Curtains up Showcase session three
Reviewer Mark Ritchie
Close-up magician Matty Evans was busy bamboozling one and all in the foyer and key bookers gathered from all over the UK. The quality of a showcase audience is certainly more important than the quantity, as we hear reports of other ‘packed’ trade showcases, where hundreds of Clubland acts arrive simply to party and harangue the few attending bookers for work. At Curtains Up they are proud of their trade only tag.
Bob Drury’s Diamond Experience proved to be a delight. Neil Diamond fans will be delighted with the soundalike quality here and the nifty guitar work.
Bookers of current tribute acts for holiday parks could plump for Little Mix Up. Looking prepared with stage movement skills and harmonies, these four girls are terrific.
I loved the velvety tones of singer Tony Roberts. Performing a version of Bonnie Wraitt’s haunting ballad of unrequited love, I Can’t Make You Love Me, Roberts would have scored more heavily working with the backing band.
Singer Destiny Michelle has a powerful set of pipes, but in my view chose material that did not suit her vocal timbre. This artiste appeared later as a Whitney Houston tribute.
Singer Amy Whittle Performed her Hits of the Female Greats show, the highlight of which was a version of Pucchini’s aria O Mia Babbino Caro (My beloved Father).This young lady would make a great classical/crossover artiste for cruise ships if working with live musicians.
MP3 are a vocal trio featuring two male and one female singers. Slick and professional looking, this superbly presented act has cruise ship cabaret written all over them.
Neil J Duncan and Anthony Adams perform a curious fusion of tribute and comedy known as Legends& Laughter. We were shown superb Sinatra and Matt Monro impressions, a Tommy Cooper take-off and Elvis-The Tommy Cooper years. To be honest I can’t really see where this act fits.
Smart function band Rapture came next and made a compelling case for quality band work, residencies or cruise work. A truly live five piece with a beautiful and tuneful female singer out front, Rapture are top-drawer.
Joey James is billed as a speciality act. What we actually saw was a singer who needs dressing for the stage, performing a monologue involving a deck of playing cards and a spot of portrait painting. James will be difficult to place on this showing.
Kizzstory are two girls and two boys, who performed a beat-box style set involving melody line vocals and plosive microphone sounds.
Alex Stassi performed vocal impressions from the likes of Kate Bush and Stevie Wonder. All of which is hardly original and will require slicker and smarter presentation skills than this young man seems to possess.
Hearing the opening bars of that hoary old showcase chestnut Cry Me a River always fills many showcase attendees with a due sense of exhaustion and dread. However Marc Dillon’s Buble tribute was a sheer delight. In short, great voice, great look and a tip-top tribute.
Closing the session out was singer Katie Sparkes, who looks experienced and sounds good, but for some reason seems to lack conviction and confidence in her own ability.