Tony Christie

RICHARD PARR King's Lynn Corn Exchange

RICHARD PARR

> King's Lynn Corn Exchange

He saved the best until last and he brought them to their dancing feet as he belted out his chart-topping 70s classic Is This the Way to Amarillo?

Yes, veteran crooner Tony Christie was on top vocal form in King's Lynn last night as he showed his sellout audience that he had lost none of the old magic that made him a household name in the mid-70s.

And how his audience loved him, bopping in their seats as one classic followed another – Las Vegas, Avenues and Alleyways, I Did What I Did for Maria, On Broadway and Old Man River.

As a treat, Christie gave the audience a Beatles medley which included The Long and Winding Road, Lady Madonna, Someone Knocking at the Door and Hey Jude.

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At 61, Christie is in good shape, both vocally and physically, and his voice was instantly recognisable, its expansive tones filling the auditorium.

The Comic Relief version of the Amarillo song with comedian Peter Kay, which is number one in the charts, has brought him a new legion of fans and he has become something of a cult figure among students.

The success of the Comic Relief song has really surprised him, particularly the speed at which it has zoomed up the charts.

His new-found fame has even landed him a part in a top television soap. Later this year he will appear as himself in Emmerdale.

Last night Christie had full support from a talented and extensive orchestra.

Their contribution, combined with spectacular lighting effects, made the show an Easter treat to remember.

It is not hard to see why Christie has always been popular – he has an easy going, informal stage presence with some nice comic touches.

And judging from the renaissance of a career spanning more than four decades, he can look forward to many more years to come.

t Tony Christie will appear at Lowestoft's Marina Theatre on April 17.

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