Review: Hot Sardines, Norwich Theatre Royal

The Hot Sardines at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Picture: JMA Photography

The Hot Sardines at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Picture: JMA Photography - Credit: JMA Photography

There can't be many bands that count a tap dancer as one of their percussionists, but that's not even the most extraordinary thing about the Hot Sardines.

The Hot Sardines at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Picture: JMA Photography

The Hot Sardines at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Picture: JMA Photography - Credit: JMA Photography

That honour goes to their stellar musicianship: they know their heritage, know their instruments, and best of all know how to use and abuse that to have a lot of creative, energetic and audibly delicious fun.

Their set touched on Gershwin, Fats Waller, and even Disney, all laced with their own unique strain of showmanship.

Bandleader Bibs Palazzo was at the heart of the action, a fantastically talented pianist (and whistler) whose open-fronted piano is as stylish as his playing, with lead singer Miz Elizabeth adding plenty of pizzazz with a mixture of French and English vocals topped with a New York twang.

With an accomplished band around them bringing in crisp clear tones for the Charleston or breathy, messy, sleazy notes for a sublime Summertime, there wasn't anything more you could ask of them.


You may also want to watch:


The only thing missing was the chance to get up and dance: hard to help thinking that the Norfolk and Norwich Festival's spectacular Spiegeltent would have been a better spiritual home than the Theatre Royal, but it would have required a week-long residency to pack in Tuesday night's sell-out crowd.

Oh, and the tap dancer? Fast Eddy Francisco is not just a pair of pretty feet; as a well as some sweet dance breaks he also pulled out a ukelele for one number.

Most Read

Told you these guys are talented.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus