Syd Lawrence Orchestra

Albert Halls, Bolton

BIG band fans gave a terrific reception to this popular orchestra last night.

There were only a handful of seats left empty in the hall, proving that the orchestra is as adept attracting audiences as it is at polished playing.

Musical Director and conductor Bryan Pendleton devised a programme which had a heavy emphasis on the music of Glenn Miller.

But it would be wrong to dismiss the musicians as copyists. While they evoke the Miller magic, they manage to put their own stamp on many numbers.

One of the highlights of the evening was the drum solos by Ronnie Verrell. The veteran drummer delighted the audience particularly during Sing, Sing, Sing.

Singers Tony Jacobs and Sarah Gilbert are also great assets. Jacobs, who also plays the trumpet, has a superb relaxed style which particularly lends itself to numbers such as Nancy With the Laughing Face.

The pair were joined by The Serenaders - Bryan Pendleton, Ken Williams, Andy Smith and Don Banks for a a spirited version of Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Bryan Pendleton, who has been with the band since shortly after its formation in 1970, does much of the superb arranging for the musicians and is an accomplished pianist.

He has an easy style when he fronts the band and sets the tone for a relaxing evening. The musicians clearly enjoyed playing and the warm applause at the end of the evening demonstrated how much the audience loved listening.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.