THE­ATRE i’M sTill HERE … Plea­sance ghillie dhu (Venue 236) HHHHH

The Scotsman - - Fringereviews Hotshow -

IF yOu want to see how cabaret is done, go to see peter Straker. the man could be busk­ing on the royal Mile and he would turn it into a classy cabaret bar, by sheer force of per­son­al­ity and per­for­mance. luck­ily for Straker, the Ghillie Dhu is al­ready classy. Straker makes a typ­i­cally show­biz, spotlit en­trance through the au­di­ence, in the vaulted spa­ces, un­der the gor­geous chan­de­liers and over the stone-flagged floors. loose white jacket, slicked jet hair – lounge and lizard in equal parts.

He belts out a per­son­alised ver­sion of Sond­heim’s an­them to sur­vival, I’m Still Here, and we are off into Straker’s World. He is, more than any artist I can think of in this genre, his “own spe­cial cre­ation”. Songs Straker sings be­come Straker songs: Queen’s The Show Must

Go On, Simon and Gar­funkel’s Keep The Cus­tomer Sat­is­fied,

even MacArthur Park and The Ba­nana Boat Song wipe richard Har­ris and Harry Be­la­fonte from our minds. the voice is still a for­mi­da­ble in­stru­ment. Hold on to your wine­glass when Straker goes for it. Hav­ing said which, when he croons you hear a whole life lived to the full in his voice.

And the band … oh, the band. Bry­ony Muir on vi­o­lin and vo­cals, paul Gre­gory (drums) and louis van der Westhuizen on bass (gui­tar and dou­ble) are all fresh from mu­sic stud­ies and sound­ing good. MD War­ren Wills on pi­ano (and the oc­ca­sional pointed re­mark) is bril­liant, as al­ways, and Graeme tay­lor on lead gui­tar is breath-stop­pingly, spinet­in­glingly rock’n’roll. Brian May … Graeme does. Go get a lit­tle so­phis­ti­ca­tion, Straker-style.

kATE cOP­sTick

Un­til 30 Au­gust. To­day 6pm.

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