When the Pizza on the Park closed it left a large void in London, it meant there were not many places you could go to too listen to our sort of music in a nice relaxed manner. However promoters have realised that our sort of music is still enjoyed my vast numbers of people and so over time various rooms have opened to provide singers and musicians a chance to enthral us with their special magic.
Well a new venue has opened in London in the basements of what was the old Regent Palace Hotel just off Piccadilly. It´s no longer a hotel but the basement room has been restored to its former glory in black and white with wonderful deep red curtains and unlike the Pizza on the Park you do not have to eat a pizza as you listen to the delightful music.
What drew me to this venue, called the Crazy Coqs, was Gary Williams appearing with Harry The Piano with a show called Sinatra Jukebox.
Gary has done a version of this show for us at our National Convention, which we all enjoyed, and since his last appearance for us he has honed his skills further working on cruise ships. In fact he had just returned from a 3 month cruise around South America.
So what of the show and his singing? The show is based around requests from the audience from 100 songs of the Sinatra Book, so it was obvious that I’ve Got You Under My Skin would be sung as well as New York, New York, but he did sing 2 of my requests: Angel Eyes and Don’t Worry About Be, both torch songs which are not normally part of most singers book of songs. Both were sung superbly – a joy to hear them again as they are now becoming neglected songs.
A nice part of the show was his patter with the audience in fact 3 songs were chosen as a result of the wedding date of a couple in the audience – the 3 numbers sung were taken from his running list of songs and it was great to hear how he and Harry, the pianist, managed to work them into a medley. I have never seen this done before so in fact, each show could be completely different apart from the usual songs of Frank. I really enjoyed the evening and if you see that Gary Williams is singing at a theatre or hotel near where you live then do go and see him. It would be an evening listening to a singer who understands the magic of Sinatra and the vast number of excellent songs Frank sang during his career.