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Christmas at GCT 2023

FRIDAY 15th & SATURDAY 16th DECEMBER

GOSFORTH CIVIC THEATRE



It's Christmas! Well, almost. It's become a tradition, the Strictly Smokin' Big band's two nights at Gosforth Civic Theatre on the outskirts of Newcastle. And they always sell out. This year wasn't any different, Friday evening sold out (job done) and this evening's performance would follow suit. As Michael Lamb's magnificent big band took to the stage Santa hats weren't in evidence, at least for now...


Stan Kenton's chart of Jerome Kern's Long Ago and Far Away opened the show. What a start! Alice Grace strolled out to sing Cole Porter's Just One of Those Things, the band absolutely flying. Alice remained on stage for some impeccable vocalise on Blue Moon with the tenors - Jamie Toms and Matt Forster - trading for fun. Tremendous! O Come, O Come, Emmanuel really did the the bullseye - a seasonal offering with some heavy duty jazz playing. Artfully done, you could say.   


Santa hats at the ready...Good King WenceslasIs That You Santa Claus? (definitely not Louis Armstrong, 100% Alice Grace!), Silent Night, Jazz at Lincoln Center's arrangement of We Three Kings, Callum Au's arrangement of Winter Wonderland, yes, the 'big day' is little more than a week away. 

The SSBB's sections are packed with ace soloists, this evening we heard from Gordon Marshall (terrific), the altos of Steve Summers and Keith Robinson, the excellent Graham Don at the Yamaha upright, there were others...


The Christmas Song, Alice leading the audience/choir on Last Christmas, what a show! And they're going to do it all again, same time, same place, next year. Tickets on sale now (and selling fast!) at: www.strictly-smokin.co.uk. Russell





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