The story of Specs Appeal dates all the way back to 1985, when Simon and Paul first met when they were both playing for a production of the Brighton Scouts Gang Show. They soon discovered that they shared a passion for the music of The Shadows, and a mutual interest in taking guitars to bits and ‘improving’ them!
They played for quite a few shows together, and formed a duo, ‘Play Action’, incorporating a few Shadows tunes, but it wasn’t until 2006 that Specs Appeal began to take shape.
They met up again after a gap of about seven years at a production of ‘Seussical’ and during a jam session (oddly enough, playing through a few Shadows tunes) in between shows, one of the cast members was heard to say, “Ooh, I love The Shadows, do you do a Shadows tribute?”
At this point, Paul said to Simon, “I’ve got an idea…………”
The idea in question was to raise funds for a choir from Africa to do a small tour of the UK, and so on 17th May 2007 Specs Appeal were unleashed on an unsuspecting world. The gig was staged at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church in Brighton, and was just going to be a one-off, but the band weren’t prepared for the reaction they got..
After a standing ovation at the end of the concert, someone was heard to say, “Shall we do this again?”
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We bade another fond farewell to Steve, who has moved to Wales, and somewhat unreasonably, considered that coming back to Sussex for gigs was too far! We’ve been very lucky, though, in securing the services of Mark Winter. We haven’t told him he’s got to play ‘Honourable Puff Puff’ yet.
And another ‘au revoir’, this time to Paul. A bit of a wrench, this one, as it was Paul who first mooted the idea of putting the band together and has been doing the ‘Bruce’ bit since 2007. We’ll miss you, Paul, keep in touch!
After five years with the band, we bade a fond farewell to Alex, our drummer, and he was presented with a Gold Disc at his final gig with us for all his sterling efforts. We’ll miss him.
2014 was the year we said ‘au revoir’ to Sue, who’d put up with the rest of us for nearly six years. Her contributions being the Norrie Paramor orchestra and backing vocalist extraordinaire will be sadly missed.