There’s something of a continuum with tribute acts: from the iffy karaoke with a rip off backing track, to the talented artists who really should come out of the shadow of their target.
Joe Ringer is firmly in the latter camp. Taking to the Theatre Royal stage with a 28-piece orchestra, a 40-strong choir, and a string of support acts, this was a first class musical extravaganza. If anything, there was perhaps too much going on.
Frankie Valli tribute group Frankie’s Guys — including local boy Aaron Bolton — got the gig off to a flying start, and jazz stalwart Claire Martin set the auditorium alive with her rendition of Feeling Good.
James Webber joined Joe for a fun version of Well, Did You Evah, and compere James R Hearn belatedly got in the vocals too.
The choir and orchestra came together perfectly for Georgia On My Mind, and dance group the Bluebelles set a few hearts racing during Fever.
The breadth of music meant the orchestra didn’t always get fully used, but when it did this was a very special show — and well deserving of its standing ovation.