The Billy Fury Story - Halfway to Paradise

Liverpool Philharmonic
17th April 2012

Reviewed by Keelin Sweeney

The show opened strong, on what would have been Billy’s 72nd Birthday! We were immediately provided with the original line up of Fury’s Tornado’s, Fury’s backing band.

Billy’s stand in, a former ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ act, sang very well and did Billy justice, but at times he looked a little more like Freddy Star! The appearance of Fury’s old musical producer on the piano was a good bonus. It was nice, to see the band enjoying themselves on Billy’s’ Birthday, The Band’s music was reinforced on stage by the presence of a huge projector screen, showing footage of earlier live shows of Fury’s Tornado’s throughout the years! This almost like for like mimicked their live performance, depending which way you look at it! These ‘retro giving’s’ were also accompanied by a bad choice of 60’s and 70’s women’s fashion photo stills!! It felt to be more than a little amateur. If this was to ebb us into the atmosphere of times gone by, the audience with an average age of 65 or over would not have been strolling down memory lane! Considering the lack of Billy’s life story it was a shame that a real sense of nostalgia was not evoked in visuals at least.

Overall, the show only lived up to the first half of its title and failed to live up to expectations. Although the band played mostly well, particularly the bass player, this was really all you got. It felt like a well rehearsed, slightly chronological ‘cabaret act’. What, could have been, The Scouse Legends ‘Buddy’, was more like a badly narrated and poorly produced ’We Will Rock You’. Continuity, detail and thrill factor were sadly lacking! If you went to find out who ‘the real’ Billy Fury was, you would have been a little disappointed! The tour continues across the UK. .. I wish them well, but it wasn’t for me!

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