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Bebop Spoken There

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Friday, February 12, 2010

An Excellent Show But... Sinatra Live @ The Sands (Actually the Grand Opera House York.).

This show had the potentially winning formula of the best of lyrics, beautifully interpreted through great familiar arrangements, and a smooth swinging band with powerful brass and a stand out rhythm section.
There was no doubting Stephen Triffitt's laid back relaxed style, working the stage with confidence and that rare knack of making every listening woman think the love words were meant for her alone, as did Sinatra!
The first half, he explained was he, Stephen, singing in his style some great numbers, and great they were.. Summer Wind, Night & Day, Please Be Kind & many more including that lovely Victor Young number Street of Dreams.
So far so good.
The second half, however, as the title of the show indicated it would be, was a mock up of The Sands, which simply meant everyone had changed into Dinner Jackets and he, Stephen, cracked a good few asides, Sinatra style.
WHY? we weren't in Las Vegas, we were in York for God's sake! and didn't need that bit of fantasy, perhaps it was to provide variation and justify the show's title. My biggest gripe was the silence between numbers, apart from generous applause, no audience reaction, and none sought. It was fine whilst he was singing and the band were playing but what was needed was an intimate night club atmosphere where there were no footlights between audience and performer. But, oh dear, in a cool theatre - a Grand Opera House no less - with many empty seats we did need to be wooed for that gap to be bridged. I got the impression that he didn't actually need an audience, he had his band and talent...end of !
The odd way of leader Nigel Hailwood in introducing each member of the band individually by name right at the very end meant 17 bursts of applause...but what of their pedigree?
The 2 guys I spoke to afterward had been with Syd Lawrence for years, we needed to know that.
Most of all, in a band with so much talent, some solos downstage would have been good too.
Am I being picky? well when you have seen the great band shows of the past you know what works!
It was still worth seeing and I hope Lance or one of his cohorts picks it up in South Shields.
Liz

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