Vanity Fare

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Two Gold Discs

Over Five Million Record Sales

Vanity Fare consists of Eddie Wheeler on lead guitar and vocals, Bernie Hagley on bass guitar, flute and vocals, Steve Oakman on Keyboard, guitars and vocals and Graham Walker on drums

In the summer of 1968, approximately one hundred years after the publication of William Makepeace Thackeray's famous literary classic Vanity Fair, the band Vanity Fare was born.

With their harmony vocals, melodic songs and a slightly different spelling to their name, they achieved great popularity on the British and European Pop scene when their updated version of an old Sunrays number I Live For The Sun hit the charts.

Flying in the face of the incoming heavier trend of the late 60s was deemed professionally dangerous at the time, and you would have been forgiven for supposing that the band would be steamrollered out of the picture. Instead the public embraced their vocal harmony style, and a string of hits followed, giving Vanity Fare a unique place in late 60s and early 70s music history.

With both Early in the Morning and Hitchin' a Ride achieving gold disc status, the group became established worldwide, particularly in the USA, where both songs became top ten hits and stayed in the charts for a total of twenty three weeks. Indeed, because of the bands association with the Hitch Hike dance craze, Hitchin' a Ride achieved cult status with many West Coast "hippies" fuelled by the enthusiasm of the radio DJs of the time.

Over the years, there has been a number of membership changes. Trevor Brice, the original lead singer stayed until 1979, and the longest standing members at present being Eddie Wheeler and Bernie Hagley, with Steve Oakman joining the band in 2001.

Their excellent musicianship and vocal harmonies established Vanity Fare as a top class act with its own unique sound. They became ideal material for the popular TV variety shows in Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

TV appearances include Portugal's Lottery Show and on Spanish National Television with Chaka Khan. Top venues the band has appeared at include Wembley Conference Centre, The Sydney Showground, London Palladium, The Dominion Theatre, Royal Albert Hall and aboard the QE2.

They also appear regularly on established 60s and 70s festivals around Britain and Europe.

Tours have included Oh Boy its the Non Stop 60s with Chris Farlowe, PJ Proby & Brian Poole in 2008. The Solid Silver 60s 25th Anniversary Tour was in 2010 with The Troggs,Swinging Blue Jeans,Dave Berry, Peter Sarstedt, Mike Pender & Brian Poole and in 2011 with The Merseybeats,Wayne Fontana, Chris Farlowe, Dave Berry & Terry Sylvester (The Hollies).

In 2012, the boys returned once more to Solid Silver 60s as the only band on the show performing their own hits.

They also backed Peter Noone, Chris Montez, Bryan Hyland and once again their "old mate" Brian Poole. Also in 2012, they performed in Rock Around the 60s with The New Honeycombes at selected venues.

In August 2015, drummer Mark Ellen retired from the band and was very ably replaced by Howard Tibble, having already had a notable career.

Howard has been Shakin' Stevens drummer since 1980 and has appeared on every tour and recording with him. He has worked as a session drummer on over sixty albums and hundreds of singles. Some of the artists he has worked with include Cliff Richard, Paul McCartney, Billy Fury, Phil Everley, Alvin Stardust, Little Richard, Del Shannon, Lonnie Donegan, and many more.

In 2017, Howard was unavailable due to Shakin' Stevens coming out of retirement to tour, therefore were fortunate to have the services of Graham Walker who was the drummer for the late Gary Moore.

Graham has also worked with many bands including Jethro Tull, Family etc. and is currently with us on most of our gigs.

The bands current stage show reflects much of their 49-year history, performing their own hits plus their own version of songs from bands who have influenced them along the way.

Together they make a highly professional group with an impressive history and an outstanding stage show.