A packed audience filled The Maltings on Friday night as The Eastcoast Boys entertained with some of the greatest hits from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
As the title of the show was ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ it was incredibly fitting that the two hour long journey through the famous back catalogue of Mr Valli and co began with the song of the same name.
The tight harmonies and slick choreography of the opening number set the tone for the rest of the evening as did the reaction it garnered from the music lovers present, many of whom seemed to revel in the opportunity to turn back the clock to the swinging ‘60s.
As someone who wasn’t incredibly au fait with all things Valli I was pleasantly surprised by how many songs I knew in the Eastcoast Boys repertoire. I have to confess iTunes was utilised after the show to download the likes of ‘The Night’, ‘Walk Like A Man’ and ‘Let’s Hang On’.
Although as resident Frankie Valli, Jonny Vickers took the lead for the majority of the songs his fellow Seasons - Joe Connell, Alex Marshall and Stuart Innes - all played their part and the likes of ‘Marianne’ and ‘Dawn’ gave them a chance to take top billing.
Although there wasn’t any real set for the show and the focus was on churning out the hits rather than going down the ‘Jersey Boys’ route of telling the story, the four guys stayed in character throughout and their New Jersey accents were convincing.
Ideal for a Friday night, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons discography is packed full of big party numbers, including a few made famous by other acts. ‘Da da da das’ echoed around the theatre during ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and a few scarves, much required for the freezing temperatures outside, were held aloft as the Eastcoast Boys belted out ‘Bye Bye Baby’, best known as the Bay City Rollers’ calling card.
The two tracks helped the show build to a rousing crescendo, meaning that by the time the opening bars of ‘Oh What a Night’ kicked in, people were more than willing to be transported back to late December back in ‘63.
Some tribute artists let certain elements of their act take precedence over others but ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ certainly didn’t cut any corners.
The outfits were spot on; Jonny Vickers’ voice although not a dead ringer for the famous Valli high pitched vocal was certainly impressive and rather than using faceless backing tracks, a soundtrack was provided by a quartet of talented musicians.
There was swaying, clapping, dancing in the aisles- you’ have been forgiven for thinking you were at a JLS or One Direction gig at certain points.
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons are touring themselves this year but they’d be hard pushed to match the energy and showmanship of this particular group of guys who emulate them.