Buddy Holly: A Legend Reborn – Stafford Gatehouse Theatre

Reviewed by Helen and Garry McWilliams


If you’re like us and a huge fan of the legend whom the hit song ‘American Pie’ was dedicated to (together with the other musicians who tragically lost their lives in the same plane crash) then this show will certainly be of interest to you. We were not only looking forward to hearing all of our favourite Buddy Holly numbers, but intrigued to find out just how accurate a tribute Marc Robinson pays to Holly, especially keen to find out if he lived up to his number one tribute to Buddy Holly accolade.

We were not disappointed, not only did Robinson resurrect the tragic hero live on stage with an uncanny singing voice and amazing guitar skills, the backing group who go by the name of The Counterfeit Crickets were also spot on and extremely talented. Opening with ‘Peggy Sue’ was an excellent choice and immediately had the audience jigging in their seats, we were also impressed that Robinson stayed in character throughout and continued to impersonate Buddy Holly in between the hits that rocked The Gatehouse Theatre. We enjoyed ‘Tell Me How’, ‘Rave On’ and ‘Heartbeat’ to name but a few and we were fascinated with the anecdotes about which tunes were B sides and to learn that Paul Anka wrote ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore’ in his teens.

One of the special touches added to the show was the authenticity of ‘Everyday’ as the drummer from the Counterfeit Crickets slapped his thighs all the way through the number which we were informed was exactly what the drummer did when the song was recorded. On reflection, and having listened to ‘Everyday’ again, since we can hear the difference. There were similar factual treats in store throughout – but we won’t spoil them all for you!

This show is un-missable, we could have watched it all again in the same night and will be sure to be watching again sometime in the future. The show changes from venue to venue with other tribute artists added to the mix, including Connie Francis and Elvis Presley but we can report that it’s a first class evening out with just ‘Buddy’ at the helm!

Visit http://www.easytheatres.com/concert-shows/buddy-holly/ to find out tour dates and further details and watch the youtube video included in this review to find out just how like his hero Marc Robinson is.

See our interview with Marc, here: https://breakalegreviewblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/interview-with-marc-robinson-aka-buddy-holly-tribute/

An Evening With Sir Bruce Forsyth – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewed by Helen and Garry McWilliams


What can we say? The man is a legend and this proved to be an evening of entertainment not to be missed. Brucie is still every inch the Comedian, with a powerful singing voice (considering his 85 years) and the ability to tap dance, albeit mainly from the comfort of a stool.

Of course the show opened with a “Nice To See You To See You….” “NICE!” and naturally there was the Brucie pose that we have come to know and love. Dave Arch and his orchestra who have become ever-popular as the backing artists for ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ provided high quality music for the evening and there were plenty of laughs courtesy of Don Hunt, who has served as Bruce’s Musical Director for over thirty years. The rapport between the two of them was quite something and Hunt fast became an audience ‘favourite’ throughout the show.

What we found to be a delightful touch was that Forsyth made a trip around the auditorium to shake hands with enthusiastic audience members and this interaction formed the basis of the evening. Later on, three male audience members were pulled up on stage to ‘copy’ Forsyth’s dance moves to ‘Top Hat’ which was simply hilarious and an unwitting lady sitting in the stalls performed a quick step with him! Brucie is a ‘people person’ and we felt that there were no airs and graces, he is still exceedingly humbled by all of the attention and applause. In fact in our opinion Symphony Hall should have sold out because he deserves to fill every venue he visits.

‘You’re Just Too Good To Be True’ and ‘I Made It Through The Rain’ were a couple of the numbers that Brucie treated us to and he has a strong and melodic tone, the album that he has released entitled ‘These Are My Favourites’ features the songs that he included in the show. The Question and Answer session at the end of the night was intimate and a cut above those we’ve seen in the past at similar style shows featuring other artists. Garry was pleased to have his question answered and we both left the auditorium feeling like we’d had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

On this current tour, Bruce was only committed to three dates, however he has been announced as appearing at Glastonbury this year and we’re sure there will be more dates fixed soon. Keep your eyes peeled and keep dancing!

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