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Get Out More...................Concert Review

SINATRA - LIVE AT THE SANDS: Alexandra Theatre.

02-12-2009

Old Blue Eyes is back in town, or at least as close as you can get to the original. Terry Wills was there to watch him.

Being a long standing admirer of Sinatra I was intrigued to read and listen to tributes surrounding Stephen Triffitt, such as the Pittsburgh Tribune newspaper, who say “Triffitt’s strength is his faithful re-creation of mannerisms, voicing and phrasing...you’d swear you’re listening to the original”

Praise indeed, specially for a Brit who has also enjoyed extended runs in one of the numerous successful Rat Pack productions since finishing runner up in television’s ‘Stars in their Eyes and has a plaque in his honour inside the London Palladium. He’s even advertised as currently performing in the West End, despite standing on the stage at the Alex with a wistful smile crossing his very similar features while recounting, in a relaxed manner, the reasons how and why he modelled himself on his all-time favourite artist.

He couldn’t possibly be that good, could he? We were soon to find out as, from the moment the curtain rose to the strains of a 17 piece orchestra playing All of Me, followed by ‘Frank’ himself launching into Pennies from Heaven, The Lady is a Tramp, The Tender Trap and The Way You Look Tonight, among others, he had, and continued to hold, a large and enthusiastic audience tightly in the palm of his hand.

The second half of the show saw a recreation of Sinatra’s 1966 concert performed in the Copa Room at the Sands Hotel where his laid back, laconic, ‘lazy’ presentation so captured full house audiences who could later boast “I saw Sinatra in Las Vegas”.

Wistfully, propping up a bar, Triffit rekindled unforgettable memories with perfect renditions of the laconic One for My Baby and Where or When before launching into a selection of the acknowledged classics.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Come Fly With Me, Chicago, You Make Me Feel So Young, plus a rarely-heard I’m Getting Married in the Morning which was somewhat different from Stanley Holloway’s renditions in My Fair Lady.

Talking of contrasting styles, not to mention vocal superiority, in this respect when he sang Luck be a Lady from Guys and Dolls I couldn’t help think what a travesty it had been to choose Marlon Brando to play the role of Sky Masterson in the movie. Box office attraction? Of course but who if given the preference of listening to the song in isolation would buy his rendition ahead of Sinatra’s?

What was surprising and difficult to understand was that with the audience pleading for more he didn’t close with My Way. (This in addition to not sing Witchcraft in response to one member of the audience’s plaintive plea!)

To sum up: A great night out for any Frank Sinatra admirers, and in this respect there were a fair number of youngsters who’d taken the opportunity to see and hear for themselves just why Old Blue Eyes was regarded as the supreme artist in his field.

Stephen Triffitt, together with his Big Band Orchestra, does exactly that. Great songs delivered in the traditional style, leaving his admirers disappointed the show was over far too early.

But then THAT is the true test of any artist in any era. And in this respect Stephen compares favourably with any other singer who has ambitions to charm audiences that will forever believe Frank Sinatra was simply incomparable.

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