BEAUTIFULLY attired and pitch-perfect, the Bratislava Hot Serenaders from Slovakia left their crowd gobsmacked at Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre last Tuesday.
It was the authentic ‘vintage’ orchestra’s first foray to the UK, and their performance was like a dream; 2014’s summer evening light banished for the hazy nostalgia of music from the 1920s and ‘30s.
The effect was clever: an old fashioned mic took the foreground as the penguin-suited instrumentalists and crooners took their spots before it.
The music made by that 20- strong, classically-styled band sounded like it was coming out of a wireless; the stage, like you were looking in through history’s window.
The pianist tended to a grand, lidopen, its gleaming shell reflecting his fast-moving hands.
The group reprised songs from Duke Ellington and his Orchestra; there was ‘Body & Soul’, revived in the 21st century by Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett; and a meaty rendition of swing-show tune ‘Crazy Rhythm’ from 1928.
Not forgetting tunes from their homeland, in their swooping Slovak.
The glittering Serenader Sisters were, naturally, a sight for sore eyes with their drop-hems and rising harmonies, again, singing songs of Prohibition, with sounds of another time.
The real piece de resistance was, of course, Gershwin’s complex Rhapsody in Blue, to put us in a trance.
Next up at the Brewhouse: A night with poet Jim Causley set for Thursday August 7 has been postponed. Singer Sally Barker, known for her work with all-female folk supergroup The Poozies, will perform on Tuesday September 16 at 7.30pm. Book online at www.brewhousetheatre.ticketsourc e.co.uk