Smokie: “Needles and Pins” in Burgas and Varna

Written by on December 16, 2017 in Leisure - Comments Off on Smokie: “Needles and Pins” in Burgas and Varna

“Laying Back in the Arms of Someone” is easy while Smokie brings back memories. The Pop and Rock band, one of the most popular in the 1970-s, is still alive. Proof will be provided at the Bulgarian Black Sea coast in February. On February 8, 2018, they will be in Varna, and on the 9th it will be Burgas.

Smokie are the guys who have been “Living Next Door to Alice” for 43 years, since vocalist Chris Norman, guitarist David Silson and bassist Terence Uttley got together. The three youngsters got to know each other at St. Bedes School in Bredford (UK). Their band was called The Yen and was later renamed The Sphynx, The Elisabethans and Kindness. Despite those frequent band name changes, they somehow did not manage to be successful.

This changed substantially, when the guys got in touch with the songwriters Nicky Chinn und Mike Chapman, who had already made a difference for The Sweet (“Love is Like Oxygen”) and Suzi Quatro (“It’s a Heartache”). Also they found Micky Most, a band manager who was ready to work with them.

Their first album, released in 1975, might not have been too successful either. But the second one, recorded that same year, was. “If You Think You Know How to Love Me”, the first single from that recording, made them stars in the United Kingdom.

In 1977, Smokie exploded, when “Living Next Door to Alice” was released, their biggest hit until today. Even the Americans became fans. Germany started worshiping Smokie as well.

A decade later, lead singer Chris Norman left Smokie, in order to follow a solo career.

In 1995, tragedy struck. In Germany, Smokie’s tour bus crashed. Most members got away with light injuries, but Alan Barton died of a head injury. Mike Craft succeeded him.

Today, Craft, Uttley, guitarist Mick McConnell, the keyborder Martin Bullard and drummer Steve Pinnell are Smokie. They still deliver all of those hits, including “Needles and Pins”, which was actually written by Sonny Bono. And they are the ones who will hit those stages in Varna and Burgas. It is not their first time in Bulgaria.

Smokie, on February 8 at 8pm in Varna, and on February 9 at 8pm in Burgas, Bulgaria. Tickets are available here.

Photos by Smokie.

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at)