Superb Talent Drifts Into Theatre Severn

The Drifters

Theatre Severn

Friday 25th September 2015

I closed my eyes and it was 1974; I was wearing my best new Bags and Fairisle Tank top with my Spoon Collar flapping as I danced at the Silvester Horne Institute disco in Church Stretton.

No,actually as I opened my eyes I was sat at the back of the auditorium of Theatre Severn listening to the Drifters pouring out hit after hit. The air fair bristled with nostalgia as all we 40 and 50 somethings sang, clapped and whistled just as riotously as we would have done back  then.

With each hit we were given just a little Drifters history. We mourned the sad loss of Ben E King , who passed away about six month ago, then after an emotionally charged, “Stand By Me,” we learned that the first Drifters Album was made back in 1953, that’s sixty years of hit making.

 After millions of albums and singles sold they have kept a continuity that in the cut throat world of popular music is a no mean feat and,  although they  have changed the line up many times, there is a thread running through like Blackpool through a stick of rock, We knew these men were now The Drifters and they were not good …..they were brilliant.

The technical script, as in lighting and sound changes, was incredible and the lighting cues alone would have given top technicians a run for the money. The technical language, as it is known, was brilliant. The  lights were beautifully and sympathetically bringing just that extra special something to the whole mix.

These guys were seriously cool.  They sang, they danced and they entertained. Backed by the superb live Drifters, band there wasn’t a recorded note in the house. The six man combi, comprising Woodwind, Drums, Keys, Percussion, Bass and Lead Guitars, were so tight and clearly so very well rehearsed. Its wonderful to hear such great live music being played in the here and now!

One could feel  stunning musicianship,  lovely singing and amazing dance moves notwithstanding, rehearsed they might have been, but there was a genuine warmth toward the audience and a sense of fun coming from the boys that actually made it a shared experience and audience and band all came together.

Although the bulk of the show was their classic gold tracks there was some interesting covers and new material too. For example they did a great Sweet Caroline.

For the full two hours this was a show with everything. No one went home disappointed and the convivial banter in the downward lift after the show, was one of a happy bunch of theatre goers, maybe just a little sad because it was home time.

They say nostalgia is a thing of the past. I can’t agree tonight I was a fifty something 14 year old school boy and the band that Fluff Freeman had just told me were number one, were singing live just for me, oh and the other five hundred or so people that were there too. What an honour thought I and worried whether if I recorded it, would it have fitted on Durrants  C60 cassette which were our technology of the day!

It was a great fun show and consequently……

This a five star review.

Owen 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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