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Sunday 18 February 2018

Leaving Las Vegas: showband legend Bowyer returns home

Ken Sweeney

HE performed on the Las Vegas strip for more than 40 years. Now showband legend Brendan Bowyer is finally set to come home.

After the longest residency in history, entertaining the stars including Elvis Presley, the 71-year-old Waterford man says the changing face of entertainment in Nevada has left him wanting to leave Las Vegas.

"I'm no longer in the bright lights out there. In the old days, when Frank Sinatra performed, every hotel had a big star in residency. Las Vegas has changed. You have the Cirque Du Soleil doing their elaborate Beatles shows. It's a different town," Bowyer told the Irish Independent.


It was in 1967, after a string of Irish hits including 'The Hucklebuck', that Ireland's most popular singer, Brendan Bowyer, first arrived in Vegas with his Royal Showband.

"We were performing in three hotels with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin playing next door. You had those big names but then you had performers like us in a second division, which included people like Kenny Rogers," he said.

"The 400-seater venues we used to play are gone. The second division is now like the fourth division -- you're playing pubs."

Bowyer is now planning an Irish tour with country singer Mike Denver in February and March.

He added: "It's daunting because two generations of Irish music fans probably wouldn't know who I am because I've been out in Vegas so long."

Irish Independent

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