Bob Dury Does Neil Diamond: Everyone a Gem!

Walker Theatre

Theatre Severn

Bob Drury’s Viva Neil Diamond Unplugged

13: May: 2022

Well, I’ll start by giving you a smile. As I sat in the Foyer there was only about seven people sitting waiting and I thought “Oh Dear, Poor Fella,” The joke was on me! Totally misreading my ticket I manged to arrive a full forty-five minutes before the start of his 8pm show. Lesson for Owen J. Lewis? Read your ticket!

Ah well, to the show proper. A good test of a tribute act is to close one’s eyes, blank out the ephemera and simply listen to the voice. Does the voice stack up? It was a delight to find that the audience I thought was six, packed the Walker Theatre; all to witness the closest sounding tribute one may ever hear. Bob Drury is almost Neil Diamond. His vocal is superb and has both the power and the pathos needed to present a well observed Neil Diamond tribute.

But this was so much more. The research Mr. Drury has put into this show was incredible. He knew dates and information that is crucial for a Diamond fan to keep in his arsenal were he/she ever to enter a Neil Diamond trivia quiz. It was a fascinating balance however of fact and song and he cleverly and highly slickly;  was able to fill the event with really interesting points about Diamond’s inspiration and where and when he wrote certain songs.

When you go to a night like this one is always amazed at how many hits the particular artist was credited with. This show is filled with delightful reproduction of the classics, Red Red Wine, Forever in Blue Jeans, I am I said, I’m a believer and so on. Song after classic song, Bob Drury lead us on a really fascinating journey into the music of one of America’s greatest song writers.

With just three guitars and a banjo Bob Drury professionally led us through this remarkable back catalogue. A lot of tribute bands forget that its someone else’s act and take it as their own. That’s fine… a lot of people like that style. None of that regurgitation style here. The songs are handled with the respect and admiration that is rare from some tribute acts.

The thing that makes Bob Drury stand out is, he is a really fantastic guitarist. Initially he shied away from the mic happy to put in a shift as a guitarist needed to make a show happen, he never dreamed until about 12 years ago that he should step up and try a song. The audience in Theatre Severn tonight were grateful for that once fateful experimentation into the world of a vocalist.

One looked down at the stage and imagined that it might be a lonely life and a scary one knowing the show succeeds or fails solely on what you do... When so many people have paid to see you perform, the pressure is on. It is fair to say that Mr. Drury filled that great big space with a symphony off excellence.

Within the first three songs he had his audience in the palm of his hand, and they were behind him completely. There is absolutely no doubt that he led from the front and took us on a fantastic odyssey into the work of one of the greatest songwriters of modern times. Long may he continue, a truly worthy act.

This is a Five Star Review

Owen J.Lewis



Sofia Lewis Sofia Lewis
For many years Sofia wrote here under her male name Owen J. Lewis. She is now mostly writing under her own name of Sofia Lewis. Sofia, who worked on independent radio for over ten years, lives in Shrewsbury and writes plays. She has over 15 titles published and her plays are performed all over the world. She is especially popular in America. Her poetry is also often noted and she writes reams of it most weeks. Since graduating in theatre in 1997 Sofia has been an Actor, Filmmaker, and a Secondary School Teacher. Reviewing theatre is something she thoroughly enjoys and she loves to see great theatre. As a musician Sofia is known throughout the UK she is a folk singer, and is often seen or heard around her native county singing and having fun. Sofia has contributed to for over a decade and enjoys sharing her views on theatre. Sofia has one daughter and grew up in Church Stretton.

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