1970s British rock band, The Babys made a triumphant return to Northeast Ohio as they played to a packed Tangier audience in Akron on Saturday, November 14th.
The Babys last played in the area in 1980, disbanding a little less than a year later. Some members continued on with their musical careers; John Waite has had some solo success and became a member of Bad English in the 90s; Jonathan Cain joined a little band called Journey and continues to have a successful career with them; Wally Stocker has toured with Rod Stewart, Air Supply and Humble Pie; Tony Brock became an engineer and music producer and Michael Corby basically retired to his home in Scotland.
A few years ago Stocker and Brock decided to get the band back together. None of the other former members wanted to be a part of the reformed band, so the duo held extensive auditions for a new singer and guitarist. They wisely chose John Bisaha on vocals/bass and Joey Sykes on guitar.
This new incarnation of the band (which also included a keyboardist and two background singers) got things started off on a high note as they opened the show with “Back on My Feet Again.” They quickly followed that up with another hit “Midnight Rendezvous”, proving to the Akron audience that yes indeed, The Babys are back.
The band is out supporting their 2014 release I’ll Have Some of That! and they played a few cuts from that album, including the Top 5 adult contemporary hit “I See You There.” Bisaha commented that he was a fan of the band growing up in California and that it is an honor for him to be fronting the band today. He also noted that they were going to play at least one song from every Babys record as well as a bunch of deep cuts. He deadpanned, “Don’t worry, each song is only three minutes, so we can play a bunch of them!”
True to his word, the band played 16 songs in their ninety minute set which also included a drum solo from Brock and a guitar solo from Stocker.
One of the highlights from the show was “Every Time I Think of You” which featured John Bisaha trading verses with his wife Holly, who was one of the background singers.
The Babys had everyone on their feet, dancing in the close confines of The Tangier concert hall as they played “Head First” to close the show.
It was a thirty-five year wait for The Babys to return to the Cleveland area. Lets hope the band doesnt make fans wait quite as long for a return trip to the Rock and Roll Capitol