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LondonNet Clubs Guide

LondonNet Gig Review


Michael Bublé
15/11/04

Royal Albert Hall
Kensington Gore
SW7 2AP
T: 0207 589 8212
Tube: South Kensington,
Gloucester Rd, Knightsbridge


The New Old Blue Eyes?
Michael Bublé's good looks and schmooze hearken to the classical times of jazz, not to mention his keen sense of musical style and abilities. But Bublé is not about to step on anyone's toes.

I admit it.

Michael Bublé won me over, and when it comes to crooners, I'm not easily won. In a show that brandished the double-edged weapons of classic jazz, with uproars from the crowd that rivalled the greats, themselves, Bublé's fan base - teeming with riled-up women of all ages - is highly devoted and well earned.

With honeyed words and raucous laughter, Bublé opened the show with - what else - Sinatra. Come Fly With Me was followed with Summer Wine and a long strong string of standards, but before I could sit back into my chair with contempt, the tempo or the key changed, the band - led by quirky pianist Alan Chang and punchy drummer Pete VanNostrand, not to mention a small brass bunch of attractive twenty-somethings - swept into a round of solos, and Bublé pushed the song into a charming new life. He leapt seamlessly between Sinatra, Al Green, George Michael, Van Morrison and others - and banked somewhere in the middle with sultry tastes of a new album.

A white sheet silhouetting Bublé's desirable form marked a breathy, bristly version of Fever, and Mac the Knife was peppered with Bublé's catchy skat. I Wanna Go Home, a dark and wandering ballad likely about Bublé's many mistresses, was a startling gaze into his pop sensibilities, and proof that Bublé had a few still untapped talents.

The most thrilling moment in the show, however, was a fifteen-minute interlude where he jumped off the stage and meandered through the crowd, kissing women and taking pictures and waving to a roaring masses. He waded back with women attached to his shirtsleeves, but his gelled hair and smooth suit sopped it up and he continued with even more schmooze - from then on the crowd was sold.

Bublé finished with an encore of Let it Snow and a skin prickling, acapella My Funny Valentine, his theatrical range rising through the grandiose, silent theatre. He bowed idly to two standing ovations and promises of, "I'll never forget this night, for the rest of my life!"

While his versions of classics keep pace with modern music and taste, his respect for and knowledge of jazz is evident and honourable. While many of his fans long for a taste of the past in the young, charismatic edifice of Bublé, he is, thankfully, not just a pretty face.

His tour spans the UK and ends in late November.

Megan M. Retka

 

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