Review: Jake and Elwood, Bury St Edmunds Festival, Abbey Gardens, Friday May 20

Jake and Elwood, Bury St Edmunds Festival, Abbey Gardens, Friday May 20

From the moment I approached the Abbey Gardens on Friday night there was no doubt at all about the nature of the event. Blues Brothers lookalikes, wearing the trademark black suits, narrow ties, Fedora hats and sunglasses walked in through the gates at the same time as me and joined a whole host of others, of all shapes, sizes and ages.

A couple, both convincingly dressed in the appropriate way danced to every number just behind me all night long. And from when the band struck up and the first song began it was clear that the words and tunes were familiar to most. This was clearly a coming together of nostalgic ‘aficionados’, many of whom had grown up with the cult film that set it all off.

Blessed with fine weather, several hundred happy fans came together to picnic, sing, dance and clap along for the first of the tribute acts in this year’s Bury St Edmunds Festival.

After perhaps a slightly uneasy start the Black Rhino Band got better and better as the evening wore on, shining particularly in the second half - though the sound engineers never really managed to do justice to the brass section.

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‘Jake’ and ‘Elwood ‘certainly had the look and the moves, but amongst the vocalists for me ‘James Brown’ came across particularly well. This was great entertainment which got the crowd going, and all those I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed the evening – a fun night out in a lovely setting.

Wynn Rees

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