“It’s very clear…” begin Ira Gershwin’s lyrics to the last song his brother George was ever to write. It’s very clear that the good folk of Wavendon, Cambridge, Epsom, Horsham, Worcester, the Twinwood Festival in Bedfordshire and Edmonton are in for a good time. Ray Gelato and Kai Hoffman’s “Hey Boy! Hey Girl!” show (photo credit: kaihoffman.co.uk) and its exclamation marks and its sharp suits will go down a treat as it tours the Southern part of the UK. Kai Hoffman’s 1940’s tight-waisted, full-skirted, screen siren curls was turning heads at the launch in Ronie Scott’s bar last night. And if Ray Gelato chooses to update Ira Gershwin’s words, it’s…mostly forgiveable.
I found my ears were caught by the sheer quality of Gelato’s rhythm section. Gunter Kurmayr (Linz -> Graz -> Berklee -> London) Sebastiaan de Krom (Holland -> Belgium -> Berklee- > London) and Oli Hayhurst (Cambridge -> Royal Academy of Music -> everywhere) are all players of sheer class, with a rhythmic drive could propel any craft of any dimensions, a big band with strings, a bebop quintet, perhaps even the Ark Royal. With these guys in the engine room, it’s a foot-tapping show. And, somehow, just made for our era of belt-tightening.