Review: RICK ASTLEY'S SWINGING CHRISTMAS, Royal Albert Hall

Christmas time at the Royal Albert Hall is always magical, what better way to get into the festive spirit than with a big band singing classic Christmas and swing songs

By: Dec. 20, 2022
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Review: RICK ASTLEY'S SWINGING CHRISTMAS, Royal Albert Hall

Review: RICK ASTLEY'S SWINGING CHRISTMAS, Royal Albert Hall Christmas time at the Royal Albert Hall is always magical - and what better way to get in to the festive spirit than with a big band singing classic Christmas and swing songs, fronted by none other than eighties star Rick Astley.

A self-confessed lover of the golden age of big band and swing, Astley performed the show first in Liverpool before the two gigs at the Royal Albert Hall.

Along with some of the more usual standards including "Come Fly with Me", "Cheek to Cheek" and "Luck Be A Lady", he also sprinkled in some well known festive tunes - it was after all a Christmas themed event! Classics such as "Winter Wonderland", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "The Christmas Song" sounded out throughout the venue. He was brilliantly accompanied by a full orchestra and had additional support from backing vocalists Dawn Joseph and Lauren Johnson at several points through the evening.

Although Astley threw in some anecdotes and personal touches throughout the show, it would have been great to hear more stories, especially because the ones he did tell (particularly the story about how he came up with the idea for the concert series while walking through Central Park) were so interesting.

Understandably a little nervous (and with a few small errors that he was happy to point out) early on, Astley hit his stride in the second act with renditions of "You Make Me Feel So Young", "Some Enchanted Evening", "I Get a Kick Out of You" and "Fly Me to the Moon". He was charming, effusive and the audience were soaking up every second - some even shouting out their love for Rick during the short breaks between songs. One of the funniest moments came at the end of the opening number when Astley noticed his shoelace was untied and asked a fan in the front row to tie it for him.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Rick Astley gig without a visit to his most infamous song (now 35 years old!) "Never Gonna Give You Up". Cheers erupted throughout the Royal Albert Hall and the audience, which had actually been quite subdued for the most part, was up on its feet, dancing within seconds of the opening chords.

A few wobbly key changes certainly weren't enough to detract from a fun festive evening.

Rick Astley's Swinging Christmas was at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 December.



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