Iain Hunter was at The Queen’s Hall tonight sharing the stage with Jazz singer and trumpet player Georgina Jackson and backed by The Eliot Murray Big Band. I had listened to Georgina Jackson a few days earlier as she performed with Pete Long at the “Echoes of Ellington” concert (again at The Queen’s Hall), but this was my first taste of listening to Iain Hunter, and it proved to be a great experience listening to a great singer working his way through some classic songs from the American Songbook with a powerful voice and a lot of class.
The evening opened with a great performance by Iain of the Nina Simone Classic “Feeling Good”, and the level of performance just stayed there all evening...there was not a dull moment or bad note in the show.
It’s really difficult to pick out particular songs tonight as there were just so many classics here and each one was delivered in classic style. Along the way we had great arrangements of standards like “Witchcraft”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “Save The Last Dance For Me” and “Come Fly With Me” mixed in with gems like “Don’t Rain On My Parade”.
As always though, there were a few that really stood out for me. Great renditions of “New York New York”, “Mr Bojangles” and “My Way” too, but my favourite from Iain in this show was a great vocal and band arrangement of “Cry Me a River”.
I am of course not forgetting the great voice of Georgina Jackson here who also put in some great vocals and trumpet playing. Singing and playing trumpet on “And the Angels Sing” pretty much set the tone for Georgina as she gave us some classic vocals and playing throughout the show – including a very nice version of “Lullaby of Broadway”.
There were also a couple of duets from Iain and Georgina including “That’s Life” and a song I have not heard for a while – “The Best Is Yet to Come”.
The audience in this pretty packed venue seemed to just love Iain Hunter on stage, and there seemed to be a fair contingent of the “Iain Hunter Fan Club” there supporting him. As well as great vocals, Iain has a genuine warmth with his audience and that really shone through in every number performed in this show.
The Eliot Murray Big Band were also on great form for this show providing that “big sound” that allows a singer like Iain to really perform these songs as they were meant to be performed to a live audience. A special note here needs to go to drummer Tom Gordon who kept the “beating heart” of that sound and rhythm going all evening.
I need to listen to Iain Hunter the next time he is in Edinburgh as this show was obviously just a small part of his repertoire.
There is of course a great unsung member of the show tonight, and that is the venue itself. The Queen’s Hall may at times have some of the most unforgiving seats in town with those old wooden church pews, but it more than makes up for it in wonderful acoustics in the hall that make listening to a singer and big band like this a real pleasure, and performers obviously appreciate just as much as an audience does how great it is to have a venue like this.
If you would like to find out a bit more about Iain Hunter visit his website at