Joe Stilgoe - Songs On Film: The Sequel - The Herald (Live Review)

Joe Stilgoe appears not to have had a misspent youth. Judging from this latest instalment of his survey of songs and related films - and its predecessors - every waking hour that led up to the suave, effortlessly entertaining Mr S becoming a jazz musician was devoted to accruing knowledge of the cinema and ingesting soundtracks. 

The overture here, with Stilgoe alone at the piano in a Darth Vader mask, was a superb appetiser with an, at first, apparently random but presently wittily assembled running order establishing a connection with the audience that grew as he was joined by bassist Tom Farmer and drummer Ben Reynolds.

They're more than his rhythm section; they're essential parts of the choir-cum song and dance act-cum-sound effects unit that delivers Stilgoe's own cineaste's catchy boogaloo What's On, investigates Tom & Jerry-esque slapstick and visits Sweet Charity with impressively smooth voice and double bass aplomb.

Heaven knows how many songs and tunes, not to mention films, are referenced in an hour that's quickfire and yet somehow remarkably detailed, including the suitably eerie, torch-lit finale to the Doors' People Are Strange during the horror section. It's probably best not keep the score - no pun intended - and just go with the flow of an involving, smartly turned and variously rocking, swinging and casually informative presentation.

The Herald
05 August 2016