The pack, Luke Kennedy, Michael Falzon, Ben Mingay and Matt Lee
Swing on This
Produced by Good Egg Creative, GWB Entertainment and The Little Red Company
Directed and choreographed by Chris Horsey
Music direction by Craig Schneider
Season: September 7-11. Performance reviewed on September 8.
Obviously Brisbane loves swing music. The Spiegeltent on the QPAC forecourt was packed to the gills with fans, and they loved the four talent-loaded singers who took standards and more modern songs and swung like crazy in an hour-long journey of great entertainment. So did I.
Luke Kennedy (runner-up of The Voice), stage musical star Michael Falzon (We Will Rock You), star of stage and screen – as he kept reminding us - Ben Mingay (Hacksaw Ridge), and So You Think You Can Dance judge Matt Lee were the very cool and often laid back performers.
And what vocal talent they had, each with a huge and individual voice and total mastery of the microphone. They sang solos, duets, quartets and trios and never put a note wrong all through the show. There was even some neat tap-dance from Matt Lee. I particularly enjoyed his solo version of the poignant Mr Bo Jangles. Added to this was a perfect sound system.
Then there was the band: it was described as “the little big band’ and big the sound was, despite being a simple sextet of piano, bass and drums. plus, saxophone, trumpet and trombone.
The talent on show was staggering.
The song list was superb and ranged from swing classic from the 1930s 1940s, early and later Sinatra and even swinging arrangements of pop songs like New Sensation by INXS, Chocolate Cake by Crowded House and Pressure Down by John Farnham. There was even a great version of the much parodied classic I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) from The Proclaimers.
We also heard Feeling Good, Mack the Knife, One for my Baby (and one more for the road) and my two favourites from the night Sinatra’s New York New York and That’s Life. There was no sign of Sinatra imitations or phrasing though, each song was delivered in each performer’s own style, which was terrific to see.
We did get a few seconds o Presley from an irreverent Ben Mingay.
Through this non-stop parade of great singing we also got some “Rat Pack” style chat between the artists and the audience as the singers posed for photos and took selfies of each other.
Then they had a lot of fun with Cab Calloway’s 1930s classic Minnie the Moocher (Hi de hi de hi de hi, Ho de ho de ho de ho, Hee de hee de hee de hee, Hi de hi de hi de ho) with some highly enthusiastic audience participation.
The whole hour was a blast and the pity is that they won’t be performing in public for a while as they concentrate on private and corporate gigs.
That is a pity. I could watch them again any night of the week.