THEATRE SEVERN SHREWSBURY Sunday 21st October 2012.
Looking around the almost capacity middle aged to elderly audience before the commence of the show I wondered how many of them had come to see four guys of senior age, not youngsters. In the foyer during the interval I overheard a woman telling her friend that she thought that the big guy (Michael Williams) must be an original member as the other three looked too young. However, when you go to see a Drifters concert you expect to hear good tunes performed in four part harmony, and slick choreagraphed dance moves, the audience tonight were not to be dissapointed.
For me the show got off to a false start with lead singer Michael Williams coming out to perform a couple of solo numbers which could have only been to showcase his solo album on sale in the foyer. Leaving the stage, a voice over then announces that as with Treadwell's policy and legacy of The Drifters and introducing new, younger members into the line up the Drifters walked on stage to thunderous applause opening with the theme tune to the tour's title "Masquerade" which again to me was a false start - better to open with a hit record that everyone knows, get them onside and then perform a lesser known number. This was followed by " Hello Happiness" "At The Club", "Dance With Me" "Down At The Beach" "Under The Boardwalk" "There Goes My First Love" "More Than A Number In My Little Red Book" interspersed with some lesser known songs before "Sweets For My Sweet" brought the first half to a close.
The second half began with more hits - "Like Sister & Brother" "On Broadway" and "When My Little Girl is Smiling" before treating the audience to a forthcoming new release "The Whole World" followed by "Do You Dream Of Me" which was released in 2011 and was the first release by The Drifters in 35 years. Back to more from the catalogue of hits - "Up On The Roof" "Come On Over To My Place" "Save The Last Dance" "Stand By Me" "Kissin' In The Back Row" and "Saturday Night At The Movies" to name a few.
The second half saw almost the entire audience to a man / woman on their feet - dancing, swaying, clapping and singing along with the hits
The group were backed by an excellent 5 piece band made up of Saxaphone, Guitar, Drums, Bass, and Keyboards which to me were a little loud on some of the softer numbers but overall produced a great sound.
Going back to my opening comments about whether the audience were expecting to see the original Drifters as they left the building in a joyous mood I don't think they could care or have given it a second thought they had been to a soul party with four lads calling themselves The Drifters providing the cabaret. So if they went away happy does it matter or should the group be billed as being The Drifters 2012 or whatever year the line up changes?
For further details of the current tour visit www.theofficialdrifters.com