THEATRE / Beyond the cringe
Sunday 04 December 1994
The man Frank Sinatra calls the best singer in the world is 68. The lines on his face are deepening. His eyes slope further down and his lips curl further up. Soon, when he smiles, they will join up, like the M25. His dark suit, blue tie and red pocket handkerchief aren't quite as fashionable as his reputation, hinting, as they do, at an alternative career as manager of a menswear store. When he flexes his knees to the beat, pats the piano or cups both hands round the microphone, you think you're going to cringe (thoughts of Andy Williams, thoughts of Perry Como). And you do.
But when he hits a big vowel it doesn't pour out like treacle. There's a rasp, a croak, a throatiness that cuts across the emotions: this is the voice of an angel awoken after a night on the town. He's still a heavy-hitter. He holds the word ``love'' in ``Devil Moon'' for 15 seconds, growls a big black ``oh yeah'' at the end of ``I Wanna Be Around'', but brings it right down for the intimate pitter-patter of ``Steppin' out with My Baby''.
Bennett shares the stage (literally) with his long-time pianist Ralph Sharon, bass player Douglas Richeson and the irrepressible Clayton Cameron, who does his solo as if he thinks the bailiffs are after his drumkit. After the exit Bennett comes back and sings ``Fly Me to the Moon'' with the microphone turned off. Low-tech is clearly the way to age with style. He gets a standing ovation. (Photograph omitted)
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins gives rare glimpse of sensitive side with heartfelt open letter to her children penned in case she dies from epilepsy
- 2 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP