You’ll be crying if you miss Roy Orbison tribute at Falkirk Town Hall

Barry Steele as the late great Roy Orbison
Barry Steele as the late great Roy Orbison

Pretty Woman was a great film, wasn’t it.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts nailed it back in 1990 with their likeable, big haired performances.

However, would the film have been such a global hit if it had not taken its name from the Roy Orbison classic Oh Pretty Woman and featured the song in its soundtrack?

Possibly.

We’ll never know for sure.

What is certain is the late great Big O, aka Lefty Wilbury, was one hell of a singer and he performed some of the most haunting pop tunes ever recorded.

Roy Orbison may have died back in 1988 at the criminally young age of 52, but interest in his music, his dress sense and, of course, his unique voice have continued to grow with every passing year.

Which brings us to Barry Steele and the lads who will be hitting the stage at Falkirk Town Hall on Sunday, trying to do justice to the Orbison legacy and perform Only the Lonely, Running Scared, Crying, In Dreams and, of course, Oh Pretty Woman without sounding like pale imitations of the original master.

It takes more than wearing a pair of sunglasses and dressing in black to become Roy Orbison and West End veteran Barry – a self proclaimed fan of the great man – has the chops to make the audience believe Roy is alive and well and singing in FTH.

He is joined on stage by a five-piece band featuring the sensational guest pianist Boogie Williams as the production showcases elements of the symphonic orchestration herad on recently released Orbison albums.

Barry said: “I am backed by a fabulous band and musicians, as well as a big screen featuring both live streaming, and images from the life and times of Roy Orbison, interspersed with information about the life and times of someone considered to be one of the best singers the world has ever known.” 

It was Barry’s family who set him off on the path to the Wizard of ‘O’.

“It was on a family holiday in Cornwall in 2001 when my wife Lynne and daughter Leonie entered me into a singing competition without my knowledge. It was there a fellow Orbison fan told him he sounded just like the great man singing Robbie Williams.

Barry lists his top two Orbison numbers as California Blue and Leah, but choosing a set list was a bit of pain.

He said: “The set list has evolved over the years, and with the back catalogue Roy Orbison has it was difficult to choose. However, we used feedback from the audience and of course we sing the best sellers, but there are a few surprises in this year’s show.

“We have found a song, written but never sung by Roy, and to be honest it’s a bit special. All his songs not only have wonderful melodies and tunes, the lyrics are some of the most sublime ever written.

“His songs can make you happy and sad at the same time.”

lVisit www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org for more information.