The 2016 Fringe has seen some extraordinarily polished shows in varied genres. Stand-up comedy (Jeff Green), comedic plays (Damien Callinan), night club cabaret (Jessie Gordon) and now I can add to the list the outstanding showmanship of Australian jazz heroes, Adam Hall & the Velvet Playboys enhanced by the presence of superb USA jazz vocalist Richard Jackson.
In the words of the song “What a night, what a really good night!”
From the moment Adam Hall & the Velvet Playboys hit the stage, the tent capacity audience went into overdrive. The crowd swayed, and clapped along to the eclectic song list. A swinging The Way You Make Me Feel merged seamlessly with a song from Chef in Southpark, Simultaneously Lovin’.
We were introduced to the tight classic showband comprised of Matthew Hanson on drums, Matthew Schmalkucher on keyboards, Anthony Dodos on trombone, Mark Turner; electric guitar ,sax & vocals and Pete Jeavons on bass guitar that make up the Velvet Playboys. Exciting stuff and a worthy unit to consolidate the excellent vocals of showman Adam Hall.
The larger than life, genial presence of front man Richard Jackson was greeted with excited hoots and hollers. He grooved down the central aisle and ripped into I Feel Good. Back in the rear booths a group of younger dancers leapt into action. 30 somethings bounced in their seats and the 50+audience members sang along to the long remembered lyrics. My Guy was memorable. The Velvet Playboys are a superb ensemble. Their excellent harmonies combined with virtuoso instrumental work was awesome. Adam Hall is a vocal treat with a range rising to an amazing falsetto. The onstage audience dance competition was a riot revealing terrific, hot movers. No inhibitions here!
Mad about That Bass featured Pete Jeavons on bass guitar and Jackson creating lovely deep scat vocal fx. A divine version of Valerie showed the clever juxtaposition of modern and Motown that this fabulous ensemble can create at will.
The incredibly sexy Marvin Gaye anthem Let's Get it On was impeccably delivered by Jackson with gorgeous backing vocals and superb instrumental accompaniment. A blistering rendition of Uptown Funk was accompanied by frenetic dance routines in the aisles and drew a standing ovation which was generously accepted by the band and Jackson who swung into the Stevie Wonder classic Uptight, Everything’s Alright.
A satisfied crowd exited happily to swarm the gracious Jackson, Hall and the Velvet Playboys with compliments and photo requests.
I feel ticket details are all but redundant but they follow. Good luck punters this is a night to cherish.
Adam Hall / Halmak Music present
The Soul Rhythm Spectacular
Venue: The West Australian Spiegeltent | The Pleasure Garden, James Street, Northbridge, WA
Dates: until 21 February 2016
Tickets: from $15