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REVIEW: Rave On at Cheltenham Town Hall


Venue: Cheltenham Town Hall

‘Rave On’, billed as a musical adventure celebrating the music of the 50s and 60s, visited Cheltenham Town Hall on Saturday 29th July.


The Bluejays band was formed in 2012 and started their show ‘Rave On’ in 2020, covering bands and solo artists including The Beatles, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Dusty Springfield, and of course the king, Elvis Presley. This exciting and lively concert spans many of the greatest musical hits from 1950-1969. Connie Francis and the song “Stupid Cupid” got an audible “yes!” of recognition throughout the audience, as well as one of the biggest sing-alongs of the night.

The band showcased innovative instruments such as the washboard and brilliant ways of playing music including holding a double bass in the air above their heads. They also changed outfits during the interval, from 50s collared shirts to 60s grey blazers, to indicate the changing eras. Lead singer Amelia Rendell showed off two iconic looks for women from the 50s (a red shirt and blue leggings with a huge curl in her hair) and 60s (a miniskirt and high-kneed white boots). Her belting voice was perfect for covering Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” and the Isley Brothers’ “Shout”.



Cheltenham Town Hall was a great venue for the show. Multicoloured disco lights flashed around the audience, creating a party atmosphere, and many of the audience members on the balconies stood up and partied throughout the entire performance. The crowd in the stands needed a bit more encouragement to sing or dance along, but the performers managed well, encouraging us to compete to see who could sing along the loudest (not to be too competitive, but my side won, of course).

Jason Shaw, another lead singer, didn’t let the energy in the performance dip for even a second, twirling around and jumping with his various guitars. Rob Gathercole on keyboard/washboard was also a delight to watch, his wide smile consistent throughout the show, joking with the other band members and making them smile too. The Bluejays’ energy and commitment was infectious, and in the end many of us put aside our social embarrassment and did get up and dance.


Overall, ‘Rave On’ was a fun, toe-tapping time, and we left the Town Hall feeling good, miming the dance to “Surfin’ USA” all the way back home. If you’re a fan of old school hits sung by very talented and fun performers, ‘Rave On’ is the show for you.

Review by Leah.



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