Shakin’ Stevens – Journal Tyne Theatre (Evening Chronicle)

18 Feb, 2011

It’s been Thirty years since Shakin’ Stevens first UK Hit Hotdog, and his subsequent hits made him a household name during the 80s. His 30th anniversary tour, which celebrates that breakthrough UK single, brought him to the gorgeous Journal Tyne Theatre.

The Welsh star was accompanied by a ten-piece band and the wall of sound, which they produced, was as smooth as silk and was amplified by the stunning theatre’s superb acoustics. Allowing every part of you to be enveloped by the complex arrangements, whilst always adding to the most important element, Shakys vocals. What i found impressive was that this was not just a set consisting of live versions of recorded songs. Care has been taken to produce a spectacle and live experience, which adds new levels to his classic hits.

As Stevens has a new album in the works, new songs were being given their first airing, and they went down a storm, fitting in perfectly with the rest of the set. The new tunes show that as he matures he isn’t going to be straying far from his tried and tested formula. Meaning it isn’t likely the album will be surging up the charts and he isn’t going to be winning any prizes for innovation. Though, who would want, to when creating such feel-good tunes seems to come so easy to the man? All of his hits were present and Green Door and This Ole House were particularly well received.

If there were one negative, which i picked up on, it would be his interaction with the crowd. Its not to say he wasn’t charming, but they are fanatics and most will have followed him throughout his thirty-year career, and you could probably fit his conversational interaction with them in a twitter update.

The Journal Tyne Theatre is an all seating venue and Shakin’ Stevens songs are dance inducing up-tempo numbers. So as the show continued and the energy in the room increased the crowd fed offShakys high-energy performance. A few people began standing up in the aisles and dancing at their seats, then as he lead into Hotdog and it hit its chorus, the room hit fever pitch. People danced down to the front of the room, and created a makeshift standing area at the front, around 200 people were at the edge of the stage, and every single other person in the crowd was standing dancing at their seat. The atmosphere was electric, and the impromptu situation we were left in seemed like the perfect end to a quality show.

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