Sixties greats The Troggs to play live at The Stiwt in Wrexham
Love will be all around as a band of wild things roar into a North Wales theatre to take their audience on a trip down memory lane.
Chart topping 1960s rock band The Troggs have announced a one off concert at the Stiwt, in Rhos near Wrexham, on Friday, March 7.
The event is part of a drive by Stiwt bosses to offer local people, and the wider community, the kind of entertainment that’s right up their street by staging its first Family Festival to coincide with the half-term school holidays.
And one of the founder members of The Troggs, lead guitarist Chris Britten, says he’s delighted to be playing a gig back in North Wales.
He said: “We are still gigging and enjoying performing all our old hits even if it is 50 years since the band was originally formed.
“Audiences still love hearing our songs and maybe it’s because the ’60s were such a special time.
“And we increasingly find our audiences are full of younger and younger faces as they discover the music that played a part in really delivering rock ‘n’ roll to the UK.
“The thing is you don’t have to be a musical genius to play a lot of the songs from that era and you don’t have to be a professor to understand and enjoy it either.
“It’s been a while since we were in North Wales so it will be good to have a gig up there again. It’s a lovely place and we always get a nice reception.”
The Troggs were originally formed in 1964 by Chris, vocalist Reg Presley, bass player Pete Staples and drummer Ronnie Bond.
However, current band members Dave Maggs, drums, and Pete Lucas, bass, have been Troggs for more than 30 years after Staples and Bond left.
But, in January 2012, after more than 40 years of touring it looked like the end of the road for iconic band when lead singer Reg Presley died of lung cancer.
However, guest vocalist Chris Allen, who was given the seal of approval by Presley shortly before he died after he attended a gig to run the rule of his potential replacement, took over the reins and the band continue their heavy gig schedule with no sign of slowing down.
Chris Britten says, despite the fact he turned 70 in January, he can’t image a life away from the stage performing Troggs songs.
He said: “We stay really busy especially in the summer with ’60s musical festivals and nostalgia events.
“We get booked up months in advance, it’s pretty full-on to be honest.
“And it isn’t just the UK, we regularly play in Holland, Austria, Sweden and so forth, in fact right around Europe.
“I’d love to have toured the States and Australia more and if we get the chance we might just go now Reg has passed away.
“The problem was he was such a heavy smoker, 70, 80 or more a day and he simply couldn’t manage long-haul flights without his cigarettes. None of the band smoke, we saw what it did to Reg to be honest.”
Chris says he will always miss Reg Presley who wrote the majority of the band’s songs.
He said: “We had a massive hit with Wild Thing , although that was written by a New York guy called Chip Taylor. It reached number two in the UK but was a number one hit in America and our version is still in the Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 500 songs of all time.
“We followed that up with With a Girl Like You , which was a number one UK hit and Love is all Around , which got to number five in the UK and seven in the charts in the States.
“However, Wet Wet Wet re-recorded it in 1994 and it stayed at number 1 in the UK for an amazing 15 weeks and was a number one hit right across Europe. REM also did a cover too.”
He added: “I don’t think people ever tire of hearing those songs, nor any of our other hits to be honest. Like many of the groups and singers of that era the Troggs are fondly remembered from what was a special time.
“Personally, I had an incredible time in the ’60s and I wouldn’t change anything. It was living life in the fast lane, a real whirlwind existence but we had an amazing time all the same. We were only teenagers having a good time really.
“Even now, all these years on, I will suddenly remember something or having met someone all those years ago and wonder why I had forgotten in the first place.”
And Chris says Reg Presley would be pleased the Troggs are still playing to audiences and keeping his songs alive today.
He said: “Definitely. I was pleased when Chris Allen agreed to join. Reg did come to a gig, not long before he died, and told him he was right for the job and how he approved of him tasking up the mantle so to speak.
“That meant a lot really, it was Reg’s seal of approval if you like. I love playing all our songs and always will. We want our audience to enjoy the gig as much as we enjoy performing for them.
“It’s not a demanding experience, it’s not insulting or aggressive like some of today’s music, it’s just agreeable, catchy tunes with heartfelt lyrics.
“The ’60s were a special time and I want the Stiwt audience to come with us on a journey down memory lane so we can enjoy those special songs together on what, I can promise will be, a night to remember.”
The Troggs will be live at the Stiwt on Friday, March 7 at 8pm.
For tickets, which are priced £12 and £10, please visit www.stiwt.com or call the ticket office on 01978 841300.