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Liberty Entertainments Showcase 2009 review at Hoborne Bashley Holiday Park New Forest

Two tiny tots and a 16-year-old stage debutante made up the showcase preamble to Liberty’s eighth annual showcase event, which was staged in front of a friendly audience, consisting of social club and independent holiday-park people.

The aforementioned tots (George and Georgie), one singing Barry Manilow’s Can’t Smile Without You while the other expertly twirled a hula hoop, demonstrated that it’s never too early to get up on stage these days.

The 16-year-old debut singer was Kayleigh Louise, who sang to us and showed her youthful promise.

All of this was introduced to us by agency principal Eddie Daniels who, despite her masculine moniker, is very much a lady.

Showcase compere was magician Kevin Aggett, who is also known by the show business soubriquet Krazy Kev. Young Kev was a novel choice to present a trade showcase and this likeable chappy revealed a stage approach steeped in the family-orientated creed of the holiday park.

This was a real showcase of two halves, with some highly bookable attractions within the framework of part two, while part one was a bit of a hodgepodge.

It’s hard to know where to begin when reviewing male/female singing duo Double Trouble (not to be confused with many twosomes up and down the land using this name). This particular double act are Richard and Leanne, who entered dressed in cowboy/cowgirl attire.

The smiling pair sang country and western songs while reading the lyrics from a handily placed lectern, which made then look as though they were about to announce the next hymn. Performing a kind of longhand karaoke, they ended their showcase odyssey by walking straight off stage and resuming their seats in the audience, still smiling benignly at one and all and still bedecked in cowboy hats.

A bouncy opening song soon revealed to singer Tracey Martin that wearing a bra under her slinky dress might have been a good idea. There were other image issues here too, but this enthusiastic singer did work hard and would seem suitable for club work in the South West.

It took me a while to get used to comedy and music duo Matt and Dave, but the truth is they did manage to warm the audience up more than a little with their songs and cheeky banter. Dressed in a pair of matching and equally crumpled-looking scarlet jackets, this pair aren’t going to win any stage-wear awards, but they are affable and hard-working enough to score many points with holiday park audiences.

Magician John Sherlock appears to be a close-up magic exponent, who is trying to develop a stage act. Performing card tricks and smaller-scale stuff in a cabaret situation is always going to be restricting, and sure enough the likeable Sherlock’s act was a little small in terms of style and substance to succeed with those who didn’t happen to be sitting right next to the stage.

Keyboard and vocals, husband and wife duo 2nd Time would probably be fine in a hotel bar or at a smaller dinner dance. The husband looks like an ex-band musician who has teamed up with the missus to make money in the background music market, and I’m sure they’ll find favour.

After an interval, during which balloon modeller Damian Jay and magician Chris Keward table hopped with splendid abandon, adding much to this event as a whole, we were back with more from Krazy Kev, this time giving us a bit of magic and some affable chat.

Two-girl duo Foxx (not to be confused with the well known North East show band of the same name and spelling) are two glamorous singers Katie and Amanda. Nice to hear properly sung harmonies and, with the look of a new act, it will be interesting to see how these girls develop once some much-needed choreographed movement is added to the already favourable impression they made at this showcase.

I have seen many entertainers using the stage name Paul Anthony. This particular name bearer is a singer/guitarist with a relaxed line in crowd approach, who looks like a refugee from the band scene who is having a go in the solo market. In short, a very pleasant and accomplished entertainer here who should work and work on this showing.

Resurrection is the collective name of a two-boy duo who sing and play matching red Fender guitars. Much of the material covered was Shadows and other sixties toe-tapping songs, although it would be hard to imagine Hank Marvin and the boys performing their nifty footwork in black Dr Martens. I’m sure that these tuneful guys will work heavily on the South East social club circuit.

I really enjoyed singer Emalissa. There is much potential here, given the benefit of the right kind of advice. A lovely head voice here, with a chest voice which is probably still developing, it was nice to hear a version of The Kings of Leon song Sex On Fire performed with such gusto. Although a stage name rethink might be a good idea, Emalissa is a promising newcomer and it just struck me that years ago young singers with this type of potential would be learning their job by fronting a band.

Funnyman Jay McGee is usually seen as frontman of The Rocking Berries, but his solo career apparently runs in tandem with the band work, and here he was showing us his solo comedy and music act. Good comedy-vocal acts will always work and McGee, a great comedy clown, should be laughing all the way to the bank on this showing. Having taken the late-night audience by the scruff of the neck, McGee left a happy crowd and will surely find lots of enquiries coming his way.

An interesting showcase evening like this one always needs of bit of tribute, and to close the night, Elvis was in the building. Having seen literally dozens of Elvises on my showcase travels, there is no doubt that there are many takes on the talents of the King of Rock’n’Roll, and Craig Jefferson gave us a humorous and rather tongue-in-cheek version. A very good sound-alike, Jefferson was on fine form, and I’m sure there is considerable business out there for him.

Well done to Eddie Daniels and her team for ticking many showcase boxes and providing the welcoming bonhomie on a good showcase night out in the wilds of the New Forest.

Production Information

Hoborne Bashley Holiday Park, New Forest, September 22

Eddie Daniels

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