Saturday, April 01, 2017

Live Review: "Celebrate Sinatra", Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 25.03.2017

As the years go on, one thing never changes - timeless music will live on and continue to be appreciated long after the performers have left us.  Frank Sinatra was one of the most iconic performers of the 20th century and the appreciation of his music lives on.

"Celebrate Sinatra" has been touring the UK and stopped off last Saturday night at the sedate surroundings of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.  The intentions of the show were made very clear early on by lead performer Matt Ford, that it was not an impersonation show ("there is no hat...") but rather that the evening was going to be a respectful celebration of some of the finest songs in the classic American songbook. Indeed the show was more in the style of one of those theatre shows which, say, celebrated the best of West End musicals.  This was also reflected in the audience which was more 'mature' and sedate than what we might usually see at a 'Rat Pack' tribute show for example.

Above: Matt Ford.

Above: Emma Kershaw. 

Whilst writing this post I did some research which revealed that we were in the presence of some very illustrious performers with very extensive CVs!  Matt Ford ( is a very highly rated big band vocalist who has performed with a number of orchestras in the UK and Europe, whilst special guest artist Emma Kershaw (, who particularly has incredible experience as a soloist, musical performer, session singer and actress.  Matt and Emma's experience clearly showed in their effortless delivery of these timeless songs.  It wasn't the complete Sinatra experience by any means - notably "That's Life" was conspicuous by its absence, in favour of a couple of lesser-known songs, but it was still an enjoyable evening nonetheless. 

What I particularly loved about this show was the orchestral backing.  You can't beat live music of course, but for me an orchestra is just the best musical backup that anyone can have.  The concert orchestra were conducted by Anthony Gabriele; he had the usual crowd-pleasing exuberant traits you expect from a conductor, and this earned an extra round of applause at the end of the show.

A special mention for the dance troupes who brought the show alive with their dance routines: the Swing Time Jivers and ballroom dancing duo Emma and Christopher Burrell, pictured below in a much emptier Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (courtesy of their Facebook page (  By the way I loved Emma's dress :)

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