At a recent ‘surprise’ concert Barron Knights front man Pete Langford heard a bewildered woman utter “The Barron Knights? Are they still alive?” Well, as the gig at Newport Riverfront proved last night, yes they are, and 48 years into their career, still kicking too!
Formed in 1960, The Barron Knights are one of the few groups to have the distinction of actually touring with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the 1960s. Starting off as a serious band they became legendary in the music business for satirising contemporary groups of the day through hits such as Call Up The Groups and A Taste of Aggro.
Fans were not disappointed by The Knights set list which opened with a rousing version of Eddie Cochran’s C’mon Everybody. A medley of The Knights greatest hits followed including a humorous tribute to Camilla Parker Bowles and their take on the Boney M hit Rivers of Babylon (There’s a Dentist in Birmingham).
There was a great mixture of classic rock’n’roll with tributes to The Coasters, The Everly Brothers, Lonnie Donegan and The Crickets with some comedy thrown in for good measure.
Highlights included the orchestral version of the William Tell Overture, a cover of The Beatles song Blackbird, and a flamenco piece played by Pete called Malaguena. A track originally banned by the BBC satirising David Bowie’s cat Birth Control to Ginger Tom was also performed to everyone’s delight.
As they approach their half century, The Barron Knights proved they've still got what it takes to deliver a very entertaining show. Long may they reign!
- A version of this review by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus in February 2008.
- Review of The Barron Knights Concert, Newport Riverfront, 2011