Michael Bruce: Spekulation Acoustic Sessions (The Pheastantry)

Posted on June 19, 2011

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I’m a big fan of Michael Bruce‘s work since stumbling onto his first solo gig a few years ago. Dinner & a show with ______ made it all the more appealing. Sadly, I wish I’d known it was a Pizza Express. Pizza lacks pizazz, I’ll tell you that.

I’d already been to Michael’s album launch at the Delfont Rooms but the prospect of an acoustic gig was appealing, and a nice treat on a Sunday afternoon.

On arriving, we were seated on the corner of the stage, giving us a fantastic view of the stage and the ‘VIP’ corner. A quick chat to the lovely Helena Blackman before the show, (who was looking STUNNING BTW) put me in a good mood.

Now, back to the pizza thing. The last time I went to one of these Pizza Express music venues was to see Kurt Elling in Soho – it was terrific, moody & jazzy (and Tony Bennett was there). I don’t remember the food or service, but that’s probably a good thing. On this night the service was sloppy, the food was mediocre to say the least. Pizza Express you’ve done yourself no favours.

But I didn’t come here for pizza, I came here for music.

With a cast of singers including Spekulation talent Helena Blackman & Paul Spicer and some fresh new talent, including Dale Page who flubbed his lyrics but recovered with charm that had the room laughing, and Amelia Adams Pearce who gave us a lesson in recovering from a stage fall.

There were a few oddities, and some of the younger performers need some lessons in doing cabaret (one girl in particular could clearly sing, but her outfit was neither appropriate for the numbers she’s sang, or indeed, flattering.)

The songs were great, the talent was strong (but I would have expected a better line-up to be honest) – my only disappointment was the lack of fresh arrangements for the songs. This being an ‘acoustic’ gig I wanted more of an ‘MTV Unplugged’-style rearranging of the songs to make better use of the acoustic concept.

Rating: Don’t talk, just kiss.

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Posted in: Cabaret