From Big Band to Broadway - An Evening with Gary Williams at Pizza on the Park

Ten years ago when Gary Williams made his London debut at Pizza at the Park, the singer left quite an impression. While it was early days for his career, there was no mistaking the quality of his voice and the huge passion he had for the very best in popular music. Flash forward and Williams still exudes that same infectious joy when performing, especially when offering a programme packed with great standards. He is also a natural with an audience, oozing charm and confidence from every pore.

During the last decade Williams has rarely been out of work, singing with Europe’s leading orchestras, recording several CDs and recently starring as Sinatra in the Rat Pack stage show. As a result he displays a versatility on stage, coupled with a genuine ability to make songs his own, however well known the originals.

During delightful arrangements of Nice’n’Easy and What Kind of Fool am I?, for example, it is not just phrasing and technique that stand out but the real warmth of his vocal style. An injection of humour comes with a smattering of alternative lyrics and parodies, the Route 66 meets A56 idea being a particular hit.

During a nicely balance programme, Williams is accompanied by four fine musicians - bassist Joe Pettitt, Luke Annesley on saxophone and clarinet, drummer James O’Carroll and topnotch musical director and pianist Clive Dunstall. Lisa Martland - The Stage