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  • Writer's pictureMartin Bullard

Reaping the rewards

In 1989, after reaching the top of the charts in Norway, Smokie began touring Germany with the Oldies Shows. We were new boys on the circuit and were initially treated warily by the other bands such as Dave Dee, The Tremeloes and The Searchers because it was feared that success might have gone to our heads. When our contemporaries realised that we were just regular guys we became the best of friends and started to really look forward to being in each others’ company. The shows were a great success but the big question for us was “can we tour Germany successfully on our own?”. For a band that sold so many records in the 1970’s this may seem an odd question except we had gone through several line up changes and it seemed that our German audience hadn’t completely adjusted to this in the same way as the Scandinavians. Even thirty years down the line we still faced the same problem. However, I am more than happy to say that Smokie can now fill venues across Germany, as we did last week in Krefeld, Berlin, Rostock and Magdeburg, and we have truly proven that we still have a lot to offer our audience, both from the nostalgic angle and from the point of view of a band that has continued to produce new material from each decade and not just rely on the big hits from the early days. Smokie always did things the hard way, by touring repeatedly until we picked up a big enough following to make money. With the decline of record sales it has been the touring bands that survived, even after and perhaps especially after the damage done by the pandemic. Once people ventured out of their houses they just wanted to celebrate the joy of being part of live music once more, and now they’ve rediscovered it they don’t wish to lose it again. This seems to be a universal theme and we now see the Eastern European countries offering us work once more, which is true proof that we have laid the groundwork with the new line up and now we can start to reap the rewards of our hard work.

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