Ho, hum. Another "zonking" rock 'n' roll show hosted by Southamptonians Ann and Colin Green, another sell-out at the 300-capacity Empire Hall. Can you say habit forming?
Our man on the ground, Barry Gillam, who regularly pounds a path to each Rapiers to-do within a 50-mile radius of his Bournemouth home, didn't let the side down a fortnight ago. He snagged photos of our lads' latest Totton affair, rated the performance and even took attendance.
Black suits, red Fenders
"We arrived at the Empire Hall at 6:15 anticipating another long queue like the one we found when The Rapiers backed Jet Harris there last October," said Barry. "We wanted to make sure we got seats for ourselves and members of the South Coast Shadows Club. By 6:40 the queue was tailing around the car park when a coach party of 30 employees from a Salisbury bus garage arrived.
"The doors opened at 7 p.m. and the place was full by 7:30 when The Rapiers with Dave Lawes on rhythm guitar started their first set. We heard all the usual Shadows material as well as plenty of other numbers to fill two 45-minute sets, all played at their superb standard. Sound quality was excellent.
"FBI" in action
"My Rapiers highlight was hearing 'Green Jeans' [recorded for their debut LP 'Straight to the Point'], which Colin said they hadn't played for 'about 20 years'. Brilliant!
"Mike Berry and The Outlaws (with ex-Shadow Alan Jones on bass) were excellent and on stage for over an hour playing their usual Buddy Holly numbers among many others."
Ever-dapper Mike Berry
Here Barry apologised for dispensing with a set list ("I was just enjoying the evening too much to make notes"), but made up for the gaffe by acknowledging a bit of who's who in the crowd.
"It was nice to see more than locals at the show. For example, I noticed Theo and Rogier, from Holland, who had come over for the Pipeline Convention in London the following day. Rogier plays rhythm guitar in the band Pipeline 61. Others also had traveled a long distance just for the evening, proving what an international draw The Rapiers are."
And what of our hostess and organiser?
Said Ann Green: "Although I'm biased, I can honestly say the whole evening was a zonking success. So much so that everyone wants me to do a repeat. Depends on how long it takes me to get over this one!"
Colin and Ann Green