Though Chesney Hawkes may only be primarily remembered for that one song, there is a lot more to this musician than that single track. Coming onto the stage at this small venue, he is warmly greeted by the crowd. He begins an acoustic version of ‘The One And Only’, so does the mean he is playing his big hit first? Well, he gets to the end of the first verse and says “Thank you, good night”. Laughs ensue throughout the show, Chesney is not someone who hates the idea of being seen as a one-hit wonder in the public, as he knows he has more to offer than that.
The night sees a musical journey happen. Beginning with songs from the 1991 film Buddy’s Song, we hear ‘I’m A Man, Not A Boy’ and ‘Secrets Of The Heart’ which brings back memories for many who heard these songs on that first album (or maybe even saw the film?). We also get treated to tracks from his most recent release REAL LIFE LOVE, such as ‘John Lennon Lived Here’ (co-written with Nik Kershaw) and the rather personal ‘Aeroplane’ taking the breath away from this audience (with additional vocals from his sister). As the night goes on, we get to hear his attempt at country music (which is great) and his cover from his father’s band The Tremeloes (also brilliant) fills the impressive playlist (also, high praise to the string quartet who were helping on the night). Then the night comes closer to finishing, and we get ‘Another Fine Mess’ which brings a sing-a-long to proceedings and ultimately leads to ‘The One And Only’ as everyone chants them famous words ever so loudly! A nice touch is the two supports from earlier that night, Anthony Starble and Percival Elliott, come on stage too to make the performance truly spectacular! The night ends, and the encore we get is a top cover of ‘Bittersweet Symphony’. Truly, Chesney Hawkes knows how to put on a great show.
I went in knowing a handful of songs from Chesney, and I was glad at how many tracks I did actually remember. He sounds great still, even with nearly 25 years passing since his debut; he still looks younger than I am! The songs are fun, there is a lot to take from this set that is engaging and I honesty enjoyed this show! It is a shame Chesney doesn’t get the attention he deserves, a great showman and a performer who wows his audience with ease. Will definitely see him again!
Final Rating: 9/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove