‘Craig Martin’s A Swingin’ Christmas Show’ was festive.
Featuring morning tea and holiday music, Logan Entertainment Centre hosted the special ‘Craig Martin’s A Swingin’ Christmas Show’ to a crowd of energetic jazz lovers. With a timeless charm, Martin embodied the classic crooner style and engaged the audience with his wit and enthusiasm.
With a strategic mix of ever-popular Christmas ballads, reimagined rock’n’roll songs, and nostalgic jazz hits, ‘Craig Martin’s A Swingin’ Christmas Show’ has something for everyone. Martin incorporated clever storytelling; intertwining historical narratives and his personal performance experiences with tongue-in-cheek Christmas jokes and some enjoyable audience participation.
Beyond the standard clapping along, Martin conducted the audience in choir-like renditions of ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’, ‘Come All Ye Faithful’ and other well known Christmas tunes. He provided patrons with the opportunity to dust off their dance moves and get into the holiday spirit. One older couple tore up the floor with a bit of a Lindy Hop, and a lovely pair of ladies right upfront used their hands to recreate a seated version of the Jive. It was an all-encompassing show perfect for this time of year.
A technical dreamboat, the Logan Entertainment Centre provided a great setting for the festive show, with Christmas tree projections across the walls, large upward-facing lights, a stunning and colourful on-stage LED palette, and quality screens used for projecting imagery throughout. Special mention must be made to the unnamed spot operator, who was able to follow Craig Martin’s energetic movement across the stage seamlessly.
Martin was supported by three female backup singers and six musicians. All were costumed in red sequenced ties and dresses, which fit nicely with the Christmas theme, without being overdone. In many ways, the show was a double act. Craig Martin’s talent was perfectly matched by one of Queensland’s finest collections of Big Band musicians – Patrick Farrell (bass), David Adelt (drums), Jonathon Bolt (saxophone), Clint Allen (trumpet), Ben Young (trombone), and a brilliant pianist (whose name was lost to the audience cheer).
A highlight of the show was Craig Martin’s megamix-reimagining of Beatles’ songs in the swing music style. Besides his wonderful stage presence and professionally executed vocal work, Martin has a quality ear for revising music, and a strong knack for the rock ‘n’ roll style. Tackling the Beatles is no easy feat, and the audience reaction indicated he hit a home run.
Originally from Liverpool, Martin has already toured a successful Beatles swing show and has established himself as a staple of Australia’s Christmas Carol circuit, performing with ‘The Syd Lawrence Orchestra’ in Sydney. During ‘A Swingin’ Christmas Show’, Martin mentioned that Logan Entertainment Centre gave him his first gig when he moved to Australia some ten years ago, and so it was only fitting that he now returns to his roots.
While the audience was mostly a little older, ‘Craig Martin’s A Swingin’ Christmas Show’, and other the sweet-talking crooners’ other works, provide the perfect setting for couples and romantics at heart. The sensual tones of his voice, smooth persona, and lovable humour make for a great evening (or day) of entertainment.
Coupled with a quality venue for acoustics and welcoming staff, the Logan Entertainment Centre one of the arts’ highlights of the festive season.
‘Craig Martin’s A Swingin’ Christmas Show’ performed on Friday, 20 December 2019, at Logan Entertainment Centre. For more information visit Logan Entertainment Centre’s Website.