BARRIE Masters is planning to go out with a bang, not a whimper.

As lead singer and the only ever-present member of Eddie and the Hotrods, he aims to make the band’s farewell tour a memorable one.

After 42 years, he is calling it a day with a series of gigs later this year – including one at The Witham, Barnard Castle, on Saturday, September 15 – ahead of a big finale in London sometime next year.

Eddie and the Hotrods (the “Eddie” in question was actually a dummy which appeared on stage in the early days) were part of the same 70s pub rock scene as the likes of Dr Feelgood.

Formed in Essex, in 1975, they enjoyed chart success two years later with Do Anything You Wanna Do.

Initially calling it a day in 1981, the band regrouped again in the 80s and 90s and the current line up has been together for the past decade or so.

“We want to go out with a bang rather than just fizzle away,” he says.

His health has not been too good in the last couple of years, but he says there are other good reasons for stopping now.

“I have taken it about as far as I can. We are not going to get any more radio play or a record company, so I thought it was a good time to say goodbye.”

With family roots in Sunderland, he was determined to fit in a North East gig as part of the tour, and Barnard Castle fitted the bill.

He says he has enjoyed a good run for his money.

“When we first started, everything happened quite quickly,” he recalls.

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“I come from a small town, so we formed a band for something to do. We didn’t think we would last ten minutes.

“We got some success and our feet never hit the ground. We were doing something like 200 shows a year and that caused a lot of problems.”

When the band initially split, he assumed that would be the end of that.

“But the phone kept ringing – and I missed it. I put the band back together and we had a fair amount of success again.

“I can’t moan. It’s been so much fun and it’s been brilliant. We have had our ups and downs – but more ups than downs.”

He adds: “It’s been really weird. When we started off, we were successful in England and France.

“Then it was the US whereas now we seem to be doing well out east in Japan.

“We have always had somewhere to play and it’s exciting.”

During the course of the band’s history, there have been eight studio albums, the last released in 2011.

Barrie promises a full show when the band hits Barney, with rehearsals currently putting the setlist together.

“It’s a case of trying to fit it into the show times. We’ve been working on a set for a while and it’s sounding good.”

For ticket details, contact The Witham on 01833 631107 or go to www.thewitham.