REVIEW: Christmas swing king Matt Goss does it His Way at O2 Academy Leeds
Christmas swing king Matt Goss proved why he is the new swoonatra last night when he opened his UK solo tour at Leeds O2 Academy doing Sinatra style festive classics - but His Way.
His timing, delivery and phrasing of some of the finest Christmas tunes of the great American songbook was pure magic.
LISTEN: Matt Goss reveals personal heartache as he swings into UK for Christmas shows. Read Graham Walker's exclusive interview and listen to their full chat - CLICK HERE
BUY TICKETS: A Matt Goss Christmas will also play Newcastle, Bournemouth, Flasgow, London, Manchester and Birmingham. Full details below and tickets at www.ticketweb.co.uk
Backed by an incredible jazz quartet - keyboards, guitar, drums and upright double bass - the Bros frontman transported us to an intimate nightclub on The Strip for fresh new interpretations of the likes of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Silent Night and a haunting I'll Be Home For Christmas.
He also paid homage to his grandad Harry's favourite Nat King Cole tunes, including a velvet delivery of The Christmas Song, and of course, Bing's timeless White Christmas,which snowballed into an unexpected but thrilling version of Jingle Bells.
For good measure we also got a taste of other swing standards which have been packing them in at The Goss Room at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas every day for the past seven years - including Fly Me To The Moon, Sway, When I fall In Love and the most tender, heartfelt rendition of In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning.
Plus the song that summed up the night...Unforgettable.
This was an 80s superstar, looking forward to the biggest pop reunion of 2017, proving the boy can really sing as he breathed fresh life and energy into songs which he made his own.
His microphone technique, the way he bent notes to give tone and colour to the phrases we have heard a million times, was spectacular and exciting. He is Britain's new torch bearer for these big band songs. Not just keeping the tunes alive, but making them contemporary.
A sincere and honest performance, straight from his heart, this night was a true Christmas celebration of his love affair for the Rat Pack era, which has rightly earned him the Icon Award in Las Vegas.
In between songs, again Sinatra style, he paid tribute to the great writers, orchestrators and band leaders from Irving Berlin to Nelson Riddle.
The guy with all the swagger and attitude to be the new Chairman of the Board also proved deep down he is really a big softy, as he took time out between songs to open his heart and thank fans for being there for him on his own sentimental journey, during good times and bad.
He encouraged the few men in the room to hug and kiss their wives and girlfriends, told how all relationships should be our most treasured possessions and how his proudest moment was when his late mum called him her best friend.
At this point there wasn't a dry eye in the house or woman in the room who didn't want to take him home.
In a random Q&A he also admitted he was probably born in the wrong era and if he had a time machine he would love to go back, to change a few things.
Looking forward he revealed he is on the verge of securing a new, bigger Las Vegas show at the MGM Grand, close to making another solo album and he promised the Bros reunion next summer would be spectacular. Brosettes who packed the house went Christmas crackers at that,
One fan even plucked up courage to ask if he would donate sperm to father her next child. He had fans laughing out loud when he first checked his watch to see if he had the time - then admitted that Leeds was the first ever such a request.
What he did donate was all his time, talent and energy into a crowd who turned up to roll back the years and got the best early Christmas present ever.
Support guest was 1980s dance floor filler Jacki Graham who, incidentally, was worth the ticket price alone with amazing vocals which have stood the test of time. The 60 year old belied her years as she belted out her crowd pleasing hits including Set Me Free, Breaking Away, Could It Be I'm Falling In Love and her 1994 Billboard number one cover version of Chaka Khan's Ain't Nobody. More please.
A MATT GOSS CHRISTMAS - LEEDS 02 ACADEMY SET LIST
It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
I'll Be Home For Christmas.
Fly Me To The Moon
White Christmas/Jingle Bells
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
When I Fall In Love
In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
The Christmas Song
A MATT GOSS CHRISTMAS TOUR DATES DECEMBER 2016Monday 5th Dec. Leeds O2 AcademyTuesday 6th Dec. Newcastle O2 AcademyThursday 8th Dec. Bournemouth O2 AcademySunday 11th Dec. Glasgow O2 ABCMonday 12th Dec. London O2 Shepherd’s Bush EmpireTuesday 13th Dec. Manchester O2 RitzWednesday 14th Dec. Birmingham O2 Academy
Tickets for all shows available from www.ticketweb.co.uk