Thursday 29 April 2010

Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash Tribute - Haymarket Theatre Basingstoke review

The Haymarket theatre is modern and comfortable. Has a bar. Sells ice cream. Even leg room is not bad and we had great seats, just off to the side and four rows back.

The band were excellent. All great muscians. The guitar sound particularly was perfectly slapped-back to give an excellent Lutheresque tone. They delivered two sets ranging from 'Hey Porter' through to Cash's cover of U2's 'One'. Highlights for me were an excellent 'Jackson', a tear-jerking rendition of 'Long black veil' and a raucous 'Ring of Fire' where their three-part harmonies were to die for.

The band spiel said they aim to use vintage instruments to recreate the sound of the era. Not quite. Marshall amp, modern Yamaha acoustic. I felt these were out of place on the stage. I also thought the show could have been improved if the band's leader had stayed in character. He spoke between songs about Cash in the third person and I think it would have added to the evening if he continued to be Johnny Cash between numbers. There was - for example - no 'Hello. I'm Johnny Cash' at the beginning of the show. I know we weren't watching impersonators, but being that the music and sound of the band were so good and so close to the originals, why not play the whole show as a piece of theatre? From my point of view that would have made things even better. Vocal harmonies from the bass player and June Carter were excellent, though June's faultless vocal perfomance was let down by her nose stud and shabby hem on her dress. This was a decent sized theatre, £16 a ticket and I feel that these kind of loose ends should be tidied up, because if they are, the show will be exemplary. As it is, it's very good.

1 comment:

BartLennon said...

June would turn over in her grave at the nose stud. Still though, I would love to have been there.

Thanks for the great review!