Royal Norther Sinfonia conducted by Roderick Dunk w. Anna O'Byrne; Caroline Sheen; Damian Humbley: Jon Boydon.
(Review by Lance).
This was absolutely superb - not a jazz gig, not even slightly, but as a showcase for, perhaps the greatest songwriter the world has ever known, it couldn't be bettered.
David Thaxton had to pull out due to family illness and Damian Humbley stepped in.
Damian had drove/flew/trained/biked/walked [delete as appropriate] 300 miles, for a 10;30am rehearsal the previous day and gave a performance that suggested it was just another day at the office! Fantastic!
Amazingly, Boydon, who'd been on the gig a little longer did fluff a couple of lines but I doubt if anyone else noticed. It didn't lose him any points and, of the two guys, he was the jazzier.
The girls were gorgeous and they had voices to match. Anna O'Byrne, Australian opera singer, sang with the range expected of someone whose career has encompassed leads in such diverse vehicles as the Magic Flute and Sweeney Todd.
Caroline Sheen, the sassier of the two - think Garland/Merman - completed the quartet. Her Why Can't You Behave?most certainly would have had me behaving.
This was one non-stop concert and, much as I love the John Wilson shows, this was every bit as good!
Thank you, Sage, thank you, Cole Porter.
Earlier, on the concourse, James Birkett led his aspirants through a short set that heartened me for the future.