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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » November 30, 2010
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Get Set for Smokie
November 30, 2010   
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They have been on the international music scene for over 40 years and their place in the pantheon of British rock is assured. Now British hit machine Smokie is coming to Poland to play Warsaw’s Kongresowa Hall on Dec. 20.

Smokie will be accompanied by a symphony orchestra and a swag of new arrangements to lend a quirky, refreshing and energetic feel to classic hits “Have You Ever Seen The Rain,” “I’ll Meet You At Midnight,” and “Living Next Door to Alice”, as well as songs from their latest album Take a Minute.

Smokie started out unobtrusively enough back in the mid-sixties when singer Chris Norman, bass guitarist Alan Silson and guitarist Terry Utley, then students at St. Bede’s Grammar School in Bradford, northern England, got together to form the Yen—later to become the Sphinx, then Essence, then Smokey and finally Smokie. After finishing school, they worked the small clubs and pubs circuit and cut demos in their tilt at the big time.

The band’s luck changed when Bill Hurley got the glam rock songwriting duo Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn to work with them. This collaboration spawned Smokie’s first album, Pass It Round (1975). When the first single taken from it, “If You Think You Know How To Love Me,” peaked at no. 3 on the U.K. Charts, the album started selling in the millions all over the world.

Smokie might have had its fair share of sabbaticals (Norman began a solo career in 1982), tragedy (Norman’s replacement Alan Barton died in a road accident in 1995), but the band is still writing and recording new material. Take a Minute is their 25th album and was recorded this year.

M.B.

Kongresowa Hall, 1 Defilad Sq., Warsaw
Concert starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets: zl.80, zl.100, zl.130, zl.170, zl.200, zl.300
Tickets available from Kongresowa Hall or online at www.ticketonline.pl

For more information, go to www.kongresowa.pl
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