The heat is on: Smokie on their way!

By Ranjit Vethakan

Smokie, the British band credited with a string of mega hits, will perform in Colombo in November this year.

This Super Band of the ‘70s and ‘80s who are making a welcome return to the fore-front as a major player in the international concert scene, will be seen in concert on November 30 at Waters Edge. 
Tusith Samaraweera, the energetic General Manager of Waters Edge, said , “I’m delighted to be bringing this superb band to Colombo and I’m sure they will put on a memorable show for local music fans.”

One of the world’s leading psychedelic rock ‘n roll bands, Smokie were originally scheduled to come in September 2008 and perform at the same venue. But the local promoter then eventually withdrew, citing the ethnic unrest at the time.

But Waters Edge wasted no time when the deal was offered and signed the dotted line late Thursday afternoon. Waters Edge is not new to the world of international entertainment, having presented Engelbert Humperdinck in concert in 2005.

With more than 200 performances annually, Smokie is one of the hardest working bands around the globe, and are instantly recoqnised by their iconic hit “Livin’ Next Door To Alice”, which also has a crudish follow-up, not to mention a Sinhala version, which is covered as often as the original by any local band worth its name!

However, “Alice” is not the only ditty that took Smokie to the top of the charts across the world.
They enjoyed similar glory with other delightful tracks, such as Mexican Girl, Lay Down In The Arms Of Someone, Oh Carol (no, not a cover of Neil Sedaka’s great hit) and Needles And Pins being among the 13 that enjoyed universal chart honours.

It all started with Smokie’s initial chart honours - “If You Think You Know How To Love Me” way back in 1975.Today, a Smokie concert is packed with their hits intermingled with other magic tunes, like Del Shannon’ “Little Town Flirt” and several other contemporary, easily recoqnisable hits.

In a phone interview, the band’s manager, John Wagstaff, said he was looking forward to visiting the country he had heard so much about and had no doubts “the boys” would enjoy their short stay here.

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