Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
9:00 AM 9th February 2020

A Night Of Fun Fun Fun

Like so many bands The Beach Boys were wrought by in-fighting, however, it was that very clash of personalities and ideas that produced the brilliant music we know as being unmistakably theirs.

And last night the five-piece Buzz Band, along with the English Philharmonic Orchestra, took us on a nostalgic journey to sunny California, as the Bradford weather prepared to whip up a storm that would leave the average beach bunny reeling!

And what a wonderful evening of calm, easy listening and good vibrations at St George’s Hall, which seems to be proving increasingly popular since its re-vamp: the auditorium was packed.

The Buzz Band
The Buzz Band
And that tells you a lot about these so-called ‘copycat’ performances. It probably does a great injustice to dismiss the likes of the Buzz Band in one six letter word, because their performance was of the highest calibre and in many ways, as good as the real thing only tickets were cheaper!

For the thick end of two hours they took us on a stunning musical journey through the genius of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, from their early surfin’ days to the ground-breaking single Good Vibrations and beyond.

Performing songs such as California Girls, God Only Knows and Wouldn’t It Be Nice and featuring a spectacular live 35-piece orchestra, impressive vocal harmonies and magnificent guitars, the show did live up to the advance press release rhetoric.

The Beach Boys were Brian Wilson’s baby and he wrote or co-wrote most of their songs. However, whilst he will always be best remembered for the California sound, the friction within the band became increasingly contentious as he sought to move to a new sound as other members sought to hang on to the winning ‘California’ formula.

Nevertheless, he had, by that time, produced enough amazing music for The Beach Boys to be remembered by history, and it is only when you sit in a hall and hear hit after hit, that you are able to remind yourself just how many chart toppers they actually had.

The Bootleg Beatles appeared at St George’s some weeks ago and they too, were excellent. This is no longer just a case of four or five piece bands bashing out numbers on the stage. Promoters have realised that if they deliver something more – an orchestral sound, great music / musicians and video – then they will fill bigger halls and deliver more dollars.

Both The Bootleg Beatles and now the Buzz Band have taken their respective offerings to a new level, and last night was another feather in the cap for St George’s Hall which is cleverly differentiating itself from adjacent venues so as to attract a new type of audience from the likes of the Alhambra Theatre.

A great, entertaining evening.