Review: All New Blues Brothers tribute – Liverpool Empire

Posted on 8 February 2011
By Andy Johnson
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Starting out as a bizzare singing sketch on Saturday Night Live, Jim Belushi and Dan Acroyd always had bigger plans for The Blues Brothers, so the movie was born and the music lives on.

The Blues Brothers and what they represent are loved worldwide. The Pope even gave the film his seal of approval as the Vatican declared it a ‘Catholic Classic’ as it celebrated its 30th birthday.

This All New tribute stage show – directed by Brad Henshaw is a great production and will bring back many happy memories for any fans looking to escape a bleak winter evening.

Musically, the band were excellent. Jake and Elwood possesed soulful voices beyond their years and were backed magnificenty by the three ‘Bluettes’ – who brought an extra helping of pizazz to the performance.

As creators of the tribute act, they showed complete devotion to the original comic force with renditions of Dan Ackroyd’s skat Rubber Biscuit and even the obscure King Bee from the early TV days.

But they were really on a ‘Mission from God’ to get the ageing audience up on their feet to party which was quite an ask considering how old the film is, never mind the fans.

Sing along highlights from the set included Soul Man, Gimme Some Loving and off the menu blues classics such as Benny E King’s Under the Boardwalk and Shotgun Blues.

They even brought out song cards for Flip Flop And Fly after embarrasing a lady in the front row by mocking her Scouse brogue and for ‘not knowing the werds…’ before demanding that the whole theatre stand up to join in the dance routine.

The only low point was a lacklustre rendition of Minnie The Moocher. After cracking that Cab Calloway couldn’t appear… ‘because he was dead.’ Supporting player Luke Jasztar came on in a dazzling white suit but gave a half-cocked performance, which lacked the smooth classy finish of the rest of the show.

But by the end of the show The Brothers’ mission from God was complete and the rejuvenated audience burst out in reverence and song onto the Holy Streets of Liverpool.