CabaretMusicReview

Leo Green – Middle Eight Hotel, London

Reviewer: Mike Wells

The middle eight of a song is typically a turning point. It’s a moment of difference to peak the listeners’ interest, keep them on their toes, and draw them a little closer. True to its name, beneath the Middle Eight Hotel is a venue that aims to do just that.

With more that 10,000 live music events taking place in the capital every year (according to an Expedia study in 2017), standing out from the crowd is a challenge. To do that the Middle Eight has found virtuoso saxophonist Leo Green who brings together a variety of different artists to create an energetic set.

Leo Green is no stranger to collaboration. Over the years he’s worked with an astonishing number of artists, which reads like a “who’s who” of prominent performers of the last 50 years. He’s worked with Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, James Brown, Van Morrison, Ben E. King, Tom Jones, and dozens more. Described by Jerry Lee Lewis as “the greatest sax player [he’s] ever worked with”, Leo Green has been given a residency at the Green Room on Thursday-Saturday evenings. During his residency he’s working with a variety of performers including (on this occasion) four singers and a five-piece band.

To pin them down on a particular genre is difficult as it’s something of a jazz, northern soul and ska cocktail, and the sum of all those parts is an upbeat and energetic evening full of classics. Songs from the likes of Guns and Roses, George Michael, Michael Jackson, all receive the ‘Leo Green’ treatment which means making it as soulful as possible with a sax solo thrown in for good measure. Each of the four singers bring their own style to every song, and there isn’t a weak link in the line-up.

There are two shows each evening, an early show starting at 20:00 and a late show starting at 22:00, and if that’s not enough, tickets to either show also gets you access to an after-party which runs until late.

The venue itself is exquisitely designed in an ‘industrial chic’ style with exposed ceilings and bare concrete paired with plush furnishings and mood lighting. It’s comfortable yet sultry and is a perfect venue for a special occasion. The food and drink are good quality and at a more reasonable price than one would expect from a 5-star hotel, while the service is attentive but not overbearing.

For a thoroughly enjoyable evening of entertainment in an intimate and engaging environment, you will not go wrong here.

Runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings

The Reviews Hub Score

Middle Eight by name, middle eight by nature

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The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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