Christmas has come early to Norwich Playhouse this December with two nights from the ever popular Joe Ringer Band. The boy from Bowthorpe carefully orchestrates a wide range of favourite Christmas themed tunes to suit his six musicians and six fellow singers.

These evenings are very popular and have generated a loyal following for the hard working local band. They bring a good quality sound and clearly take real pleasure in performing for their enthusiastic audience.

Early in the first set of tunes they had to endure a singer’s nightmare as their sound system suffered from a frustrating failure which left them struggling against what sounded like a box of fireworks going off in the speaker system. But Joe is not one to be defeated by such things, so a quick unscheduled extra interval enabled some extra business at the friendly Playhouse bar and a swift replacement of the faulty component. It was worth the little delay as they returned full of energy and with perfect sound filling the auditorium.

There were opportunities for the audience to join the stage cast for some songs, including a rather fun version of the Twelve Days of Christmas where we were popping up and down from our seats to help the twelve days along.

Even the hardest-hearted Christmas sceptic would enjoy this cheery and well presented show.  Joe sings well himself and his fellow singers all have distinctive and engaging styles. The girls – Roxy Yarnold, Holly Graham and Tamsin Palmer are resplendent in suitably glamorous outfits and are joined by the sharp suited Chris Brown and Matthew Ashley. They share singing duties, but possibly the most impressive numbers are where they all harmonise together to great effect.

There are a myriad of musical moments on offer in Norwich but Joe can be relied upon to give that little bit extra that turns a good show into a memorable night out. The Playhouse offers a space where a big show can still feel personal and close to you and the Joe Ringer Band have the panache to fill every seat in this central venue. With this band you know that you will enjoy a polished performance from a well rehearsed tight band that is a guaranteed audience pleaser every time.

© Julian Swainson 2019

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