G4 review: They had the Felixstowe audience singing with gusto

G4 at Spa Pavilion. Picture: SARAH LAMB

G4 at Spa Pavilion. Picture: SARAH LAMB - Credit: Archant

‘Bohemian rhapsody’ was their opening gambit and it paid off with the crowd not only clapping along but singing too – I’ve never seen that before in a theatre, not on the very first number

G4 I still remember from their first audition on the XFactor, in 2004, when Simon Cowell likened them to four bankers.

They still have their smart suits but singing a mix of classical/pop crossovers they have gone from strength to strength.

One of those crossover pop songs followed with Justin Timberlake’s Cry me a River those beginning bars sounding like a haunting monk’s cry had the hairs on the back of my neck standing to attention.

Next came Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful proving that no matter the gender of the artist G4 can deliver on many different types of songs.

Their next song, Radio Head’s Creep was homage to Louis Walsh as he chose this song for them to sing in the XFactor final.

Another pop favourite followed, Coldplay’s Yellow sung against a simple but classic back drop of a baby grand piano and some clever lighting.

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By this point I must admit I was itching for them to play some of their trademark classical pieces and they delivered by performing La Traviata, jolly and with huge stretching vocals, which the four made appear effortless and a lot of fun to perform.

Thanks to the power of advertising I recognised the next Oh Sole Mio (or Just One Cornetto) which they had the Felixstowe audience again singing with gusto.

G4 have a way of adding in humour to their performance, never taking themselves too seriously which really appealed to the packed house at the Spa.

A change of tack was next with an Elvis classic, Can’t Help Falling In Love sung acapella, it was almost biblical, those stunning harmonies rising to the fore.

Another pop classic followed and then the Young G4 PQA Ipswich Choir joined them on stage to add another dimension to the night’s entertainment.

The junior choir sang Rhythm of Life before the G4 boys returned to the stage and together they sang the song of the evening for me - Freddie Mercury’s Barcelona with their very own Montserrat Caballé Mary Jess [Chinese XFactor and singer of the Downton Abbey theme].

The power of all those vocals, coming at you from the stage was mind blowingly good.

Mary Jess proved her place on the stage straight after singing Say You Love Me from Phantom of the Opera with the boys, her stunning soprano runs going right up to the theatre rafters and back down again.

All of this packed into the first half made for a hugely enjoyable evening. More surprises were to follow once the curtain came up for the second half. All four appeared from the back of the theatre singing amongst the audience, shaking hands – one even kissed the hand of my companion who may never wash again!

Singing Circle of life as they approached the stage towards the waiting PQA Choir, the boys now dressed in smart black velvet jackets.

Next came Gnarls Barkley Crazy with powerful strings accompaniment. After that the lighting took the mood right down ready for Everybody Hurts.

Mary Jess returned with a solo, also from Phantom – Think of Me accompanied by the G4 musical director Richard Jones.

Another standout G4 song followed with Bowie’s Life on Mars.

Jonathan Ansell returns to the Spa in May with Rhydian Roberts for Les Musicals.

He certainly gained some more fans as he led the musical charge with the rest of his G4 cohorts.

Nessen Dorma appeared to be their final song of the night with the audience up on their feet in standing ovation.

However, after a quick change into gold, sparkly jackets all four returned once again to give the enthusiastic audience Living on a Prayer and John Farnham’s You’re the Voice – G4 you certainly are.