George Melly

Norwich Playhouse

> Norwich Playhouse

The joyful faces of the capacity audience at the Playhouse on Saturday evening said the seven men in black could do no wrong.

Jazz singer George Melly has been around forever, emotionally rooted in a post-war rebellious new age. But he has not turned establishment, even if he is less threatening to civil stability today.

Later, in the foyer, the irrepressible Mr Melly turned out to be in a loud, green, striped suit, such was the jazz club dimness of the stage lighting.

George is in his late 70s, which is better than the alternative.

His dress sense has not improved, his jokes are ever-surrealistic, and his mobility and memory not what they were when he first sang with Humphrey Lyttleton, half a century ago.

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Yet his blues delivery is paced and stuffed with innuendo - if that is the right word.

And the other musicians? The band was led by world-class Digby Fairweather - intense, passionate cornetist as ever; Julian Marc Stringle was liquid gold on clarinet and so dirty on tenor it made you blush; Dominic Ashworth was expressive on guitar; the singing bass was of venerable Len Skeat; while rocking Bobby Worth was on drums and tailgating trombonist Chris Gower.

They will be back next December; leave your Prozac at home.