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The Merseyside area of the UK was the birthplace of many great bands throughout the 1960´s which then went on to International recognition, the most famous of which was probably The Beatles.

Over the last year Benidorm Palace has hosted some legendary Merseybeat groups - both "The Searchers" and "The Merseybeats"  have performed in this stunning venue - and on Sunday 23rd March another iconic group will be added to that list - "The Swinging Blue Jeans"! All 3 of these groups have shared the stage of the Cavern Club with The Beatles - not something many could attest to.

As if that wasn´t enough for one night, the evening is a double billed extravaganza, with the unforgettable comedian Stan "The Fokker" Boardman entertaining the audience with his gags and funny stories - it´s better than a "BOGOF" offer - buy one, get one free!

It´s quite a feat that Benidorm Palace owner Christine Climent has pulled off, to get two greats on one stage... testament to her amazing pulling power and what will surely be an incredible and memorable evening for all those lucky enough to attend.

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of speaking with Alan Lovell, the lead guitarist from The Swinging Blue Jeans. The group are still very much in demand - they have just completed a UK tour with Chris Farlow, a 60´s Rock, Blues and Soul singer last week they came back from a performance with Scottish rock band Marmalade. Towards the end of this year they are booked for a 62 date tour with Herman´s Hermits - goodness me, I want whatever they are on to keep them going! They still have as much fire in their heart as they did back in the early days and the reason that they continue to perform.

Originally the group were called "The Blue Genes" but following a brief split in 63/64 the group reformed, renaming themselves "The Swinging Blue Jeans" and had an instant hit with Hippy Hippy Shake, a song written and originally recorded by Chan Romero in 1959. Other well known and recognized hits which the 4 piece band had were "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "You´re no Good".

Alan recounted his early days of gigging at the famed Cavern Club to me.... it certainly wasn´t what it´s cracked up to be! Back in the early 60´s it was a dark and dingy venue, which smelt of dettol, sweat and burgers! I wondered if I had heard correctly and asked about the fragrant dettol smell, which made him giggle. He told me that there were no toilets so everyone use to pee on the floor hence the strong smell of disinfectant, which combined with condensation made the ceiling go black. Its hard to believe that they use to perform in such conditions and also introduce the Beatles as a guest matinee slot at such a venue!
After my chat with Alan I then got to have a natter with comic Stan Boardman. He told me that he shot to fame after appearing on a TV show called "The Comedians" - probably most similar to the current version of "Live at the Apollo". Out of around 500 applicants they picked 10 - and Stan was one of those lucky ones. From that he appeared on many TV shows, most notably on Des O-Conner, where he got banned from the BBC for a number of years after mentioning the "German Focke-Wulf" in his gags!

Before he shot to fame as a comedian he had a number of jobs but I was enthralled to learn that he was on the books of Liverpool football club at the age of 18 and signed for Tranmere Rovers - but being sent off to Germany for 2 years with the army put pay to that career. However, he can still be seen kicking a ball about on the pitch, often playing for charity, but his real love now is playing golf - in fact he was off to Portugal the following day to play a charity tournament with Jimmy Tarbuck. In 2006 he had a hit with "Stan´s World Cup Song" - which reached number 15 in the UK singles chart!

He use to regularly tour with fellow comedians Bernard Manning and Roy Walker - happy days he tells me but still loves telling jokes and can´t wait to get to Benidorm.... and just in case he told me "All German´s are welcome"!

It´s going to be an incredible night and you can be part of it. Tickets are only 25€ for this amazing night of entertainment and available from the Benidorm Palace box office now - but don´t leave it too late! There is no meal included like at the normal show but food is available if you want to make a night of it - you can have chicken or fish with chips for 8€. All tickets and seats are numbered, so it´s not a free for all on the night.

Next week we will be running a competition enabling a one lucky reader to WIN a pair of tickets to this fabulous evening, so make sure you check from Monday onwards for full details.

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