The Blues Broters

RICHARD BATSON Pavilion Theatre, Cromer

RICHARD BATSON

Cromer Pier takes a pounding each year, normally from the wind and the sea. But Sunday's visit by this touring Blues Brothers band also had it shuddering - with waves of dancing and fun.

The group and the crowd were out to party, and after just a couple of songs they were limbering up.

A sea of arms swayed to She Caught The Katy. And by the time Aretha Franklin arrived with Think and Respect, virtually the whole hall was dancing - something I have seldom seen at the Pavilion so early in a show.

The appearance of Aretha was all the more amazing considering this is an eight-piece all-male band.

But Peter Tobit, alias Jake Blues, donned wig and dress to become the queen of soul, and later added further cameos as Cab Calloway for Minnie the Moocher, and fiery priest the Rev I C Delight to lead a gospel section.

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Tobit leads the knockabout humour in this show but is not just a fool, having a voice as strong and powerful as his stage presence.

He is partnered, as his brother Ellwood, by the equally impressive Michael Lawrence, whose West End stage experience helps with the floorshow.

They are backed by a tight band of accomplished musicians, including Norfolk trumpeter Dave Land, from Flordon, with CVs linking them to The Bee Gees, The Sweet and The Commitments.

The Blues Brothers phenomenon has a cult following, and there was the usual smattering of pork pie hats and shades in the crowd.

People got what they expected, from classic rhythm 'n' blues to the obligatory country and western pastiche and Jailhouse Rock finale.

And yet they got more than that with a show that mixed music, energy and humour in a cocktail to stir even the starchiest tail-feathers.

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