wasnt
just Hanks unique sound and style, but the whole band was just
as important to the sound. Unlike some other records everything seemed
very clear and well played, each player having their own individual
technique, talent, sound and often inventiveness. Also important was
the material and the arrangements. The performances were fresh with
an edge. It was a whole thing. Looking back its incredible that
those records were played by anyone so young.
Another aspect was visualwhen Hank got his first Strat, it looked
like a guitar from outer space, and to us youngsters sounded like
it as well! It wasnt long before all the bands guitars
were matching, and that had an image which has endured with the public.
Added to that, they had a lot of TV exposure, not only in their own
right, but backing Cliff Richard.
Weve certainly got a lot to thank Cliff for. As he was having
early record success, he needed a band to back him on tour, and by
a series of (to us) happy coincidences the four musicians came together
to become initially The Drifters then to be renamed The
Shadows. It was also Cliff who suggested to Norrie Paramor and Columbia
that The Shadows should record also on their own as well as with him.
He was very encouraging to the boys. The great thing for us is that
we got a double dose of The Shadows both on record and on TV. Cliff
Richard and The Shadows were the top actyou had
to be there at the time to appreciate just how big.
The Shadows were also a huge influence on other bands and musicians,
and set a mould for small combos. They were definitely responsible
for launching many thousands of guitarists, many of whom have gone
on to great things.
How has The Evening Shadows band and sound progressed over the past
couple decades and where and when was the band formed?
CDL: The band was originally formed by Nick ffrench in the early 90s,
then joined by Trevor Popple on bass and Dave Harwood on drums. After
a while they auditioned for a Cliff and Jerry Richards
came along. Trevor became the lead guitarist with Nick on rhythm and
Dave Cameron joined on bass. During the 90s a couple of cassette
albums were released, and towards the close of that decade the group
disbanded. Two or three years on, I met Jerry and we started to play
together now and then and talked about getting a Cliff and Shadows
band together, then Jerry introduced me to Nick, and before long The
Evening Shadows were back in business.
During the course of the 2000s the band has had a few changes
of personnel for various reasons. Band members have included Wayne
Nicholls on rhythm, Alan Jones on bass, and also helped occasionally
by Nathan Hulse on bass and John Tuck on drums when deps were needed.
Weve got some good friends.
The bands sound has progressedwe pay a lot of attention
to detail. As a tribute band we make every effort to sound like
the record, which is what an audience would expect. Two or three
of us play or work on other projects, but when we play The Shadows
its great funwe love it.
mwe3: What guitars do you perform on the new Evening Shadows CD and
how do you and the band get that same exact sound that Hank Marvin
got 50 years ago? Any other interesting guitar news from England?
CDL: On all of these tracks I use my Fender Strat (Fiesta Red with
rosewood neck), the bass is a Fender (flat wound strings as per original)
and for the acoustic rhythms a Takamine and a Tanglewood. Electric
rhythm is a Strat. The only particular piece of equipment on the drums
is a piccolo snare (again as was used back in the day).
we get the same sound? Well equipment-wise I use an Alesis Q2 unit
programmed by echo genius Charlie Hall, and a Vox AC30. I recorded
/ produced the album on a modern stand alone digital recorderI
guess I should have used some great old tape gear, but I didnt
(laughter). Even with tape Id never have the sort of equipment
that the Abbey Road Studios had, so Ive just worked with what
Ive got and is convenient. The only outside assistance was mastering,
but that was really just to get track levels even and spacing right.
The thing I try to do is to get the correct sound going in. The better
you can do that, the easier it is to deal with. The instruments are
micd up. The only D.I. was the bassno special reason,
just convenience at the time. So I would sum it up by saying getting
the right sound going inand playing technique has
a lot to do with thata bit of e.q. and/or compression where
required (as with any recording) and final mixing. I think its
probably fair to say theres no particular magic to itits
how we sound because of the attention we pay to emulating the originals.
Guitar newswell if youre talking of instruments we tend
to look to the U.S. for that. Here Charlie Hall is working on a new
echo unit which Ive already put my name down forIm
always looking for anything that might improve my sound! Burns London
are continuing various Shadows related guitars from The Shads
Burns era. Im building some Strat type short scale
6 string bass and baritone guitarsthink Jet Harris post-Shadows
soundunder my de Lacy Guitars (London) banner.
mwe3: I interviewed producer Norman Hurricane Smith and
he was talking about how he wrote Its A Mans World
which I though was amazing. What are your favorite Shadows periods
and if you could nail it down what are your 3 favorite Shadows albums
and your 3 favorite Shadows singles (eps?) and why?
Yes, I like that track. As far as favorite Shadows periods go there
are things I like from all of them. If I could only keep 3 Shadows
albums it would have to be the first three UK issuesThe Shadows,
Out Of The Shadows and Dance With The ShadowsI dont
know if they were released in the US with the same album titles or
track listings though. Singles is a tough onealmost impossible
to nail downI think maybe The Frightened City, Wonderful
Land and Atlantisand as with those albums
its down to the impact they had on me. The majority of eps
contained existing material with some exceptions, such as their first
ep entitled The Shadows, but nothing to do trackwise with the
eps issued from the first album of the same name. Los Shadows,
Rhythm & Greens and Thunderbirds were other exceptions.
In the early days the albums (apart from The Shadows Greatest Hits)
didnt contain any single A or B sides which meant that buying
an album was good value as all the tracks would be new.
mwe3: I also asked Hurricane if he was surprised that, as it turned
out, The Shadows remained unknown in the States. Besides, it was all
a moot point (for most artists) when Beatlemania occurred right? What
impact do you think Hank had on The Beatles? I watched a great DVD
that came out a few years ago called Magical Mystery Tour Memories
and some famous journalist who was on the set with the Beatles
was commenting how she remembered that on the last day of filming
that John Lennon was quite happy at the thought of seeing Hank and
The Shadows do a concert that night.
CDL: Yes, considering the worldwide success of both Cliff Richard
and The Shadows its surprising, but I suppose it was all down
to promotion and air play. In the U.K. The Beatles were the next big
thing, but interestingly as the Beatles were starting to have regular
top of the chart success, The Shadows were at the same time enjoying
a very successful time with number 1 hits. I can remember watching
one particular weekly pop show called Thank Your Lucky Stars
and The Beatles were one of the bands/artists on the bill and played
We Can Work It Out , but The Shadows had the top slot
on the showI think playing Shindig. Im not
surprised that John Lennon was looking forward to seeing Hank. Both
bands had a lot of respect for each other, and did meet up from time
to time. George Harrison once said no Shadows, no Beatles,
so again it demonstrates the huge influence and impact the Shadows
So whats next for The Evening Shadows and will there be new
recordings written and recorded and how about touring and the occasional
TV show? Also, what do you think about a bio pic movie of The Shadows,
its never too late to educate the Americans!
CDL: At the moment there are many recordings of Shadows material completed,
but I want also to record some other material including some originals
which would be in the familiar style. Im not sure if thered
be sufficient demand for a tour (presumably you mean in The US), but
it would be great! A biopic of The Shadows story is a really good
ideaI wonder if it would ever happen? The story of how it all
came together for them is a very interesting one, and would make a
Thanks To Chas de Lacy @ www.cliffandtheshadowstribute.com