Mighty songsmith Mike at Redditch's Palace - The Redditch Standard

Mighty songsmith Mike at Redditch's Palace

Redditch Editorial 7th May, 2017   0

THE man who wrote ‘The Mighty Quinn’, ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ and a whole host of other top hits is coming to the Palace Theatre in Redditch.

Mike D’Abo will be joining The New Amen Corner and Chris Farlowe in Bringing on Back the 60s featuring a feast of some of the best pop songs ever written.

A self confessed rock and roller obsessed with the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Tommy Steele he admits to ‘having my head turned around’ when he first heard The Beatles.

He recalls: “I was playing with a group called Band of Angels at a nightclub in London when in walked The Beatles. I immediately started playing Beatles songs and the guys were going ‘what are you doing?’ and I told them, for goodness sake The Beatles have just walked in!

“After we finished someone came up to me and said ‘The Beatles want to buy you a drink, can you join them at their table?’”

By 1966, after Paul Jones left the band he was lead singer with Manfred Mann and penning a string of hits but with numbers like ‘Ha Ha Said the Clown’ and ‘My Name is Jack’ , life, though good, was hardly fulfilling.

“I was writing little ditties which were selling but I was finding it really frustrating and I knew my musical aspirations were not being satisfied, so I put myself up as someone who wanted to write and produce,” said Mike, who lives not a million miles from Redditch in Stroud.

This brought him into contact with Rod Stewart: “I went down to see him at the Hundred Club in London and he immediately latched on to ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ but Chris Farlowe was doing it so he sang ‘A little Misunderstood’ instead,” he said.

From there Mike went on to produce and play piano on Rod’s first album ‘An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down’, which, still a few years before ‘Maggie May’ showcased the potential of Rod Stewart.

However the Scottish singer always had a hankering after ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ and that song, revived by the Stereophonics in the Year 2000, together with a clutch of other unforgettable hits, has kept Mike in royalties over the years.

The 70s found him moving to America before coming back in 1992 and joining the reformed Manfreds with all the original members bar Manfred Mann, who had formed Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.

He’s also got his own band ‘The Mighty Quintet’ and has written countless TV jingles.

It all promises to be an unforgettable night at the Palace when Bringing on Back the 60s comes to the Palace: “New Amen Corner will be performing a wonderful selection of big 60s hits, including the ones of Andy Fairweather Low, songs like ‘Bend Me Shape Me’ and hits from The Turtles too.

“Chris Farlowe will there I’ll come on and sing some hits too – there will be loads of No1s and hopefully it will take people right back to the great years of the 60s.”

The show is on Friday, June 2 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £20 available in person from the box office or on 01527 65203 or visit http://www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk/

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