reviews

THE MOST INSPIRING

 

By Dawn M. Sanders

1/7/2015

 

Echos of excitement riveted around Manchester Arena the other night, as one of rock’s best surviving bands, Fleetwood Mac, took to the stage.

We could never see a band with such longevity, retain such a strong bond and love for each other.

Opening with The Chain flawless harmonies we are all familiar with spanning several decades, resonated from the stage.

With Mick Fleetwood as a kind of ring master, they still packed an energetic punch – just to remind us, after decades in and out of the spotlight, ‘they’re still here’.

 

The band delivered Tusk as an unstoppable freight train – always with Mick’s unbreakable energy and stage antics.

 

The fascinating thing about Fleetwood Mac, is they have such individual personalities and distinct voices, all fitting together to create a magical dynamic that could only be maintained with matured resilience and a will to keep on doing what they love, together.

 

Several times during the performance, Mick, Stevie and Lindsey, all made it clear that, Christine McVie was adored and appreciated to be back within the family of the band.

 

As Stevie belted out Rhiannon Wiccan mystical visuals created the perfect backdrop to the sultry singer’s sung poetry.

She doesn’t have the vocal range she used to, yet she still has the stage presents, passion and ability to belt them out as she always has.

 

As with their albums, the two women took turns being featured as the band’s main centre pieces.

Christine’s unwavering, steady, rich soulful voice has hardly aged, along with her elegance, skilful keyboard style and under-stated, yet celebrated English presence.

 

Lindsey Buckingham maintained an almost youthful, yet sober persona, as spokesman for the band and it’s history of”ups and downs”; not to mention, guitar solos, which were never over-powering, just amazing!

Of course, not to be ignored as ‘the quiet one’ John McVie just kept with his solid supporting baselines, as one of the driving forces behind the music.

 

All of this said, it is easy to forget, this band has aged and come through individual struggles; albeit gracefully and with the kind of gratitude one would not immediately expect from such a successful and unique blend of musical/vocal originality.

Easy to forget, because the energy, quirkiness, dark subtleties and Fleetwood frenzies, have only fractionally slowed and show no sign of stopping soon and, let’s hope they don’t…

The “crazy world” they so accurately refer to in their departing sentiments, is the kind of encouragement we all need, but what is special here, is when Stevie told the story of the ‘Velvet Underground shop in San Francisco; where she saw a vision of being in Fleetwood Mac – trailing behind predecessors which set the stage for our era of rock history and where she says… when you’re around people who say, you can’t do this, can’t do that, just rise above it, with what your passionate about; grab a star, pull it down and make it your dream then make it happen.

She told the encouraging story before launching into “Gipsy”.

 

Just as with their long career, they kept coming back on stage for more and more encores.

 

Fleetwood Mac are made up of:

Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Lindsey Buckingham.

 

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REVIEW:  SUGAR DADDIES

By Dawn M. Sanders

24 March 2015

 

Sheffield’s Library Theatre hosts New Venture Players theatre group, bringing to life Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Sugar Daddies’ in a gripping, gritty yet hilarious dark comedy.

On opening night, the scene is a sparsely furnished student-esque  flat in London, shared by two sisters.

Chloe is streetwise and jaded, while her sister Sasha, a naïve northern girl, has recently moved to London.

When Sasha lets a jolly jubbly man dressed as Father Christmas into the flat, she can’t be kind enough to this ‘gentleman’, but is Uncle Val really a gentleman?

Taken in by his rough and ready, yet charming veneer, Sasha is the perfect pupil for Uncle Val’s intentions.

As the plot thickens and Uncle Val lavishes Sasha with charm and generosity, warnings from the old ex-policemen downstairs and Sasha’s wary sister, fall on deaf ears.

While Uncle Val progresses in manoeuvring and making Sasha, he drives a wedge between the two sisters, which erupts in a classic catfight, rendering the audience to applause.

Michael Bullock skilfully directs the production and plays out his role of dodgy daddy, Katie Watson assumes her role as Sasha with ease and Jo Hadjioannou eventually settles into her role as Chloe; as the entire cast carry out a cracking performance!

The story goes full circle as Sasha finally wakes up to uncle Val’s dingy past as she says: “Last night I saw a side of you I never want to see again…” as the naïve nice girl is that little less innocent and just a bit more knowing.

It is definitely worth catching this before the finish!

Running 18-21 March, 2015

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