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Memories of the First Shadowmania

Shortly after 3pm on Saturday May 30th 1998 Bruce Welch walked on stage and welcomed over 1,000 fans to the world of Shadowmania which had been advertised as a "celebration of forty fabulous years of Shadows music". After welcoming the audience Bruce then introduced a young Norwegian Band "The Reflections", Erik, Svien, Arild and Kyetil, who then had the daunting task of opening the show. They accomplished this task very well which delighted the audience playing a selection of Shadows tunes and making this a first class opening to the first Shadowmania for all the eager fans.

After a short interval, next on stage to delight the fans were the very classy Dutch band "FBI", Rob, Roydon, Hoss and Constant began their set with "Happy Birthday to You" in recognition of this great occasion. They then gave a very polished performance with almost an hour of Shadows hits.

To close the afternoon session Bruce then included a young guitarist competition, where six boys and one girl, the youngest being only 11 years of age, played two Shadows tracks each and competed to win prizes. The standard of guitar playing was very high and the chief judge, Bruce himself, had a very difficult job in choosing two winners. The winners collected a new Burns Cobra Guitar and an Amtech Echo Unit, both prizes being kindly donated by Burns Guitars.

Following this there was then an interval during which the fans could watch nostalgic vintage Shadows clips from TV and films, which were shown on large screens on either side of the stage, some were very rare and had never being shown before in a concert venue.

In addition to the entertainment there was also a merchandise room, with plenty of stalls selling a wide variety of related musical items to tempt all the fans to spend their mo

At around 7.30pm the evening session continued with the next band on stage, The Rapiers from the UK, who are a very popular band performing and specialising in instrumental music including The Shadows. This very professional band have justifiably earned themselves a very high reputation for the quality of their act and in reproducing the early 60's sound of The Shadows and Cliff Richard. The band members, Colin Pryce-Jones on lead guitar, Neil Ainsby on rhythm guitar, Brad Dallaston on bass guitar and John Tuck on drums provided yet another very high spot of an hours entertainment of Shadows music.

After listening to almost five hours of Shadows music from three fabulous bands and some very talented young stars everyone was then treated to the top of the bill, Bruce Welch and his Moonlight Shadows. Appearing alongside Bruce on rhythm guitar/vocals was Alan Jones on bass guitar and Cliff Hall on keyboards, two members who had played with the Shadows over a number of years. On lead guitar, was Phil Kelly, a guitar teacher from Yeovil and on drums, another teacher from Bristol, Bob Watkins.

The first guest to be introduced by Bruce to join him on stage was no other than ex-Shadows bass player from the early years and at the very start, Jet Harris: Bruce told the audience that this was the first time that he had played on a English stage with Jet since 1962. Jet received a wonderful reception from the audience and entertained them with some of the hits which he had in his own right.

Alan Jones then returned on stage for a couple of numbers before the next guest was introduced, another bass player who joined the Shadows when Jet Harris left, none other than Brian Licorice Locking. Brian then performed some of the hits which he made with the Shadows.

The next guest on stage to play lead guitar on some of the tracks was Barry Gibson of Burns Guitars, who was the lead guitarist in his band "Local Heroes", another tribute band playing Shadows music to the fans throughout the UK and Europe. Following Barry, we then welcomed Tony Rivers and John Perry to accompany Bruce with some vocal numbers from the early days of Cliff and the Shadows. Phil Kelly then returned to the stage as Bruce and his Shadows closed the night with FBI.

A standing ovation was then given to all the bands who performed so well when they took to the stage to take their final bow of the night.

This is a synopsis of the very first Shadowmania on 30th May 1998 and from this fantastic success, Bruce Welch has now organised other great years to celebrate the music of the Shadows and to keep the name alive for all the fans to enjoy. The same very successful formula which had served so well in 1998 has been maintained throughout and we have been able to enjoy the following bands and artists appearing over the years.

Bands and Artists appearing over the years

2012

  • Bruce Welch's Shadows
  • Licorice Locking
  • The Shadowers (UK) featuring Brian Licorice Locking
  • The Foottappers (UK)
  • The Reflections (Norway)
  • Legend (UK)

2011

  • Bruce Welch's Shadows: Phil Kelly, Alan Jones, Cliff Hall, Bob Watkins
  • Licorice Locking
  • Warren Bennett & Friends featuring Brian Bennett, Mo Foster & Alan Hawkshaw
  • The Rapiers (UK)
  • The Foottappers (UK)
  • The Runaways (UK)

2010

  • Bruce Welch's Shadows: Phil Kelly, Alan Jones, Cliff Hall, Bob Watkins
  • Jet Harris
  • Licorice Locking
  • The Runaways (UK)
  • Warren Bennett & Friends featuring Brian Bennett
  • Indra & Move it (Switzerland)
  • The Shadowers (UK)

2008

  • Bruce Welch's Shadows: Phil Kelly, Alan Jones, Cliff Hall, Bob Watkins
  • Jet Harris
  • Licorice Locking
  • The Rapiers (UK)
  • The Reflections (Norway), featuring a guest appearance by Indra Rajah from Switzerland
  • The Foottappers (UK) 
  • The Runaways (UK)

2007

  • Bruce Welch's Shadows with special guests Jet Harris and Brian Licorice Locking
  • The Rapiers from the UK
  • The Foottappers from the UK
  • Legend from the UK
  • The Seaside Shadows from Holland

2006

  • Bruce Welch's Shadows special guests Jet Harris and Brian Licorice Locking
  • Warren Bennett and friends, including Licorice Locking, Brian Bennett and Mark Griffiths
  • The Rapiers from the UK
  • Indra & Move iT from Switzerland
  • The Charades from Finland

2005

  • Bruce Welch's Shadows special guests Jet Harris and Brian Licorice Locking
  • The Rapiers from the UK
  • Indra & Move iT from Switzerland
  • Legend from the UK
  • The Reflections from Norway

2003

  • Bruce Welch's Shadows special guests Jet Harris, Brian Licorice Locking
  • Question and Answer Session with Bruce Welch, Jet Harris
  • Tony Meenhan and Brian Licorice Locking
  • The Rapiers from the UK
  • The Vibratos from the UK
  • U.B.Hank Band from Holland

2002

  • Bruce Welch's Shadows special guests Jet Harris and Brian Licorice Locking
  • Question and Answer Session with Bruce Welch, Jet Harris
  • And Tony Meenhan
  • The Rapiers from the UK
  • The Vibratos from the UK
  • Legend from the UK

2001

  • Bruce Welch's Moonlight Shadows, special guests Jet Harris and Brian Licorice Locking
  • Question and Answer Session with Bruce Welch
  • Jet Harris, and Tony Meenhan
  • The Rapiers from the Uk
  • Special guest Mike Berry
  • The Reflectioins from Norway
  • The UB Hank Band from Holland

2000

  • Bruce Welch's Moonlight Shadows with special guests Jet Harris, Brian Licorice Locking, Barry Gibson, Tony Rivers/Anthony Rivers
  • The Rapiers from the UK
  • Guitar Syndicate from Belgium
  • Guitar Express from France
  • The Young Ones Competition
  • Question and Answer Session with Bruce Welch, Jet Harris
  • And Tony Meenhan

1999

  • Bruce Welch's Moonlight Shadows with special guest Jet Harris
  • The Rapiers from UK
  • Guitar Syndicate from Belgium
  • The Reflections from Norway
  • The Young Ones Competiiton
  • Tony Meenhan as a guest in the audience for the first time

1998

  • Bruce Welch's Moonlight Shadows - Phil Kelly, Alan Jones, Cliff Hall and Bob Watkins, with special guests, Jet Harris, Brian Licorice Locking, Barry Gibson
  • The Reflections from Norway
  • F.B.I. From Holland
  • The Rapiers from the UK
  • The Young Ones Competition

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