Thursday, September 28

You Win Again, Celebrating The Music Of The Bee Gees – Edinburgh Queen’s Hall

This wasn’t billed as a comedy but of laughs there were plenty. The first occurred when collecting tickets, the box office charge d’affaires keeping a completely straight face while informing us it was a ‘fully seated show’. Two prospective walk-ups turned on their heels, which was a shame as the audience clearly had different ideas. Two hours later, as the band finished everyone off with a stomping version of ‘Tragedy’, the venerable hall was literally bouncing. It was, in truth, a gig, albeit with a theatre-style interval; from a mighty song-writing canon, underlined by a second half medley of songs written for icons such as Diana Ross and Dolly Parton.

A pedestrian start threatened to turn cringe-worthy with some of the between-song patter but it was difficult to take ones’ eyes off the Donald Fagen-esque character masquerading, centre-stage, as Robin. Full of mischief, that troublesome uncle at a wedding, he sashayed about clearly enjoying himself like a seasoned redcoat direct from the 70’s, humour slowly infecting the other performers. Any point of criticism evaporated at the end of each track as one found oneself laughing. A quick spin round revealed a sea of faces thoroughly enjoying a Saturday night trip down memory lane. Gradually Maurice and Barry, not to mention the band, found their feet and two or three determined members of the audience sought to show their appreciation by making some shapes at the front. They were quickly pounced upon by the venue staff and banished to the sides*. So began an entertaining spectacle of cat and mouse as fans of an admirable vintage scurried along in front of the stage, throwing a twirl or two in defiance of the venue security. These would-be dancers weren’t obscuring a vital part of any script, or a crucial move; this was a party event and could have been set up differently to take into account it’s nature and format.

The second half announced itself with the brothers in trademark white suits, replete with matching platform footwear, the first half spent in different combinations of black leather. Chests were the common denominator; torsos made an appearance at the end. Songs were delivered competently, harmonies clearly well-researched and rehearsed before some much-needed energy and abandon took over. The over-riding memory will be of the audience and performers refusing to take things too seriously, attendees beaming from ear to ear as they filed out. ‘You Should Be Dancing’ implored the band. The venue staff disagreed but they – the band and audience – won, again.

*It’s important to point out that the venue staff at The Queens are mostly volunteers and, bearing in mind the modern machinations of the insurance world, behaviour had to kept within fairly tight margins.

Reviewer: Roger Jacobs

Reviewed: 10th June 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.