Dave Williams Swing Band
The Verdict, Brighton
Saturday 13th June, 2015
For a first outing this was an impressive display of tight arrangements and strong vocal performances presented in a way that was entertaining and enjoyable. Playing to a packed house at The Verdict, vocalist Dave Williams has successfully developed his Frank Sinatra tribute act to something with more depth and variety. Dave was joined on stage by vocalist Jackie Sampson, who gave some impressive performances in the first set and blew everyone away in the second set unleashing her powerful voice on tunes such as Taking A Chance On Love and Summertime, before unleashing even more on the classic Big Spender.
My only criticism of this band would be that many of the tunes are too short and would benefit from some more soloing (especially with such a strong horn section) but the group performed 32 tunes in total, which was quite an achievement. With such a large repertoire to get through you would expect a few tunes to not work out. but only the arrangement of You Make Me Feel So Young was less successful – it had a a little bit too much going on and felt a little rushed. But it would be unfair to dwell on this as the other 31 tunes worked perfectly, with a good balance of instrumentation and a tight, well-rehearsed rhythm section of John Lake, Matt Casterton and Simon Cambers.
This was an evening filled with humour and entertainment, helped by the chemistry between the two vocalists and some great arrangements of classic jazz vocal repertoire.