Shane Hampsheir and The Peter Long Orchestra at Blackheath Halls
Bombastic, dynamic, and soulful are all adjectives that can describe Shane Hampsheir. The 24-year-old swing singer was backed by the eighteen piece Peter Long Orchestra in the surprisingly grand Blackheath Halls last night. Mirroring the tightness of the orchestra, Shane conducted the joy of his audience without any sense of difficulty. In fact, he made it look almost easy throughout his set.
The singer performed songs from his latest album as well as classics both “old and contemporary”. Most surprising of all was his rendition of Oasis’s Wonderwall, transforming the 90s anthem into an upbeat and joyous swinging dance number. To an audience that mostly consisted of the middle aged, Shane asked: “You know the chorus right?” Met with no response, very few of the crowd appeared to know what he was talking about. However, Shane brushed off what could have potentially been a disastrous occasion, by jovially encouraging the audience to “cheer up” and then carried on with the performance.
Performing the songs of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Bublé, Tony Bennett and many more, the singer was chameleon-like in his ability to perform the hits of others. One of the highlights of the night was his tender rendition of By Your Side, which was instantly met by standing ovations all round. The young singer’s performance showcased his wonderful ability to not only recite popular heyday hits, but to also show his command of songs that ranged from heartfelt and delicate, to sophisticated and uproarious.
The set concluded with Ray Charles’ Hallelujah, a performance so kinetic and energised that members of the audience quickly got up off their chairs and danced by the front of the stage, almost as an act of worship. Carefree and excited, Shane’s manipulation of the audience is certainly a sight to behold. Very few can create such an atmosphere of pure, unadulterated joy in the way that Shane can.
Vibrant, charismatic and instantly likeable, Hampsheir is a natural performer. His playful charm will appeal to almost anyone, as well as his sculpturing and reinvention of popular classics.
The Peter Long Orchestra played beautifully throughout the night, and they deserve all of the due credit for being talented and wonderful musicians. The set harked back to the days of the fifties and sixties whilst (thankfully) avoiding all of the kitsch ties attached to those eras. For anybody looking for a night of entertainment, romance or something to do with the family then look no further than Shane Hampsheir. Move over Paul Anka – there’s a new swing king in town.
For further information and future events visit Shane Hampsheir’s website here.