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Bebop Spoken There

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ruth Lambert with The Customs House Big Band @ Customs House, South Shields - February 24

(Review by Ann Alex)
Ruth gave a great performance and looked the part as well, and it’s difficult to find anything fresh to say that hasn’t been said already, but I like a challenge. She looked like a jazz singer, if there is such a look, as she was wearing a long dress, white with a pattern of large black motifs. Nice Work If You Can Get It I thought, which was her opening number –  one and a half choruses with a few bars of soloing from tenor sax. Then a slower song, The Man I Love, and a flugelhorn solo from Mr Riley-Gledhill, and excellent phrasing from our singer on such lines as ‘who would, would you’ with a proper pause for the comma.
Songs came in pairs between band numbers, and the next number had Lance in floods of tears, you’ve guessed, it was Summertime, (only joking) and the band played mellow summery sounds, with lightly touched cymbals. Almost Like Being In Love sang Ruth, and more snatches of tenor solo.
When our vocalist entered in the second set, we saw that she’d done something clever to the outfit. She was now wearing a black lacy overdress with the original outfit. A lively version of the Sinatra favourite, Our Love Is Here To Stay, followed by Makin Whoopee, which is really a short story in song form, and Ruth showing skilled use of the microphone to get the best sound, which I’ve noticed with this singer in all her performances.  At Last (my love has come along); then Someone To Watch Over Me, complete with the long verse section, well sung. It was all stops out for Ruth and the band on the finale/encore, Alright, OK, You Win, with the audience clapping in rhythm, and Ruth and Mr Morgan singing call and response. Good honest Gasbook songs, all very enjoyable.
Ann Alex

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