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I love a good tribute show, me. I’ve seen the good, the bad, not to mention the down right dodgy.
There are a few I’d go back to see time and time again, one of them being Hello Again, The Neil Diamond Story. I mean, who doesn’t love the distinctive sound of one Neil Leslie Diamond? Scoring his first solo hit in 1966, with 50 years and over 125 Million records sold, his popularity is as strong as ever and his songs still as much-loved if the arms in the air audience at The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham are anything to go by.
The phrase ‘Tribute show’ is an interesting one. Does it mean a band or artist covering the famous acts songs or does it mean they’re a dressed up looky-likey sound-a-likey whole kit caboodle job?
Enter Brooklyn Creed & The Salvation Band with their take on the tribute act. Dubbed The Voice of Diamond, Brooklyn carries huge expectation on his shoulders – and he doesn’t disappoint. Yes he wears what I’d class as ‘Showbiz Shirts’ to mimic the Rhinestone style of Diamond, his stature too is the same. He doesn’t pretend to be Diamond, yet when he opens his lungs, the hall is filled with that unmistakable voice which provided such hits as Sweet Caroline and Cracklin Rose, songs which made Neil Diamond one of the biggest selling artists of all time. Close your eyes and it could be him.
The Salvation Band, gel together on stage. Coupled with the Brooklyn Horns and Ascending Strings they have hand pick specific live and studio versions of Diamond’s performances. Together they work their way through nearly two hours of Neil Diamond classics including numbers from The Jazz Singer (Hello Again, Love on the Rocks, America) as well as tracks he wrote, covered by artists such as UB40 and The Monkees. MD/ Keyboard player Dave Jenkins ensures absolute authenticity, making the show a must for any fans.
Show creators/ producers, Darren Bazzoni and Juanita Diaz ensure a slick production. The staging has a professional feel. Evocative imagery and video plays out on the screen behind the band. Calling the show The Neil Diamond story could be a little misleading. Don’t go expecting a played out version of his life story. Narration gives a potted history of Diamond’s glittering 50 year career from The Bang Years to the present day.
With the Hitmaker who charted with Forever in Blue Jeans, Song Sung Blue and many more announcing his retirement from touring last year, this production is now probably sadly the only way you will get to hear the tracks live sounding like they are sung by the original artist live. Nevertheless, what a wonderful tribute.
Words Tanya Louise
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