Hank out of the Shadows

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By Dave Kastner

Legendary guitarist Hank Marvin is coming to Melbourne in November playing two shows at MEMO Music Hall with his new quartet, ‘Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz.’ Having a music career that has spanned nearly 6 decades, the icon has influenced many famous guitarists including George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Mark Knoplfer.
Hank Marvin is most famous for playing guitar in The Shadows, which was the backing band for Cliff Richard, dominating British popular music in the 1950s and 60s before The Beatles. The Shadows later found fame as a 4 piece instrumental group and are the 3rd most successful act in the UK singles chart history behind their former front man Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley with 69 UK chart singles. An astonishing 35 of those are credited to The Shadows and the other 34 to ‘Cliff Richard And The Shadows’.

Hank Marvin

Hank Marvin

One of The Shadows’ most famous songs, Apache, was recorded in June 1960 and released the following month spending 5 weeks at the top of the UK singles chart as well as reaching number 1 in 6 other countries including Australia. Hank’s distinctive guitar sound in Apache was created with the use of an echo delay being adopted by the global surf community as an anthem. Hank moved to Western Australia in 1986, the same year Trevor Spencer and Gary Taylor bought Sh-boom recording studios in Perth, and Hank bought his own studio in the Sh-boom complex, The Nivram Studios.

Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz sees Hank in a new musical direction, joining virtuoso accordionist Nunzio Mondia, rhythm guitarist Gary Taylor and guest bassist Robbie Pisano as they explore the world of Gypsy Swing and the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. The group released their debut album on MTM Music in 2013 called ‘Django’s Castles’, a 14 track instrumental masterpiece which received wide praise from critics and fans of Hank’s earlier music.

Born in England on October 28 1941, Hank, 73, is 17 years younger than The MEMO Music Hall which opened in 1924. In The early 60’s MEMO was used as a recording studio and Normie Rowe’s controversial 1965 hit ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’ was recorded there. Despite being initially banned because of its lyrics, it became the first record by a Melbourne-based artist to reach number one in both Sydney and Melbourne. MEMO is now run by The Caravan Music Club and the St.Kilda RSL and reopened earlier this year as a live music venue with a venue capacity of around 400 which combined with its well-known superior room acoustics makes it a wonderful intimate venue to experience live music.

For more details on Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz’s MEMO gig or to secure tickets visit www.memomusichall.com.au

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