Yesterday Mr Robot and I had a fantastic night watching the Nathan Jones Allstars Big Band show 'Sinatra Spectacular'. I'm afraid photos weren't permitted, so I have no pictures for you, but rest assured it was great. The show doesn't recreate the look of Sinatra, rather it takes you on a musical journey through Sinatra's career, starting in the 1930s and coming right up to ol' Blue Eyes' last years.
Before each song, vocalist Vic Clements would talk a little about its history. It really was remarkable how many of the great songs were written in the 1930s. I found the talks fascinating, and it helped make the show so much more than the usual 'lookalikes' sort of artist-based production. This wasn't about faking a night with the man himself, it was about celebrating his music in a genuine and faithful fashion. The musicians were excellent. I listen to Sinatra a lot (part of my Friday iPod playlist) and I was very impressed with how they played the classic arrangements of the songs. When I first saw the instruments set out, I wondered if they really would need five saxophones. Yes, they did!
I'm definitely a fan of the first half of Sinatra's career, up until about the mid-1960s. The reaction of the other audience members suggested they preferred the later Sinatra; one lady behind us was happily singing along to 'My Way' and 'New York, New York' (which will always make me think of Gremlins 2...) The only duff note to me was the song they ended on, which is a great song, and one I love, but it's one that will forever be associated with another artist, and I wished they'd ended on one more purely Frankie, even if it had meant playing with the timeline a little.
My one other gripe has nothing to do with the show at all - it's that the theatre was half-empty. This show is selling out much larger venues in other parts of the county. TROWBRIDGE, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? It drives me nuts. People moan about how there's nothing going on, there's nothing to do in the town, but when they have the chance to see something excellent, they ignore it. And sooner or later the excellent things will stop coming to the town. THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS. Wherever you are, if something nice is happening near you, do go along if you can. And if you're in Chippenham, you'll get the chance to see this excellent show for yourself on the 10th of September.