Joe Stilgoe and his excellent band create a wonderful atmosphere with their musical stylings, charming personalities, and atmospheric lighting. Although presented in the afternoon, you feel like you’re experiencing a 'cool and hip' late-night gig rather than at the more civilised time of 4:35pm. Full marks to them for taking us on this classy journey.
The end sequence of Stilgoe's now well-known request medley from the audience has the 'wow' factor.
Songs On Film is a wide title to feature some great song choices of 100 years of the silver screen. The song choices may be fairly middle-of-the-road, but they’re played and sung with great conviction, talent and energy: from Almost Like Being In Love (which Stilgoe delivers with much style and panache) to Arthur's Song, with many other classic standards along the way. He also sings one of his own compositions about his home-town cinema, which although lyrically interesting and heart warming, doesn't quite stand up musically against all the other numbers.
Stilgoe's dry humour is sparkled throughout with fun moments such as 'Guess The Studio Theme' and a great medley of Cartoon 'toons'. He confirms the show isn't a lecture; a wise move, but it would be nice to put some songs into context and a few song facts are a little questionable.
A highlight is the a capella It Had To Be You sung with his band of Bassist Tom and Drummer Ben. They are a strong pair, and serve Stilgoe excellently: They're not just instrumentalists, they're attractive performance musicians with flair, charisma, style and talent. It's not until this pair appear that the show takes off as Stilgoe’s opening solo sequence of musical snippets and chat takes too long. It's just over ten minutes before a full song is heard. It's a shame he hasn't found a strong opening. But the end sequence of Stilgoe's now well-known request medley from the audience has the 'wow' factor.