If you love the sound of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons then this is a tribute band you really should go to see as they recreate some of the fantastic sounds of the era. Even if you don't love the sound you should still go as you are guaranteed to be converted and come away feeling as if you have just been to a great party.
With brief introductions to how Valli started off in the music business and how he teamed up with the Four Seasons, Stephen James became Valli on stage complete with American accent and launched into 'Lets Hang On', setting the high standard the evening. Accompanied by the wonderful vocals of lead guitarist Dino Buttarazzi and Martin Peat (vocals and bass guitar) who founded Let's Hang On over 20 years ago together and Jay Harrison (vocals and piano). On drums was the great sound of Scott Walker, there in the background but an essential part of the show. There were also three horn players but as there was no written information given for them I am unable to credit them with names but suffice to say they were brilliant and gave a great sound to the show. Apparently James is relatively new to the show but he fits in perfectly and performs with self assurance and his falsetto voice hitting all those high notes attributed to Valli and the Four Seasons with songs such as 'Big Girls Don't Cry' 'Ragdoll' and 'Walk Like A Man'. Each and every song delivered and the audience needed little persuasion to join in and were clapping and singing along from the start. By the second half there was dancing in the aisles and then almost everyone up on their feet for the remainder of the show.
The 'Doo Wop Days' brought a fantastic A cappella rendition of 'Blue Moon' from all the group. Several songs that were recorded by other artists, 'Silence is Golden' (The Tremeloes) and 'Let it Be Me' (The Everley Brothers) being a couple of them, were also performed and we were informed that 'Let it Be Me' was a particular favourite of Valli's. Throughout the show there were snippets of information regarding Valli and the Seasons and various recordings giving dates and chart successes.
The pace of the show increased in the second half with 'Grease' (is the Word) 'Working My Way Back To You Babe' and the 1967 big hit 'Beggin'. When they slowed the pace to my all time favourite 'Fallen Angel' I was delighted to hear that it was given full justice as so many times a cherished song never seems to live up to expectations, tonight it did. Valli recorded this song for his daughter, whom he was estranged from due to her drug addiction. After many years the two reunited, but she died at the age of 20from an unintentional drug overdose. Continuing with 'Who Love's you Pretty Baby' hit after hit followed with hardly a break between them.
Highlight of the evening was the group appearing on stage wearing red jackets and singing and dancing in formation to 'Sherry', I would have liked this to have happened a little earlier in the show as it really brings back the memories of how the Four Seasons and Valli presented themselves.
The finale came all too soon as we were treated to 'Bye Bye Baby and rounding off with an encore to the song that gives the name to the show 'Let's Hang on'. The standing ovation probably started just after the interval and continued for several minutes after Lets Hang On had left the stage.
Never has the song title' Oh What A Night' been more apt!
Let's Hang On continues to tour, for further information http://www.letshangon.co.uk/tour-dates/
Reviewer: Lorna Weekes
Reviewed: 16th July 2017
North West End Rating:★★★★