The only way is Essex as fans mob chart king at Guild Hall

David Essex took Preston Guild Hall by storm last night
David Essex took Preston Guild Hall by storm last night
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Forty years ago this week David Essex  returned to Preston to play to a sell out crowd amid scenes of great hysteria. Here we reprint the review of his performance alongside a set of previously unseen photographs from the gig.

If the screams were anything to go by singing superstar David Essex took Preston Guild Hall by storm last night.

But beneath the hysteria and hubbub - at one stage frenzied fans had to be hauled off the stage - the superstar’s casual performance was something of a superflop.

In the box office big time at 28, Essex, who some say only made it on the strength of his good looks and promotion, did not live up to his publicity.

His best numbers were rock, especially Summertime Blues (originally recorded by Eddie Cochrane) and Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard).

These he put some life into but the rest of the numbers he approached in listless style.

In his opening number, City Lights, which lasted ten minutes, he remained relatively low key, but even the slightest wink was enough to drive his fans to fever pitch.

He did not sing his recent chart topping hit, Hold Me Close, instead he merrily conducted his fans who managed to stop screaming long enough to sing it.

His latest single, Coming, Home, again raised the screams and two fans managed to slip through barricades, only to be bustled off stage by burly bouncers.

In fact, fans were screaming and crying so much during the show it would be surprising if they even noticed which songs he actually sang.

Most popular was Gonna Make You a Star which he did perform well.

Songs from his new album Out on the Street, which he wrote himself, digressed from his usual rock to slightly progressive.

The title track, with a superb back up from Alan Wakeman on saxophone, was also well delivered.

But all in all it was a mediocre performance.