The Blues Brothers, Norwich
RICHARD BATSON They just won't go away – thank goodness. This tribute show threatened to bow out last year, but they are back at the Theatre Royal with another flipping, flopping, flying farewell fling which is definitely more party than wake.
They just won't go away – thank goodness. This tribute show threatened to bow out last year, but they are back at the Theatre Royal with another flipping, flopping, flying farewell fling which is definitely more party than wake.
The time-honoured recipe of blues, soul and fun shows little sign of reaching its sell-by date.
A non-stop evening of classic songs and showmanship revolves around the twin hubs of the brothers themselves.
Brad Henshaw leads from the front as big brother Jake combining a powerful voice with a strong stage presence, cajoling the “Knaw-witch” audience into
clapping, dancing action.
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Elwood's role saw Gareth Haughton manfully understudying Simon Foster on opening night.
The must-do Blues Brothers anthems went down a storm. But there were some surprises too – with a slow atmospheric stroll Under the Boardwalk, and a bizarre version of Two Little Boys by that soul legend… Rolf Harris.
The neck hairs of guitar fans were tingled in Shotgun Blues by the brilliant tones and solos of Graham McGrotty, who cut his teeth playing in bands in the Norwich area.
And the women were all a-fluster when leather-trousered backing singer Joe Speare stepped forward as a raunchy preacher.
Former Starsky and Hutch star Antonio Fargas left Huggy Bear behind and became Cab Calloway to lead the obligatory Minnie the Moocher singalong.
But should we really throw away our pork pie hats just yet? Is this really bye-de-bye-de-bye for the Blues Brothers? Let's hope it's no–de-no-de-no.