We have just returned from our first appearance at The Benidorm Palace. It was between dates we appeared at Manchester Palace and Mansfield Palace, so we called it the “Royal Tour”! But unlike the theatres we usually play, Benidorm Palace is laid out as a traditional cabaret club, just like the venues we played with Billy in the seventies.
I realised that the last gigs we did with Billy were forty years ago, and that at the time, Billy was less than forty years old himself.
During that time cabaret clubs used to open seven days a week. We would play to a full house almost every night working one week in every two, in a different town each trip.
Billy didn't like the impersonal nature of hotels, visiting an empty bar where the barman cleaned glasses and called you 'Sir' and so he often preferred to stay in digs with the band.
We once stayed opposite the theatre in a small B & B, having booked for seven people, and just five arrived in the afternoon. We told them we were playing the theatre opposite and they said "Oh Billy Fury's playing there tonight as well!"
"Yes we're his band" we explained.
They asked when the other two were arriving and we said "Billy and Lisa will be here around six o'clock"
"Oh I 'spect that'll be Billy Fury then, NOT!!" giggled the landlord. "Yes that's right" we said but he didn't believe a word.
So at six o'clock when the doorbell rang he said "I'll get that, 'spect it'll be Billy Fury or Elvis popping in for a cuppa!"
But sure enough in walked Billy and Lisa who sat down and sure enough had a cuppa.
We stayed there the week and after a couple of days we were all sat round playing Scrabble like old pals.
It was always amazing to see that someone so dynamic and talented on stage was so modest and unassuming off-stage.
Rock n Roll!