Reviewed at Crazy Coqs by Jane Cornwell for the London Evening Standard
Five stars *****
A smile, a wink and a smooth-as-silk take on Winter Wonderland, and Gary Williams was off the stage and down among his fans. “Nice to see you,” he said, roaming around shaking hands, all old school charm and Sinatra-esque charisma.
It’s no wonder, really, why Christmas shows by the likeable, Grimsby-born Williams sell out. This one, at nearly two hours long, with two sets’ worth of seasonable songs, carols and not-so-wild cards including lush renditions of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now and Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend, felt faultless.
The former Rat Pack star and internationally-acclaimed chanteur has the sort of warm, easy baritone suited to standards made famous by the likes of Nat King Cole, Andy Williams and Bing Crosby.
“Octave change!” yelled Williams to pianist Matt Regan as we sang along, song sheets in hand, to White Christmas; cheeky patter and moments of hilarity were as much a part of the evening as heartfelt musings on lost loved ones and friendship.
After a rousing Those Were the Days, Williams and Regan donned Santa hats for The 12 Days of Christmas, then had us all standing, holding hands and belting out Auld Lang Syne. The jolliest sleigh ride in town.