Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Stylistics with Julian Smith Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall

The Stylistics
with saxophonist
 Julian Smith
Assembly Hall Theatre
Royal Tunbridge Wells

20th November 2010

You may have noted that in the title I have put 'support act' Julian Smith in the same size text as the star act The Stylistics.

This was purely intentional as he is no less impressive.

Isn't it refreshing when you go to see a show with an outstanding support act? It doesn't happen all that often so enjoy it when it does.

For those who have never heard of Julian Smith this gifted saxophonist came 3rd in the 2009 airing of Britain's Got Talent. He was only beaten by the winners dance group Diversity and the incredible Susan Boyle.

You may have thought his sax sounded great on the programme, you may even think it sounds pretty good on my You Tube clip. But believe me nothing can prepare you for how beautiful he sounds live.

There aren't many solo instrumentalists I could sit through for a full length show Julian Smith is an exception!

In 2011 Julian commences his first solo tour. It is a tour I would dearly love to see if only a date would appear in the south-east of England.

The tour dates can be found here

Still as quietly spoken and amiable as he was when appearing on BGT Julian was incredibly popular with this Tunbridge Wells audience. It was a first half of pure pleasure for your ears..... aural sax you might say.

In the interval he was so popular for autographs of the programme and his CD that he had to work flat out to get through the huge queue in the 20 minute break. Yet he still found time for a Great Ormond Street charity signing too. Thanks Julian!

He may be classed a support act now. But with his solo tour edging closer day by day it won't be long before he is the headline artist and rightly so.

Do I really need to say much about the legendary Stylistics? They are as popular today as they were when it all started back in 1968. They still have a massive worldwide following. On You Tube their videos get umpteen thousands of hits.

There aren't many groups formed in that era that can still count 2 original members in their line up. However, the Stylistics can with Airrion Love and Herb Murrell still going strong some 42 years later. Harold 'Eban' Brown and Van Fields complete the harmonious group.

It is soul at its very best with all the greatest hits covered from the 1975 UK No 1 "Can't Buy You Anything (But My Love)" to the equally well known "You Make Me Feel Brand New"

I thought they were were excellent. On the way out I heard a few comments that the sound at the back of the auditorium was a bit distorted but this certainly wasn't the case at the front.

If I had one minor criticism it is that I wish with their superb guest 'support act' there could have been at least one track where Julian got involved too. I just think that would have been the icing on a very delicious soul and sax cake.

After this tour ends in the next couple of weeks The Stylistics are of to impress the people of Japan in the run up to Christmas.

Japan you have a treat coming your way.

visit for the official tour dates

The Stylistics and Julian Smith

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1 comment:

  1. Saw Julian & Stylistics at Bolton Albert Hall last night, they were fantastic.


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