Matthew Morrison at Bush Hall
Self-proclaimed “song and dance man” Matthew Morrison paid a visit to West London’s Bush Hall to share some tunes from his recently released new record Where It All Began. As the title suggests, his second album is a celebration of this Tony award-nominated star’s affection for Broadway musicals.
From the moment he hops into the lights to a rapturous reception, Morrison makes for an utterly charming stage presence. “Let’s get one thing out the way, I don’t work in a high school!” is Morrison’s early reference to the many fans of Glee who have come to see “Mr. Schue” in the flesh.
Dressed as if he’s just come off the set of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, with his trendy cap, waistcoat, pocket square – he can even pull off a pink tie – he launches into his latest single, It Don’t Mean a Thing. It’s a bright and breezy number that’s light on lyrics and heavy on instrumentals. And its wonderfully OTT choreographed climax is well worth a watch (check out the video below).
Vintage numbers Luck Be a Lady and Lady Is a Tramp are rolled out, and both sound superb with the arrangements accentuating Morrison’s pitch-perfect vocals. Supported by a five-piece band, all of whom play with relaxed aplomb, the music on show this evening is first-rate. At times sexy, often seductive, the result is a distinctive big band sound that you know and love. Shut your eyes and you could be in 1950s LA.
West Side Story Medley provides a nice injection of pace, courtesy of some marvelously sustained bongo work, and just because Bush Hall doesn’t provide much of a stage to jive on, don’t for a moment think that stops Morrison from pulling it off.
You’d have to be a real cynic not to enjoy tonight’s set, and Morrison too, who never comes off as anything other than completely earnest about his joy of music. “Hopefully this last song gets you out the door with a smile on your face,” he says, grinning before ending with the timeless Singin’ in the Rain. Mission accomplished.
For further information and future events visit Matthew Morrison’s website here.
Listen to It Don’t Mean a Thing here: