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Review: Sticky Wicket and his swing orchestra at the Lichfield Guildhall

The drummer Sticky Wicket bought his talented swing orchestra to the city when they played a series of classic jazz, jump and jive songs to finish Lichfield Arts’ 2017 Blues and Jazz Festival.

Sticky Wicket

Sticky Wicket

The ensemble of saxophonist Chris Gumbley, keyboard player Danny McCormack, guitarist Geoff Tooley, bassist Tomas Pedersen and singer Linda Morris played jump and jive songs – with a strong emphasis on dancing music – to an enthusiastic audience, some of whom were dressed in 1930s, 1940s and 1950s clothing

The music ranged from songs made famous by names such as Glenn Miller, Louis Prima and Gene Krupa, and while each of the musicians was given their own time in the spotlight, many of the musical highlights were from Sticky Wicket, whose musical contribution on the drums, and anything else within hitting distance, led an easy swinging feel to the music.

Songs played ranged from the forties and fifties, with Gene Krupa’s Boogie Blues opening the set, before Linda Morris added her fine vocal and stage presence to such songs as Why Don’t You Do Right? And Lady Be Good.

Things were slowed down a little during I’m Beginning To See The Light and The Way You Look Tonight. Nobody Here But Us Chickens and the closing version of Glenn Miller’s Tuxedo Junction certainly put the swing back into the evening.

More familiar fare featured in the second half of the concert, with songs such as Chatanooga Choo Choo, Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me, and When You’re Smiling, whilr on encore of Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World was a more than fitting end to this concert.

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