Printable CopyPIANO BOYS
The Promethean
Until 14 Mar 2013

Review by Jamie Wright

In a celebration of, as the title suggests, 'piano boys', Becky Blake and her band perform numbers from some of the great (male) blues/pop/rock & roll pianists, and provides some background stories and funny insights into their lives. Household names – Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder – feature heavily, but there are also works from those who've not had quite the same level of airplay (at least not directly) like Hoagy Carmichael.

It's very much at the gentle, non-threatening end of the cabaret spectrum; the most recent of the songs selected is from the mid-naughties, with the vast majority being from the 80s or earlier (though the earliest is an always-welcome Cole Porter number from the 30s).

The numbers are well-arranged and the band – piano (obviously), cello, drums, organ and bass – excellent. Blake is a polished performer and knows how to work the crowd, and her patter funny and informative. There's sometimes the issue of how well her voice suits some of the songs she's singing, given the wide range of performers she covers throughout the act. And it's stretched a little where it might have been better with a few judicious cuts, running (on the night it was reviewed) over the ninety minute advertised length.

Overall it's a solid evening of crowd-pleasing, singalong, arm-waving toe-tapping stuff by a polished entertainer; close your eyes and you could be on board a cruise ship.

Rating 3.5 stars (out of 5)