June 27, 2012
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
VFM – Value for Money – is pretty much a watch word these days, so with tickets maxing at £72, it could have been argued that Tony Bennett – at 86 – has his work cut out to provide the justification for such a sum, even if he was dubbed “the best singer in the business” by Frank Sinatra.
So, does he deliver? Well, yes, he does for most part. With the microphone held almost disdainfully low, it soon becomes clear that Tony Bennett’s voice has lost none of its resonance. Who’s Got The Last Laugh Now is the opening number of a set choc-a-bloc full of hits that have sprinkled a stupendously successful career with gold dust, with Oh The Good Life and the iconic I Left My Heart In San Fransisco lifting the audience to their feet, the deeply appropriate Who Cares? complete with its line “with millions of firms going under” receiving one of the biggest cheers of the evening, Tony Bennett was bang on form and loving every second of being on stage as much as the audience are loving his being there.
And the hits are timeless. Smile, The Best Is yet To Come, Stepping Out With My Baby and One More For My Baby (and One More For The Road) invoking an almost unparalleled sense of nostalgia for days gone by, where as the truly mesmeric When You’re Laughing – performed without a microphone with a voice that filled the auditorium soaring above a superb backing quartet of Drums, Piano, Guitar and Double Bass – shows that there is very definitely no sign of the man’s talent being on the wane.
Value for Money? Not even a question, really, as quality always wins over quantity and this was very much a quality performance from “the best singer in the business”.