Grand Opera House, York – 14 March 2017 and on tour around the UK
The joy of reviewing is that sometimes you enter a theatre expecting very little but you leave having received it all. And this gem of a show is good example. Yes it was cheesy, but it was nostalgic and incredibly entertaining.
I did think I was too young to be a fan, and the audience was predominately made up of women of a certain age, but there were younger people there who had found the Roller sound.
With tartan on stage, on the performers, on the instruments and a sea of tartan in the audience, just under two hours of enjoyment commences when McKeown hits the stage. With his Rollers consisting of Phil Hendricks and Si Mulvey on guitar, Scott McGowan on keyboards and Dan Guest on drums. The first half consists of the lesser known Roller songs and a tribute to some of the 70’s idols no longer with us – hits from Queen, T-Rex, The Sweet, Mud and David Bowie. McKeown jokes that he may add to the tribute in next years tour depending on who may have departed – and the band joke it may be a tribute to him
McKeown’s voice is still as strong and rich as it was in the 70’s and when he talks to the audience between songs he is very charismatic and entertaining. Regaling the audience with tales and anecdotes.
With some new stuff thrown in with the old, we get to hear some of the songs McKeown wrote in the 70’s but never made it to the recording studio. This has now been rectified and and a new album, The Lost Songs, is available to download whilst he’s singing according to McKeown – something some of the audience are happy to do
After a blazing version of S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night its interval time so the band can have “a cup of Earl Grey and a bourbon biscuit” and we can have a breath of fresh air as the heat in the auditorium felt like the audience was having a collective hot flush.
The second half brings us the more famous Roller songs and the audience are up and dancing along. It supposedly ends with Shang- A- Lang. However, after the audience scream for more, McKeown returns to the stage with an exquisite acapella rendition of Unchained Melody and then we end with the classic Bye Bye Baby
With many chances to see the show this year – its well worth a see. You too will be bopping in the aisles, waving your arms and singing along to the sound of your youth. Go and see it.
Tour dates available at https://www.lesmckeown.com/concert-dates