Thursday 27 July 2017

Music review: Pink Martini at Bord Gais Energy Theatre - 'an enthralling evening of good time music'

Pink Martini
Pink Martini
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

Pink Martini are a phenomenally successful pop jazz group from Portland, Oregon. They have such remarkable evergreen appeal they’re able to sell out one of Dublin’s largest venues with little fanfare or fuss.

Founding member Thomas Lauderdale and vocalist Storm Large anchor a terrifically versatile ten-piece ensemble, who can dabble with aplomb in jazz, pop, lounge and swing.

Seated at his piano, Lauderdale looks a bit like a cross between Elton John and celebrity architect Daniel Libeskind, who, incidentally, designed this very theatre.

Meanwhile, Storm Large is a glamorous statuesque blonde who radiates charisma and showbiz. Together with their band, they put on an enthralling evening of good time music.

Large invites any Turkish people in the audience to the stage to sing on a slinky song entitled ‘Aşkım Bahardı’. The couple that participate appear so well versed and lacking in nerves one suspects they might be a plant, but when it’s this entertaining, it really doesn’t matter.

Audience participation features prominently in a Pink Martini show. Just before the interval they invite anyone who wishes to come and dance onstage. This is prefaced by Lauderdale and a crew member exhaustively going through every single piece of merchandise they’re selling in the foyer. In other hands, this would risk coming across as crass salesmanship, but Pink Martini get away with it through a lightness of touch and an endearing sense of humour.

The second half is even more swinging than the first. By the end of the night, there are people dancing everywhere - on the stage, in their seats and in the aisles.

Pink Martini are as polished, professional and pleasurable as they come.

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