The Drifters at the Kings Theatre, Southsea

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Showbiz thrills don’t come much more magical than the arrival of Craneswater Junior School children on stage with The Drifters.

The eager children joined the top international showband to rapturous, proud applause, and sang and danced along to Stand By Me.

It was a special moment for many in the audience and a highlight of a polished evening of entertainment sprinkled with all the Drifters hits and spiced with new, original material that made this no mere wallow in nostalgia.

The Drifters, mainstays of the charts throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, were formed in 1953, and, like a Premiership football club, the line-up has changed many times over – 65 members in 59 years.

What hasn’t changed is that immaculate gloss, the meticulous four-part harmonies, the razzmatazz, and those synchronised dance routines with the snappy fingers and the fancy footwork.

And the image is now snazzy, up-to-date and of the moment, more boy band than a bunch of old geezers cranking out the hits.

New numbers like The One and The Whole World are a welcome bonus.

There’s life in the Drifters yet, and will be for many years to come.

ALAN COOPER