Now in their 29th year as rock 'n' roll crusaders for all that's way, way cool about early '60s Britannia pop, Merseybeat and Shadows-styled instrumentals, The Rapiers—"the best '60s band since the '60s"—are truly worth flying 5,000 miles to see, hear and dig.
Even if it's Bastille Day, you can't blame the French for the cancellation of the 14 July Made in Britain show at the Winter Garden, in Eastbourne. No reason given, but original headliner Craig Douglas has had to exit the theatre tour due to illness.
Regarding those late summer solo Rapiers gigs, you should know:
It's by "invitation only" to Heather Drury's private birthday celebration at the BRSA Railway Club in Chesterfield on 14 August. Best wishes in advance, Heather!
Book tickets c/o longtime Rapiers supporter Ann Green on 02380-863356 for the Hythe Club on 21 August. BTW: For a variety of reasons, Ann and hubby Colin won't be throwing their annual Rapiers bash at Totton's Empire Hall, which (oh, no!) is due for demolition "for redevelopment", she notes sadly. I'm unclear whose redevelopment.
Our lads just confirmed almost four dozen gigs for their new stageshow A Tribute to Cliff Richard & The Shadows: The Golden Years featuring singer Jimmy Jemain (second from left, above), 28 September thru 28 November, across Holland, including Amsterdam on 26 November.
"The format is two halves," says Nathan J. Hulse. "Each half opens with 15-20 minutes of us doing Shadows stuff, followed by Jimmy Jemain doing his Cliff. I think the newest number will be Congratulations ; otherwise, all early music."
Heavens! I imagine perennially picky eater Colin "HP Sauce" Pryce-Jones might lose a few stone during his over-the-water sojourn.
I don't remember Colin Pryce-Jones's exact words. But I remember the shock phone call five years ago. He was telling me that Rapier rhythm guitarist Wayne Nicholls and his wife Jackie had died in a motorcycle crash near their London home, tragically orphaning their four small children.
That was 18 June 2005.
Today I remembered that.
Only this April was a settlement in the accident finally reached for the family. The London Evening Standard wrote about it here.
Below are some of my favourite images of Wayne, a Rapier for four years but more importantly one of the kindest blokes you'd ever hope to know.
NB: Click Wayne's name below the last photograph to see previous posts on Rapiers Are Go!