Review: The Chip Shop Boys, Cheltenham Town Hall
NOT many bands can get drift from Elvis to Nessun Dorma in a heartbeat and get away with it.
But Gloucestershire band The Chip Shop Boys certainly can.
Their New Year's Eve set at Cheltenham Town Hall was the ultimate pick and mix bag, filled with 80s and 90s classics and a host of foot-stomping anthems.
Oh there were cheesy tunes aplenty too, like a piece of aged parmesan sprinkled liberally throughout the night.
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How did the crowd react? They lapped it up, digesting it gladly with a glass or five of vino rosso. The drinks were flowing, the audience were swaying and the feel-good factor was everywhere you turned.
Not many venues this year will see a pensioner dancing to to PSY's global hit, Gangnam Style. It was quite a sight to behold.
Dressed largely in suits, tuxedos and ball gowns with an age range from 20 to 80 you felt part of a wedding party to end all wedding parties.
Bursting into life for nearly every song, a cover of Journey's Don't Stop Believing and Take That's Shine struck a chord in the lead up to midnight.
Bring Me Sunshine was to follow, with a large screen at the front of the stage running a montage of memorable moments in 2012 and high-profile names who had lost their lives.
It was a clever touch and had much of the crowd captivated until the final countdown began. A chorus of voices bellowed the final seconds of the year and party poppers exploded throughout the venue as Big Ben crossed over into 2013.
Judging the mood, Status Quo's Rocking All Over the World became the first anthem to herald in the new year, with much-covered I Love You Baby quick to follow. The band had really hit their stride, putting their own spin on some huge tracks with an infectious energy.
Covers of I'm a Believer, Kaiser Chief's I Predict a Riot and Sex on Fire followed, with a random guitar riff of The Flinstones theme tune proving a surprising but welcome addition. The King entered the building with a cover of Suspicious Minds, and Robbie William's iconic Angels was belted out to much delight.
And so we rolled in, with Hey Jude prompting a sea of hands to wave from one side to another. So what of the finale? Perhaps some Oasis or another Beatles song?
Well, not quite. Opera classic, Nessun Dorma provided a fitting farewell in an evening where one tune was welcomed as much as the next. It was a rousing finale, sung with all the gusto and personality of a band loving every minute of their performance.
And the crowd loved it even more; stomping their feet for an encore. The band duly obilged, with The Fratelli's Chelsea Dagger ending a memorable night.
The Town Hall on New Year's Eve with a portion of The Chip Shop Boys. Undoubtedly, the plaice to be.