Top of the Pops stars set to perform in Worthing

SIXTIES band The Hollies will create an evening of pop classics, ranging from The Air That I Breathe to He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother when they visit Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre.

The band will perform tomorrow (Thursday, October 13).

Drummer Bobby Elliott and Tony Hicks have been at the heart of the band since 1963 – the two remaining original members of a band which made musical history.

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The Hollies, who were on the BBC’s very first edition of Top of the Pops on New Year’s Day 1964, have notched up more than 30 top 30 hits since 1963.

The back catalogue is vast with numbers including Just One Look, a number two in 1964; I’m Alive, the band’s first number one in 1965; Bus Stop, their first big global success in 1966; Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress, number one in the USA in 1972; and The Air That I Breathe, number two in 1974 and a worldwide hit.

Their best-known hit remains, perhaps, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ (with Elton John on piano) which reached number two in 1969 and returned as number one in 1988.

For Bobby, the longevity is all down to the fact that they are still having fun: “We have always been a touring band, and it’s that great enjoyment of being on stage.

“A tour is something we look forward to.”

Change has also been crucial to survival, Bobby says – you can’t get into a rut and hope to survive in the music business.

“Any musician worth his salt is going to change,” he said.

“We are always wanting to develop the way that we operate.

“You absorb things that are around you and you move forward.

“We are eager musicians and we want to enjoy ourselves.”

And that’s what they certainly did in those very early days, days which saw a massive explosion of talents, days in which pop music came alive.

“You don’t realise at the time that you are pioneering,” Bobby reflects.

“We were just guys from the north getting in a van with amplifiers and drums.

“It was like a dream.

“We were just escaping from the Dark Satanic Mills and it just blossomed. The hits came and kept coming.”

But the Hollies stayed close to their roots and that helped them keep their feet on the ground.

“We stayed pretty normal,” Bobby recalls.

“I am glad we did.

“We were just that sort of people, I suppose.

“But also we were just working so hard all the time.

“We would do a BBC broadcast at lunchtime and Ready Steady Go at teatime and then a gig in the evening.

“We were sometimes doing three gigs a day, plus all the travelling.”

Anyone who would like to buy tickets can call 01903 206206.