DRONFIELD: Birthday boy Dave Berry kicks off tour at Sheffield City Hall

Dave Berry
Dave Berry

Sixties icon Dave Berry clocks up another birthday this week, but he’s not in the mood for partying.

“I can’t celebrate it because I don’t like getting old...I hate it,” he said.

A fitness regime has given 72-year-old Dave an energy and zest for life which belies his age. He said: “I take care of myself. I go walking and cycling in Derbyshire.”

“I still feel like I’m 23 but obviously I am not stupid enough to think I can go clubbing; there is nothing more depressing than an elderly man who likes going clubbing.”

Dave, who lives in Dronfield, is gearing up for a 42-date tour with Mike Pender, Wayne Fontana and the New Amen Corner.

“This is the 28th year of the Solid Silver Sixties Tour and I have probably done about 13 tours stretching back to the mid-80s,” he said. “They are very good fun.”

The tour kicks off in Sheffield City Hall on March 7 and winds its way to Buxton Opera House on April 4.

Dave said: “I’m thrilled to be starting the tour at the City Hall. It is where you remember your youth and the artists you saw, like Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke and Fats Domino.”

He first stepped out onto the City Hall stage as a rising young star on the same bill as the Rolling Stones. “It was marvellous - an experience I’ll never forget,” said Dave. “ When you walk out on stage you are following in the footsteps of musical tradition like Ella Fitzgerald and the Beatles.”

Fifty years on since his first single Memphis Tennessee hit the charts, Dave is returning to the recording studio. He said: “My next step is to record with Adam Ant, one of his older songs, Vive Le Rock. It’s about ten to fifteen years since I last did any recording.”

The partnership between debonair Dave and the dandy highwayman is rooted in the punk era. Adam heard the Sex Pistols cover Don’t Gimme No Lip Child, which was on the flipside of Dave’s biggest hit The Crying Game. and invited Dave to support him at key shows.

While The Crying Game was Dave’s best-selling record in this country, it failed to score similar success in Europe. When he performs in Holland and Belgium, he substitutes The Crying Game with This Strange Effect, which earned him a gold disc in Holland.

Dave’s biggest venue is Antwerp’s Sports Palace, which holds 14,000 people, andd he last performed there with Chris Montez and Peter Noone.

Some of the smallest venues he’s sung in are arts centres, performing alongside Chris Farlowe in the Norman Beaker Band.

On his 72nd birthday, which is today (Wednesday, February 6), the big question is how long will Dave continue going out on the road?

“I didn’t come into the profession as a fly-by-night,” he said. “I want to stay in it for as long as I can. I’m going to carry on as long as I’m with a good band and playing in good venues, whether it be to 10,000 or 200 people.”