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Review: Joe Stilgoe Big Band, Snape Proms, August 23

PUBLISHED: 13:28 24 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:28 24 August 2017

Joe Stilgoe with his band who combined movie classics with his own songs at his Snape Proms performance. photo: Scott Rylander

Joe Stilgoe with his band who combined movie classics with his own songs at his Snape Proms performance. photo: Scott Rylander


The concert hall at Snape Maltings is famous around the world for its size and acoustics, but even this impressive venue seemed to struggle to contain the joyous sound created by jazz singer/songwriter Joe Stilgoe and his fabulously talented band.

Weaving together a nostalgic selection of movie classics with a few of his own catchy compositions, the stylish and charismatic Stilgoe charmed a packed audience with his cheeky banter and clever inclusion of Suffolk references in some of the well-known numbers.

One crowd favourite saw the usual touring trio (Tom Farmer on double bass and Ben Reynolds on drums) at the front of the stage as they seamlessly morphed ‘It Had To Be You’ into ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ from Jungle Book – genius.

Other highlights included a brilliant Top Hat duet with special guest Giacomo Smith on clarinet – featuring ‘tap dancing’ on drums – and an improvised mash-up using song suggestions from the audience (Superman theme, Wheels on the Bus, The Way You Look Tonight etc) which clearly showcased Stilgoe’s extraordinary talent.

Catch him in September performing Songs on Film at the High Tide Festival in Aldeburgh – you’ll be pleased you did.

Martine Silkstone

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