A Couple of Swells, Sinatra and Garland’s Musical Movie Magic – Sage Gateshead
I’ve always been a Judy Garland fan, she’s an icon, a diva, a legend and so thought of an evening of her music was not something I knew I would enjoy. Now I’m holding my hands up now and admitting that I’m not a huge Frank Sinatra fan, I appreciate the music but, well you can’t love everyone can you?
From the very outset of this, the latest of the RNS Nights Out concerts, I was enchanted, Sage One may have felt quieter than usual but that’s perhaps a sign that this was a niche concert, which mostly seemed to appeal to the older audience. I should say that if anyone of any age had of given it fair chance I’m convinced they would have left a happy person at the end because the music was simply a delight. Our two west end singers for the evening Graham Bickley and Louise Dearman hit every single note with ease, their voices matched perfectly with the music of Garland and Sinatra.
The joy of the music of the movies of Judy and Frank is that they are classic movies and classic music played beautifully, you’ll know from previous concerts that it does not take much for me to enjoy the music of the beloved Royal Northern Sinfonia and on this night, they played perfectly and without a single fault.
Highlights of the first half for me included a mashup of I’ve got Rhythm and It’s Alright with Me, Get Happy (one of my most favourite songs of all time), Luck be a Lady and a joyously upbeat performance of A Couple Of Swells complete with choreography done faultlessly.
The second half of the evening brought joy after joyous tracks including the infamous Trolley Song, Who wants to be a Millionaire? (we all do) and a hauntingly beautiful performance of the Eva Cassidy version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow but it was Louise Dearman’s sensitive and heartbreaking performance of The Man That Got Away which left me emotional and reaching for a nearby tissue, every time I hear that song performed well, my heart breaks, partly from past experience and partly because it’s the most amazing song about love which leaves and will never come back again.
Both myself and my guest for the evening enjoyed an evening of warm nostalgic broadway-esque performances and I can’t wait to see what comes next in the popular series of Nights Out performances, if you can get to one, you really should do it because I promise, if you haven’t heard an orchestra performing live, you are really missing out on one of life’s utter joys.