Crooner Delivers Polished Performance

Reviewed at The Parkway Theatre, Cleethorpeks by Trevor Ekins, Grimsby Evening Telegraph.

Downton Abbey may dominate our Sunday evening TV screens, but Immingham-born Gary Williams brought a touch of real class to the Parkway Theatre, in Cleethorpes. Immaculately and stylishly dressed, with impeccable manners and immense charm, he smoothly seduced an audience that he described as more like a family and friends reunion.A benefit concert in aid of the Big Red Heart Appeal combined all the magic and thrills of the West End, Broadway, Las Vegas and luxury cruise liners. All staging posts in Gary's highly successful career and the first half of the concert reflected that musical journey. There were memories of his first performance with a big band, the excitement of working with Burt Bacharach and, of course, his much respected tributes to the Rat Pack heroes.

So, as the interval approached it was time for Sammy's Candyman while Deano's Everybody Loves Somebody provided an opportunity to mingle with the audience. However, it was Sinatra's That's Life and My Way which reminded us Gary is not just a good singer but a great interpreter of songs.

The second half of the concert saw him dipping in to the songbooks of Dusty Springfield, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole and even Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody received an astonishing swing-style makeover.

Sprinkled between songs were shared moments of intimacy, confessions and plenty of laughs, all helping to create a sense of something special. Equally special was the trio supporting Gary, which featured local musicians Richard Weedon, on keyboards, and Dave Cook, on drums. Till, My Kind of Town and Sweet Caroline not only raised the temperature for a rip-roaring climax but also exposed the sheer power and range of his voice. Gary's polished performances ensure that, unlike the prophet, he will always be welcome in his hometown.