The Shadows perform again

The Shadows were a British instrumental group, the equivalent of The Ventures in the US. Both groups pioneered the three guitar (lead, rhythm, bass) plus drummer format, though the former had less of the driving, pulsing, beat that characterized the latter.

The Shadows were hugely popular in the late 1950s and 1960s. They started out as the backup band for singer Cliff Richards before they parted ways and, like many groups of that era, they split up, re-formed, and changed personnel along the way.

A friend of mine sent me a link to a recent (c. 2010) reunion performance. They played some of their old hits and sounded really good. I was not surprised at the quality of the performance but I was surprised that they managed to sell out a big stadium that seemed to have a good proportion of young people.

I guess some music will never die.

So kick back and enjoy 27 minutes of pure instrumental music by one of the great instrumental rock bands.


  1. says

    Many bands from the past have reformed to great popularity (The Cars, The Police, Madness), and others continue to play decades into their career (Rush, The Fixx). If there’s one reason for it above all others, it’s the fact that these bands play instruments. It’s not just rock, jazz or fusion bands, electronic bands like Kraftwerk and New Order are still able to draw crowds decades into their careers because they create or recreate the music live on stage. It takes technical proficiency to do what they do.

    A “DJ” is not a musicisian, so going to see one “live” is no different than putting on an MP3 or CD. Do they actually do anything on stage other than dance around and pretend to play music? “Singers” and “boy/girl bands” are formulaic and often resort to recorded background tracks or lip synching.

    I wouldn’t doubt that many people are sick of hearing just recordings, they want to see people with talent performing live. The crowds going to see 30 year old bands are not geriatric, they’re full of young people as shown in that video.

  2. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    @2: Rolling Stones is still around, even though they have never been famous for their instrumental skills…

    On the other hand, Jethro Tull is also still around, and they actually can play. And so is Fairport Convention, currently in its umpteenth configuration.

  3. Mano Singham says


    I agree. These people really take pride in their craft and this is why they can still perform and draw crowds. I read an interview with a young musician (I forget who) and he said that Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, for all his wild living, really comes alive when he is playing the guitar and developing new ideas and riffs, either when practicing or showing others. He is a craftsman.

  4. MNb says

    The Shadows are a very, very important group. For one thing Hank Marvin was the first influence of my all time favourite guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore.

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