It was the sound that launched a generation of romances, got feet tapping and kept dance halls thriving across the country. Showbands, with their brass section blaring one minute then gentle and mellow the next, filled the dance floors at venues and were the must-go-to events on Friday and Saturday nights.
The showband style of night-out eventually faded – the power of Saturday night TV took over and the popularity of dancing to live music and music shows dwindled. Nowadays, showbands that offer live music ‘shows’ are few and far between.
However, one such band is Spatz & Co – Scotland’s only professional Showband. They are currently bucking the trend in live music within the provincial theatre world and will be playing at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews, on Saturday, May 11.
Now in their fourth year of touring theatres, they regularly sell out – and always get asked back.
The nine-strong ensemble is unique in the UK as it comprises nine experienced bandleaders, all multi-instrumentalists, all accomplished solo performers, all specialists in one musical genre or another – big band, blues, soul, funk, jazz, latin, pop, folk, and even a nod to classical.
And in a typical Spatz & Co show, all these genres are covered with impressive ease. In fact, genre hopping is a feature of their performances.
Collectively and individually they have performed alongside many of the great names in music, including The Drifters, Deep Purple, George Benson, Gerry Rafferty, Curtis Stigers, Average White Band, James Morrison and Patti Austin .
The nine band members only come together as Spatz & Co for theatre and stage performances or when in the recording studio – they have produced two albums, ‘Unleashed’ in 2017 and ‘On a Clear Day’ in 2018.
Their 2019 show is entitled ‘One Night in Las Vegas’, a musical feast of the songs and instrumentals made famous in Vegas venues such as Caesars Palace and Casino Royale.
The show features the music of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Sinatra, Elvis, Barry Manilow, Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton and more, all wrapped within a theatrical set and presented in true Showband style.
Spatz & Co play the Byre Theatre, St Andrews, on Saturday, May 11. See The Byre Theatre for tickets.