November 3rd 2016
Producers: Barrie and Vicci Lucas & Colin Jones
Reviewer: Mark Ritchie
In part two of the National Tribute Day part of this event, the bookers gathered for the final session of a massively successful event for Barrie and Vicci Lucas, at the Viva. It was over the Ricky K to act as Compere and chase through yet another session at a lightening pace.
The extraordinary vision of a huge live band, fronted by a dead-ringer for David Bowie came out first. The question is, could this man, whose name turned out to be Chris Fielding, re-create Bowie’s Serious Moonlight Tour, a live show I actually remember seeing live at the time. This is a great live band and definitely the next best thing to the thin, white duke himself. In short, the best live-band tribute artiste with the most accurate lookalike/soundalike, I have ever come across in tribute-land.
Following that would have been difficult for any solo performer, working with tracks. The task fell to singer Destiny Michelle, with her Forever Donna Summer show, which will no doubt please many old disco fans.
Madonna- The Tribute came next and here we have a good working solo tribute, who had come into this event at the eleventh hour, due to an act who fell ill. In short, a very bookable tribute attraction here.
I have seen and enjoyed Tyler Jon before. His solo tribute to Gary Barlow ticks all the boxes in terms of both lookalike and sound-alike quality. There should be oodles of offers coming his way, after this tremendously impressive showcase outing.
Impressive and smartly dressed singer Rojay is a smooth operator, as he presents his Soul Legends tribute. A real pity about the one fade-out backing track, but still enough to show any switched-on booker that this is indeed a top-drawer attraction.
In my view, there are only three top-drawer Adele tribute artistes, which I have personally seen on the UK scene and Lareena Mitchell is definitely one of them. The identity of the other two, I will keep under my hat, but suffice to say that, here we have tribute entertainment of the highest quality.
Kitos is the name of a young man from Sliema in Malta, who is dead-ringer for sexy Spaniard, Enrique Iglesias and was soon on stage driving the showcase ladies crazy. As ever with tribute, the success or failure will depend on demand, but sexy sells and this young man can indeed sing sexily and looks as if he knows it!
Levena was next performing her Whitney The Greatest show. This is not the easiest vocal tribute to pull off and this artiste certainly put a lot into her vocal impression. We were informed that Levena also performs as herself on cruise ship stages.
It was hard to take my eyes off Joe Marcel & The Sweet Aspirations. The sextet of singing and dancing ladies behind him really gave it everything they had. As for Mr Marcel, the term, ’never knowingly undersold’, should definitely be applied!
For the Love of Luther is the name of a solo tribute singer by the name of Dayton. I saw this well prepared and immaculately presented artiste before and in vocal terms, this is a stand-out performer. It is a pleasure to listen to a singer whose vocal richness and clarity of delivery is as defined as this young man.
Equally impressive was Stacy Green as Annie Lennox. A dead ringer for Ms Lennox, Stacy Green is possibly the most convincing and committed solo female tribute artiste, in lookalike terms, that I have seen. As a sound-alike Ms Green is pretty damn good too!
In another late challenge to the advertised programme, we then found ourselves watching and listening to Nicola T as Beyonce. Here we had a singer/dancer and two female dancers, performing some of the hits in segue form, with the aid of some very busy backing tracks. I would imagine what we have here are three dancers taking a stab at a cabaret act. On a number of levels, I’m afraid this act didn’t really work for me.
Next came Little Minx, who were predictably a Little Mix tribute. As was the case with the act immediately before them, I’m afraid for many of the same reasons, this act didn’t really work for me either. The shouted vocal delivery was perhaps the most noticeable of the many deficiencies here.
Samantha Lomax is going travelling, as she is such in busy act. Performing her Paloma Faith tribute act, Miss Lomax is always great value and always looks ravishing and ravish-able. Calling in at this showcase, presumably to remind bookers that she is still very much available, I’m sure everyone wishes Samantha well with her globe-trotting career.
A Bob Marley tribute singer, who is simply known as ‘Marlon’, came next. Every party person likes a bit of reggae and although Marlon doesn’t claim lookalike status, I’m sure everyone enjoys listening to his singing voice.
Singer and dancer Katy Ellis and her two dancers entered to perform her Taylor Swift tribute. This was very bookable indeed for a number of areas of the market-place and what Miss Ellis does, she does very well. The costuming is top class too!
Next up was Paul Tayler, who was performing his Pure Jackson- Michael Jackson tribute. I have long been a fan of this young man, with his support for this publication notwithstanding, anyone who doubts the accuracy of this review, due to my close friendship with the performer himself, really ought to go and catch the show or book the show.
A sweet and soulful singer, who was simply known as ‘Mikey’, made an unbilled appearance next. Opening with Lionel Richie’s Three Times a Lady, this singer looks and sounds the part, in every department.
Closing the entire event out was Myth of Unity. Here we have a hi-tech act, featuring a male rapper/singer and his equally hyper female partner. Standing behind and looking slightly detached from proceedings was a ‘Dave-Double-Decks’ character, scratching away and complete with headphones. All very 21st century of course, but show business and showcase-land moves with the times and if we don’t we might as well all chuck the towel in!
And that was that. The UK’s biggest and best, booker-attended showcase was over again, until we all meet again in February at a certain iconic venue in Stratford On Avon.
In the ultimate act of self-indulgence, I am using my perks as UK Cabaret managing editor to nominate myself as an Experts Choice subject for this final session. The power must be going to my head! On the night, I opted to choose Bowie by Moonlight & Stacey Green as Annie Lennox. Both may find themselves booked for my birthday party next year. The real Mr Bowie is now with the angels and the real Ms Lennox may just be outside my price range.