George Melly + John Chilton, Norwich

TONY COOPER Sporting a red fedora, white shoes and a dramatic red-and-white striped suit and wearing a patch over his right eye, George Melly appeared on the Playhouse stage, took up his position and with a flourishing trumpet intro by John Chilton, led straight into his signature tune, Goodtime George!It was good to see him back and once again the 'old partnership' produced a good night of jazz peppered with plenty of George's inimitable humour laced with a strong dash of showmanship.

TONY COOPER

Sporting a red fedora, white shoes and a dramatic red-and-white striped suit and wearing a patch over his right eye, George Melly appeared on the Playhouse stage, took up his position and with a flourishing trumpet intro by John Chilton, led straight into his signature tune, Goodtime George!

It was good to see him back and once again the 'old partnership' produced a good night of jazz peppered with plenty of George's inimitable humour laced with a strong dash of showmanship.

George doesn't cavort about the stage as much as he used to, but you can't expect him to do so at his ripe old age.

He's been at the crease for a long time now and doing so much better than the lot 'down under'.

He sits on stage perusing the audience (a packed one, yet again) like an old bulldog waiting for its master and in between a script of jokes and anecdotes, he delivers the goods, working his way through about 20 numbers, which included a couple by Bessie Smith, his favourite blues singer.

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But, as we all know, all good things have to come to an end. At the end of the night he announced that John Chilton is retiring and this was the end of their partnership.

And the city will always be one that he will remember with affection. Chilton started out on the road with George at the legendary Jacquard Club in Magdalen Street and finished at a venue not very far away 30 years later.

And a reunion on stage brought Albert Cooper, Norwich blues shouter, to join George and the boys in a rendering of Doctor Jazz, a number he sang with them on their first date in Norwich. You couldn't write a better script!

On Monday they open at Ronnie Scott's for a four-week season. And that's it, folks, for John Chilton and the Feetwarmers.

George, however, is batting for a century and will be back.

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