John Howe Showcase 2015 Session 1 – by Johnny Tait

john howeJohn Howe Showcase

First session Monday evening

Reviewer Johnny Tait

The showcase opened with a classic number ‘Cabaret’ performed with style and panache by the resident Showteam.

A backstage announcement introduced vocalist Ant Collesso he took to the stage wearing a bright red eye catching suit, his presentation was faultless, sadly his overall performance was below par. I would recommend a change in repertoire.

Veteran pro Nick Preston showed that experience pays, finishing with the Cockney Rebel classic ‘Come up and see me’ his set was enjoyed by all. Nick is comfortable playing to any audience. And is capable of performing in any kind of venue.

A breath of fresh air flowed through the venue when Samantha Lomax took to the stage with her tribute to one of the showbiz greats Dusty Springfield. Her presentation, personality and performance were faultless. I could never get tired of watching this talented young lady perform.

During what seems like another lifetime ago I appeared on a showcase compered by personality vocalist Chris Smeed. He knows exactly how to present himself and interact with the audience. No doubt he will still be working in our next lifetime.

Rock ‘n’ Roll party band The Fire Tones opened up with a Chuck Berry number ‘Sweet Little Sixteen.’ Finishing with the well-known ‘Johnny Be Good’ An overall enjoyable performance. Whatever type of venue you are booking for, if you are hosting a Rock ‘n’ Roll night, you have found the ideal band.

There seems to be an abundance of Gary Barlow tribute acts about. Nathan Smithers was well turned out and sounded like the former Take That member.

Interaction with the audience is crucial for any kind of act and illusionist Richie Austin fully understands that. His illusions were well presented and the snowstorm illusion was presented faultlessly. It must be difficult to find an original illusion, but I felt that is what the act needs.

Two Harmonies opened with ‘Bring him home’ from Les Mis I have never heard it performed as a duo before and for me it did not work. However their version of The Righteous Brothers classic ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’ really hit the spot.

WE have all heard the saying “Horses for courses.” Every venue needs an act that suits, for any pub the perfect act to pull your customers in is Alex E. This guitarist/vocalist is guaranteed to produce the perfect pub night.

Spotlight Duo are a refreshing double act, their appearance was spot on and I liked their original rendition of ‘The Lady is a Tramp’ followed by ‘The Beauty and the Beast’ which was performed with heart warming sincerity. Finishing with ‘Enough is Enough’ this well turned out Boy/Girl duo fully understand the importance of not just singing a song but performing a song.

Chris Smeed with the resident dancers backing him performing ‘A kick in the head’ brought the evening to a perfect close.

Marc Layton from Layton entertainments said his two favourite acts were Nathan Smithers as Gary Barlow and the two Harmonies.





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