Reviewed by Helen McWilliams
Birmingham was rocking on Friday night with side-splitting comedy from the ever hilarious Jasper Carrott, who introduced artists from the Birmingham area – all of whom have enjoyed successful careers (and continue to do so). They entertained the full house on their home turf to the point of well and truly ‘raising the roof’.
With resident Bev Bevan band (Bevan on drums) which included Tony Kelsey, Phil Tree and Abby Brant, we were treated to music that far out-classed anything that can be heard in the charts today (in my opinion) and memorable songs that everyone could sing along to, irrelevant of age group. There was a large screen at the back of the stage where photographs were projected of the guest stars (from years ago to current day). I noted many gasps of recognition from the audience members around me as they gestured wistfully towards the black and white pictures that appeared and were clearly ‘taken back’ to ‘the day’. There were also scenes from Birmingham in years gone by which evoked memories for me, personally.
The artists who performed with the Bev Bevan band were superb all-round entertainers, Trevor Burton who plays with ‘The Move’ and was one of the founder members of the band in 1966 astounded me with his guitar skills and has an extremely versatile singing voice. Geoff Turton who still performs with ‘The Rockin’ Berries’ (they have been voted one of the UK’s number 1 comedy show bands) gave a witty performance coupled with crowd pleasing numbers such as ‘Pretty Woman’. Danny King is described as ‘Birmingham’s first pop star’ and he demonstrated amazing vocal ability while singing my favourites ‘Move It’ by Cliff Richard and ‘True Love Ways’ by Buddy Holly. Topping off the line-up, was Joy Strachan-Brain from locally-based band ‘Quill’. I have been supporting ‘Quill’ for the past 15 years and I thought I knew what to expect from Joy. However, she was a revelation as she took songs that I’ve never heard her perform before and made them her own – ‘Nutbush City Limits’ rivalled Tina Turner and ‘Going Back’ by Dusty Springfield was simply stunning.
Jasper Carrott was on top form, even picking up a guitar himself in the second act and asking “are you ready to rock & roll?” before bursting into a folk song! He is a comedian who does not date and whose jokes are still relevant, the audience were rolling in the aisles and my husband had tears streaming down his cheeks! Wonderful talent has come out of Birmingham and continues to do so, but we were fortunate enough to be in the company of the crème de la crème throughout this inspired show. It ended on a high note with the popular ‘Blackberry Way’ (original hit from ‘The Move’) and my husband and I continued to sing it all the way home.
Please visit http://www.brianyeates.co.uk/Touring-Shows/Made-In-Brum/638 for information and to book tickets.
Our interview with Joy Strachan-Brain can be found here: https://breakalegreviewblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/break-a-leg-review-interview-joy-strachan-brain/
Published on http://www.thegoodreview.co.uk 30.04.13