17 December 2006 - Review by Michael Sassella
Wow, what a show David and his talented team of players gave us last night at
The Basement in Sydney. From go to whoa he was as pumped as a first grade
athlete and brought an exciting touch of a rock sensibility to the succession
of swing songs which are now becoming familiar to the fans. Like the best in
this field David never sings these songs the same way twice.
the benefit of seven in a very strong band – the familiar and delightful
Serge and Joe on guitar and drums (as David says, "These guys were rock
musicians and just look at them now!" Not only do we look at them but we see
the obvious pleasure they are getting from the challenges in this music.)
Dave Ellis returned on bass, Michael Tyack on piano and three
fresh newcomers on brass, young and exciting players, Steve Fitzmaurice
on sax, Ray Caseau (I hope that spelling's right) on trumpet and
Mark Barnsley on trombone. I can't recall a larger group behind David in
a cabaret venue or even in the WILD WITH STYLE shows at the Opera
Even more impressive was the young and incredibly demonstrative
packed audience at The Basement. It is clear that THE SWING SESSIONS
has crossed the barriers of age and taste in Australia and has at a
stroke elevated David's status. It has now sold 100,000 copies in
Australia and rising. It is sticking like glue on the ARIA albums chart and
was confirmed platinum last week on the ARIANET chart.
The songs last
YOU'RE NOBODY TIL SOMEBODY LOVES YOU
PLENTY OF MONEY AND YOU
CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU (and
thank you to Steve, Ray and Mark for the brass here, and to Amanda Davis for
here skilful backing vocals)
ALL THE WAY (just lovely)
LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME
(the first of several nods to Sammy Davis Jr)
BIRTH OF THE BLUES (preceded by
some blues stylings by Amanda and a piece of terrific blues guitar from
THE WATERS OF MARCH (where Serge and Joe excel, as they did at
the Opera House, with their delicate bossa nova guitar and
percussion [David also doing some percussion too] – a pleasure was to see
Michael Tyack sit this one out and watch proceedings with the widest
Cheshire cat smile imaginable – a genuine highlight of the show, this
SING! SING! SING! (not the SHOUT!/Johnny O'Keefe song but the big
band classic played with incendiary effect (hats off especially to
the brassmen or The Brasshoppers as David called them) by the band
while David changed costume)
COME FLY WITH ME (where David rejoined us in
a white three-piece suit with red shirt and classy tie – he'd worn basic
black and white in the first half)
BEYOND THE SEA
MR BOJANGLES (done
even more effectively than usual)
MACK THE KNIFE
JUST A GIGOLO/I AIN'T GOT
NOBODY (apparently earmarked for the next CD – yes, it seems there'll be
another one rather sooner than the nine years we awaited the current one! –
this was an extended performance with great fun)
Then came three
specials that hadn't been planned.
First was a reconstruction of BEGIN
THE BEGUINE which turned it into a song by vocalist backed only by Joe on
drums. This was a standout, showing just how consummate David and Joe are as
Next was VIVA LAS VEGAS, a touch of the pop-rock David does so
Then came SHOUT! because of audience demand. As expected, this was
a full rock workout.
Finally we were treated with a sincere rendition
of THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT.
This was one more absolutely memorable
and rewarding show from David whose every show is an event. However, the band
more than did him proud, AND close to equaled the tremendous band work on the
album where there was a full orchestra.
David says he's going to take
a version of the show on the road. Even a return to the USA was
Let's hope David and Lisa have a deserved holiday season that
meets all their wishes and a 2007 at least as fine as 2006 has been.
have photos from the show but have not worked out how to attach them yet.
They will follow.