What is there to say about this combination of band and singer? Pre-concert Ruth confessed to having a sore throat - Ruth, baby, make sure you have a sore throat every time you sing! You were superb. Loved your gowns. The first one reminded me of some curtains we once had - looked better on you than they did on our window! Cheek To Cheek was perfect.
The band too were in top form - Have You Met Miss Jones? bounced along nicely and Kevin Eland's flugel horn feature on Blue was much more colourful than the title - it was a positive kaleidoscope of variant hues.
Monkeysuckle Rose - a chart by the late Mike Gilby - has a theme that conjures up an image of what might have happened if Thelonious Monk and Les Dawson had got together to write a chart of Honeysuckle Rose whilst having a taste or a sniff! It is surreal - supposedly inspired by Walton's Facade. Perhaps Walton too was on a trip.
Having said all that, once Jill, Alan, Mick and Roy had their say and the rhythm section hit the right groove it swiung as indeed everything Mike wrote did - eventually! Love him, and his arrangements, madly - RIP.
There was more, so much more like Ruth singing Let's Face The Music and Dance - now in a lamé gown - and I Get a Kick Out of You. Ruth, we got a kick out of you!
Hunting Wabbits - a fugue-like theme - was another delight as we watched and heard the Gordon Goodwin arrangement gradually develop from harmless frippery into a full blown lollapalooza!
Too much to mention in detail save that Kev blew great lead, Mick soloed well, Alan and Jill did the biz, the rhythm section would have saved The Titanic and Peter is a natural if they ever revived Kay Kyser's College of Musical Knowledge (My grandfather told me about it!).
A great gig and you can catch the band again for free! On Tuesday April 3 at the New Crown Hotel, South Shields. 7:30pm. It's an open rehearsal followed by a concert.
April 3 also happens to be Doris Day's 88th birthday so maybe Ruth will pay tribute...