REVIEW: The Southsea Alternative Choir, Wedgewood Rooms

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ALONG with Jools Holland’s New Year Hootenanny, The Southsea Alternative Choir’s annual fundraising show at the Wedgewood Rooms is becoming an essential date on the music calendar.

Tickets sold out well in advance, as for many people their Christmas celebrations started with this show.

The opening set of 60s favourites and indie standards soon had the crowd singing along, and by the third song The Zutons’ Valerie, everyone was dancing as well.

The eight-piece band were in fine form with five exceptional harmonious voices, Jim Lines leading the line with the voice of an angel.

There was a wonderful surprise half-way through with the appearance of the legendary Nick Lowe performing Peace,Love and Understanding, which naturally got one of the biggest cheers of the evening.

For the second set the band all donned paisley shirts for an inspired set of songs from 1967.

Starting with a rousing Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. the band had now expanded with Dan Waldren on keyboards and the highly talented Megan Linford on additional vocals.

Nick Lowe returned for a second guest spot with Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful Night, as the band finished off with a sunny California Dreaming and my favorite Monkees classic I’m A Believer.

On the night the band raised over £5,000 for Enable Ability, a Portsmouth charity supporting young people with disabilities.

BY PAUL WINDSOR