Reviewer Mark Ritchie
Evening session compere duties fell to comedian and Peter Kay tribute act Lee Lard, whose biting line in wit and comedy impact set the early evening atmosphere right from the start.
The New West End Jerseys were brought along by UK Cabaret subscribers Mainstream Management and they are the latest in a long line of Frankie Valli type acts. These guys will claim their place in the higher echelons of the tribute pecking order for sure.
Fifteen year old Olivia Garcia was presumably placed early on in the bill, due to it being a school night. Joking aside, young Olivia was shaking like a leaf, but this thoughtfully produced young lady has every reason to relax and enjoy her youth and talent. Olivia Garcia is simply terrific!
Bonny singer Liam Kelly should be highly saleable and he possessed the trained sound of a full chest voice. Lots of work assured for this well-presented performer.
Ultimate Britney comprise two female dancers, who provided adequate back-up for the blonde and hooker-boot adorned Britney look-a-like out front. This blonde bombshell sang while displaying plenty of her well-trimmed torso.
Notte Di Luce presented their tribute to Il Divo by performing a show which is sure to secure its own place within the market. Brought along by UK Cabaret subscribers Garston Entertainments, Notte Di Luce made a great pitch here.
Keyboard vocalist James Carter Stringfellow presented his tribute to Elton John looking, in my view alarmingly like the actor Ken Morley, AKA Reg Holdsworth erstwhile of Coronation Street fame.The keyboard work was a redeeming factor however, but this is not a great sound-alike.
I would imagine the handsome Ben Gerrard cuts quite a dash as a wedding singer. In my view, as a cabaret the link work needs tightening, but as a Michael Buble tribute his agents at UK Cabaret subscribers Unit One entertainment should find their phones ringing.
Celebrated singer and UK Cabaret subscriber Lorraine Crosby presented her Tina Turner tribute, with the aid of two ravishing dancers. Crosby’s vocal ability is beyond question and, of course not claiming to be a look-a-like, Ms Crosby is a lovely mover!
Mega-experienced singer and entertainer Mark Allen enjoys a massive and deserved reputation. Managed by UK Cabaret subscriber Jim Tait, Allen was on cracking form.
I saw gorgeous and glittering singer Sharn Adela at the recent Curtains Up event in Southend. I can only repeat that this terrific performer could perhaps use an energetic management to propel her career forward.
The four guys who make up Beautiful World looks as though they have been around the block a few times in cabaret-land. In my view however, despite their vocal ability, as a Take That tribute this doesn’t really work.
In my view, tattooed singer James Marsh needs dressing for the stage, right down to his shoes. A great voice certainly, Marsh looks like a band man taking a crack at solo work. His general presentation will inevitably narrow his appeal.
This Is Us is billed as a celebration of the music of One Direction and on that footing this works well. With the look of trained production show performers, this show is sure to do the business.
Linacre & Knights are made up of Rob from the famed Linacre show business family and Darren Knights, a well-known band front man. Classic musical theatre songs, sung entirely their way produced a massive reaction from the showcase crowd.
Chasing Mumford were seen and reviewed in October UK Cabaret and I can only echo my admiration for this fire-cracker of a folk/ rock show.
Things turned decidedly eerie as the ghost of a young Cilla Black appeared on stage. Is this a timely moment to be performing a tribute to the late lamented Cilla? We’d better ask Kate Bell, who performed her spookily accurate show-Step inside Love.
Penultimate act was Rob-B-Williams. Comprising a semi-live band, four gorgeous and well-drilled girl dancers and of course ‘Rob-B’. Massively marketable and surely one of the stand-out attractions of the entire event.
Closing the entire evening out was Michael Jackson-Ultimate Legend, performed by UK Cabaret feature writer Paul Tayler. Paul’s talents for mimicry are apparently endless and taking the stage just after midnight, his electrifying set certainly woke up the late-night crowd.
A cracking second session and on to the after-show party, with not a single rendition of Uptown Funk all evening…bliss!
Experts Choice Tony Saxton- Kingsway Club Cleethorpes chose Linacre and Knights & Olivia Garcia