Venue: Village Hotel Blackpool
Date: 10th October 2022
Reviewers: Mark Ritchie | UK Cabaret Magazine | Industry Clients
Pulling out all the stops in terms of the venue, hospitality, and the peripheral mix and mingle and walkabout artistes is nothing new to this company. This was, in my view, quite simply the best presented of all the many showcases producer Erica Crompton (Big Foot’s Director) has kindly invited me along to over the years.
Chosen to present the showcase was Award-winning Host and DJ Tom Finkill; this handsome chappie made a great job of the introductions.
Enter a glamorous redhead, a blonde, and a brunette, all resplendent in matching Roaring 20s flapper-style gowns. Known collectively as The Bluebirds, these ladies gave us a great display of the postmodern jukebox withthe aid of toothpaste-ad smiles, nifty choreography and, above all, some tight vocal harmony work.
The Skiband gave us a fun interlude of walkabout musical entertainment. Wading through the audience, complete with brass, drums, and dressed inexplicably, but hilariously, as chefs, this five-handed combo created many smiles and much laughter whilst playing some crazy tunes. Fiercely entertaining and refreshingly irreverent, they cater to many different themes: Christmas, Summer, Chefs, LED, and bring fun and frolics to every person they meet.
The high standards continued with The Voxens, a three-girl vocal act who gave us a selection of ‘big songs’ whilst harmonising and sharing the vocal responsibility by virtue of some cleverly arranged segues. Superbly presented and colour coordinated, all of which indicates that these tuneful ladies are no strangers to entertaining in the corporate market and on cruise ships.
I have to begin by stating that Sweet Sensation are a terrific four-piece band; although having said that alone is not enough. The lead vocalist has a truly great voice and I would suggest this is a higher end function band par excellence. Also available as 80s Sensation and Flameproof 90s.
Rouge La La! is the name of a dance troupe who appeared in sexy costumes and displayed smooth and well-rehearsed routines from ‘Moulin Rouge!’. The troupe promise bespoke shows for clients and I would imagine they do a great job in any chosen format.
Actor and singer Tom Lister enjoys a certain celebrity status having appeared in the rural soap ‘Emmerdale’ for many years. Tom is best known for his award-winning role as Carl King in ‘Emmerdale’, his starring role in West End’s ’42nd Street’, and as Wild Bill Hitchcock in ‘Calamity Jane’. Like so many characters in this tragically dramatic, fictitious Yorkshire Dales village, Mr Lister’s character met his doom amongst the sheep and the dry-stone walls some ten years ago. Now a fully-fledged West End star, this lovely singer gave us a segment from his cabaret act, which was all very nice.
Killers Kollective are a band, fronted by a cracking Brandon Flowers soundalike, who gave us a few of the hits from The Killers seminal ‘Hot Fuss’ album. Their electrifying energy, killer vocals range and radiant personality all come together in this accurate tribute.
Pencil-slim singer Amy G appeared as Dua Lipa and was accompanied by her dancers. There are a lot of Dua Lipa tributes out there and where there is demand, there has to be supply! Amy G is one of the best, known for her powerful vocals and heart-warming personality, with the ability to capture audiences wherever she goes. Amy is also available to perform her tribute to Ariana Grande, plus her incredible Diva show.
Boomin are a long-established three-piece live party band with a name which goes before them, and no doubt shed-loads of return business in the diary. Boomin will get any party started and they simply must be the market leaders. I loved their ‘singing oven-glove sketch’. With mash-ups and mega-mixes plus on-stage antics, Boomin have proved beyond a doubt that they are the Gods of rock, pop, and party!
Kevin & Perry Superstar DJs is a new show from industry name Dean Taylor and his partner-in-laughter Lea Jenkins. Anyone who managed to sit through the Ibiza-based film ‘Kevin & Perry Go Large’ will have witnessed the horrors of the dance song ‘All I Wanna Do Is Do It – Do It’. Great fun, now with a DJ element, which is sure to add more depth to many private functions and events.
Closing out the first half and time for a bit of fame with Dario G. Dario G hit records have stuck in the ear of club dance fans, football fans, and environmentalists since they were first launched during the nineties. Hailed as one of the World’s finest DJs, Dario G is best known for his 1997 hit ‘Sunchyme’ which reached number two in the charts and is a 90s dance anthem to this day. His follow-up single ‘Carnaval De Paris’ reached Number 5 in the 1998 UK Charts and related to the FIFA World Cup in France; it is still played at sporting events worldwide. Available as a DJ Set or Live PA. His theatre show ‘Better Than The 90s’ is currently touring the UK.
During the interval, the peripherals were there to be enjoyed and a myriad of walkabout, mix and mingle people were mixing and mingling in splendid abandon. There were simply too many Superheroes to mention, and very much in-vogue Paddington Bear also popped in amongst illuminated LED Stilt Walkers, Disco Head Dancers, Flower-clad girls, Globots, etcetera.
A fight between three species of Dinosaur then broke out near the bar as things turned prehistoric, whilst a stunt actor attempted to bring them under control. Utterly captivating. Big Foot Events are known for their ‘Jurassic Earth’ stage and walkabout shows, which are both family friendly and completely immersive.
Rather more gentle entertainment continued with an appearance from four elegantly gowned singers, who are collectively known as The Princess Party. The little ones in holiday parks will lap these pretty party princesses up, and private family functions will be the place for this quartet to arrive and make magic happen.
The Kaiser Monkey Killers were a huge hit on the night with their rip-roaring indie rock covers set. The PA quality is top-drawer, edgy, and reassuringly full. The response from the knowledgeable showcase crowd spoke volumes.
Kurtis Ray White was up next with his Craig David tribute show, which I haven’t seen the likes of before. Complete with computerised turntables and high-standard soundalike vocals, there is sure to be business galore for this impressive performer.
I loved Fleeting Rumours, which unsurprisingly are a completely live, six-piece Fleetwood Mac tribute band. These people are what I call ‘proper musos’ and I loved the sound of their own ‘Stevie Nicks’. A great segued showcase set revealed the many strengths of this top-class band.
Taking us on a trip back to 1960s Detroit was A Night To Remember. The velvet vocals from a stellar cast of performers, fronted by ‘The Voice UK’ finalist Bizzi Dixon, authentically recreated the sound responsible for lifting an entire generation to its feet. Energetic live entertainment, great choreography, and dazzling costumes.
I loved All About Elton, especially Elton himself, played here by Rob Taylor. Three musicians completed the live band pitch of this Elton, which included included the reassuring and authentic sight of a drummer reading from ‘dots’. Mr Taylor has the Elton tone, the Elton showmanship, and the implausible Elton Hairdo!
Amy In The House is a tribute to the much-missed Ms Winehouse by a singer called Caralee, featuring the style, mannerisms, vocals, and all the hits, including ‘Back To Black’, ‘Valerie’, ‘Rehab’, and more.
Celebrating Dolly was singer Carla Palmer and exactly as described! Cannot fault her as a Dolly Parton Tribute Act. All the classics delivered with all the mannerisms! Even if you’re not a fan of Dolly Parton, it’s hard not to warm to her personality.
Closing out a memorable evening was the seventeen members of The Sea Shanty Band. Various band mates clambered aboard this musical vessel and even traversed the room while playing an array of nautical ditties. All seventeen musical mariners were dressed as old salts, gnarled trawler men, and other assorted seafarers. Sea Shanties are in-vogue right now and this extraordinary ensemble is perfect for an epic ocean-themed night of entertainment!
This writer has had surreal moments previously, however I don’t remember any experience exceeding a pair of oven gloves serenading each other, a dinosaur’s tail bashing me about the head as the creature swished his tail behind, and a hostess resplendent in a dress complete with slots in which glasses of welcoming champagne were offered.
The next time anyone tries to convince you that variety is dead, refer them to this review! One thing is for sure, Big Foot Events know just how to provide and promote just about anything.