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Review: The Chip Shop Boys, Cheltenham Town Hall

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 01, 2014

By Joyce Matthews

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With dad dancing, cool kids, kilts and posh frocks, the Town Hall’s New Year’s Eve knees-up blasted us into 2014 in party style.

And making sure we had a ball were Gloucestershire rock and pop covers band The Chip Shop Boys whose non-stop energy kept everyone dancing from start to finish.

The Town Hall was decked in all its finery with soft lighting, candles, candelabras and fairy lights, turning it into a colourful club for partygoers.

Those whose tickets included a meal were dressed to the nines in tuxedos and ballgowns, while later arrivals partied in smart-casual gear – with the men stealing the show in tartan trousers, kilts and even a Sherlock lookalike, complete with deerstalker. It was a great place for people watching, especially when the air guitars and wacky dance moves got going.

Queen’s I Want to Break Free, Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger and Quo’s Rocking All Over the World pounded through the Regency rooms. There were no wallflowers at this do – the dance floor was full with glamorous grannies and teens side by side.

The Chip Shop Boys kept up a foot-stomping pace, with the original trio of Stuart Walby, Tommy Lewis and Mark Walby, joined by drummer Max Saidi, Sean Carless on guitar, Ross Baldwin on guitar and keyboards and percussionist and bassist Mark Maycock.

The town hall acoustics didn’t help their cause but this was a night for joy and dancing, rather than listening.

There was a bit of everything for all ages – Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough was followed by some golden oldies from La Bamba to Build Me Up Buttercup and YMCA which had everyone doing the actions.

As midnight drew closer everyone, including the hard-working staff, crammed into the main hall to watch the big screen which showed memorable moments from 2013 and high profile names who had been lost.

The final countdown raised the roof as we waited for Big Ben to chime. Party poppers on the balconies sent ticker tape cascading down and we joined hands for a rousing Auld Lang Syne.

But the party wasn’t over yet. The band returned with Twist and Shout, Sweet Child of Mine, I’m a Believer and Superstition. The Beatles’ Hey Jude brought a chorus of singing and hand-waving before finishing with The Proclaimers’ foot-stomping I Would Walk Five Hundred Miles. The crowd loved it – the new year had begun.

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