Showcase Productions 2016 session two
After the success of the opening evening show, it was very much a case of a new day and a new Compere at the helm in the shape of comedian and entertainer Noel Brodie. Perhaps a few different comperes during a big event lends new impetus to each session, so maybe this is the way to go. Brodie is an industry professional. He is extremely engaging and ultra- professional.
Queen Alive is the name of a live five-piece band, brought to us by UK Cabaret subscriber company Mainstream Management. A terrific attraction here for those with the budget for a big band. Queen Alive are boasting musicians who certainly know how play and entertain.
Eastern European born singer Simina, is now based in Yorkshire and is represented by UK Cabaret subscribers at Tricks of the Trade Ltd. This artiste came along to deliver a segment from her Cher tribute show, Strong Enough. The act is certainly strong enough and, providing there is still enough demand for this particular tribute subject, Simina should work and work.
Red Sheeran was next on the showcase tribute trail. He we had ‘Ed’ and two musical mates on guitar and drums. This young man is a great musician and singer in his own right. With talent like this, I hope he has music of his own to offer. In the meantime this first rate tribute show is sure to keep the money rolling in.
Splendid singer Wayne Samuels was introduced on stage by Compere Noel Brodie, who quipped that this wonderful Yorkshire based singer was a Tyson Fury lookalike. I am experiencing a similar level of quipping whenever I venture on stage, as many people seem to believe I bear a resemblance to a vet on the TV soap Emmerdale. In any event, the superb Mr Samuels certainly delivered the vocal goods on an impressive showcase outing.
Singer Annie Miller gave us a segment from her 1940’s show and very well sung it was too. This is of course a highly specialised tribute, I would suggest, at the budget-conscious end of the market. Hopefully Ms Miller’s appearance will have ticked boxes for some bookers from the nostalgia tribute end of the market.
Celebrated North-East band frontman Billy Black brought along his band to perform as both The Billy Black Band as well as their tribute to Bon Jovi. Given that they hail from Newcastle, the band is rather amusing known as Bon Jordi. What you see is what you get from this top-drawer band attraction and the muscular Mr Black is sure to cause many a rock chic’s heart to flutter, as I’m sure they did whilst watching the telly recently. I am informed that Mr Black appeared with some success recently in the BBC talent-fest, The Voice.
I have seen and admired comedy impressionist Paul Burling before. In the days before under-graduate humour and reality pap took over the telly schedules, people will Burling’s skill, talent and broad appeal were always in demand. For some reason Mr Burling always reminds me of the great Paul Melba and surely a suitable television vehicle should be constructed for him.
Three bonny and sartorially elegant Geordie boys known collectively as M Town came next. I did recognise these guys from other similar acts and the experience and talent shone through. This was as polished as acts of this type can become. There should be quality work in abundance for those seeking the best possible Motown type shows.
Singer Georgina Otley presented her tribute show Somewhere Streisand. However this lady reminded me more of the Divine Miss M. As was the case with the 1940’s tribute Annie Miller, I’m not sure how much demand there will be for a Streisand show, but this lady has a fine set of pipes, even though the pitch and timbre of her voice does not, in my view, naturally lend itself to Streisand material.
Next came Will Rawlings, who performed his tribute to the old wine drinker himself, Dean Martin. This wittily presented take on the music of Martin also sounded just about perfect and I’m told there is still considerable demand for this type of tribute, which will be cheery news for Mr Rawlings.
Braximusic suggest cruise ship entertainment at its very best. Crossover mixed gender duo’s are very much in demand at sea and this act, based in Holland and represented by UK Cabaret subscribers Peel Talent, is right up there with the best I have come across. The stage wear combines modern and distinctive themes and I certainly wasn’t expecting the Braximusic take on the David Bowie song Under Pressure. This song, originally a Bowie/Freddie Mercury duet was, in my view, best performed by Bowie and the great bass player and singer Gail Anne Dorsey. The Braximusic rendition ran Bowie and Dorsey a close second and that, believe me, is praise indeed.
I have seen and enjoyed bonny Yorkshire singer Luke Peters on a number of previous viewings, when he was known under another stage name, Lucas Primmer. Whatever the reason for the change in stage name, Peters/Primmer, for reasons best known to himself, chose to remind the audience of his old moniker. However, whatever his name is, this young man oozes talent and has a superbly pitched voice. In my view he really should be much further up the career ladder by now. His closing song, the Will Young hit, Leave Right Now was performed with expressive emotion and with a special degree of sheer talent.
Robbie Supreme came next in the shape of singer Dougie Samborra. If the criteria for a successful tribute act is looking or sounding like their chosen subject I’m afraid Mr Samborra, in my view, ticks neither box.
A Freddie Mercury solo tribute came next, in the shape of Bulsara. The name is derived of course from Freddie’s real birth name and this former Physics teacher certainly lives the part. Vocally this is a great impression and the work should flow from those who require the music and the voice, but don’t necessarily have the budget for a full band.
Closing the second session out, it was the turn of Weekend Service. Here we have an Essex based four handed live band with a stunning, ravishing and extremely tuneful female singer out front. It was great to close with a truly live band at the end of another absorbing session.
Time to be both fed and watered and pass the reviewing baton onto my new UK Cabaret colleague Vicky Bailey.
Experts Choice: Julie Butcher- visiting artiste manager for Park Resorts chose Red Sheeran and Paul Burling
Vicky Bailey UK Cabaret reviewer chose Red Sheeran and Queen Alive