Stylish, charming, engaging, this programme, Roots of Swing, swept me off by feet and carried me off to a time when dance halls and not night clubs where the places to be on a Saturday night.
I’m not old enough - honestly - to have actually been there but my dad is and he wallowed in every second of the music. It’s my dad I have to thank for my deep appreciation of swing – he likes rock and roll, too, but I’ve never graduated beyond Sinatra.
This was a time when Gershwin, Cole Porter, Fred Astaire, Hoagy Carmichael, Jack Buchanan and Bing Crosby ruled.
The band ran the whole range, switching from Yes We Have No Bananas and Everything Stops for Tea to As Time Goes By and Stardust. There was the glamour of Hollywood with Putting on the Ritz and Dancing Cheek to Cheek and the romance of Our Love is Here to Stay.
Plus the joyous Sweet Georgia Brown and the foot-tapping Lullaby of Broadway.
There were stomps, foxtrots and waltzes – jokes, mischief and audience participation.
Outside the dance halls at this time there was recession, unemployment and the dark clouds of war loomed.
But this is rose-tinted nostalgia, a time when Fred Astaire always got the girl and Humphrey Bogart sacrificed his happiness for the woman he loved in Casablanca.
The lead vocalist with the orchestra, Duncan Galloway, had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand – and the interaction between him and other members of the ensemble was fun and funny.
Each musician got their chance to shine in a solo – and they never missed a beat.
These comedian-harmonists were all brilliant – whisking us away to another era we were reluctant to leave as the shouts for ‘more’ testified.