Watching the greats at close quarters

Trevor Payne has enjoyed more than three decades of success with his touring rock '˜n' roll variety show That'll Be The Day, a recreation of popular music from the 50s to the 70s with plenty of added humour.
Trevor Payne as Mick Jagger in That'll Be The Day ANL-160817-092111001Trevor Payne as Mick Jagger in That'll Be The Day ANL-160817-092111001
Trevor Payne as Mick Jagger in That'll Be The Day ANL-160817-092111001

Its latest stop is Southsea’s Kings Theatre on Sunday, September 4 at 7.30pm.

Ask where he learnt his trade, and it was back in his home town Worthing where he enjoyed the best seat in the house: “My growing up was in Worthing at the Golden Key Club,” Trevor reminisces. “That was followed on from one of the most famous venues there used to be in Worthing, called The Mexican Hat. When it had been refurbished, it became The Golden Key Club. I used to watch the shows at The Golden Key Club when I was 16 or 17, and when I was 18, I used to play at The Golden Key Club. We were the resident band there, and we would be playing there six nights a week. That would be 1966. I remember seeing Dave Dee and the Bostons before they became Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. And then we transferred over to the Pier Pavilion and we would support every act that came down there on Thursdays. We were the support to bands like The Dave Clark Five and Herman’s Hermits and The Hollies and The Kinks and The Moody Blues. Those were all the acts that I would watch close up from the side of the stage. Jimi Hendrix came down. Cream came down. They used to come down after appearing on Top of the Pops on a Thursday. I suppose they could get down from London quite easily, and if they got delayed, then we would just have to play a bit more. Everyone came down. There was P J Proby. There were Freddie and the Dreamers.

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“And they were all good guys. It was all very different then. There were all very approachable and more than happy to talk to anyone. We were all in it together. Maybe the ones that stood out for me were Cream. They were superb musicians, and Jimi Hendrix was extraordinary. And the pop bands like The Dave Clark Five drove the audiences crazy at the time. They had a good, thick sound, and everybody played their instruments.

“They were good tight bands. They knew what they were doing. And we were seeing these guys for the first time. They were still excited about themselves and about their sound. Herman’s Hermits were very tight. It was a real privilege to be there and to be seeing all these bands that close. And that excitement barometer is what I remember from that time when I am thinking about what songs to do in our show.”

Trevor reckons there are a number of reasons why That’ll Be The Day is still going so strong after all these years: “What we wanted to do is a variety show based on rock ‘n’ roll, but not just rock ‘n’ roll. There is dance and singing and music and impressions and comedy solos and big solos, and over the years, we have always tried to improve the quality of what we do.

“The musicians weren’t bad at the start, but eventually I found a bunch of guys that have really gelled together. A couple of guys have been with us 25 or 26 years. Another has been with us 28 years.”

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