The Illegal Eagles at the Royal & Derngate Northampton Review

illegal-eaglesThe Illegal Eagles
Royal & Derngate, Northampton

22 May 2015


Reviewed by Natasha Kolb

We attended this production with the expectations of seeing a tribute band, a good night out and a bit of fun, with just some of the talent of the band/act being replicated. What we actually saw in The Illegal Eagles, was a talented and streamlined performance from a band packed full of incredibly talented musicians.

The brainchild of Phil Aldridge who, 19 years ago saw The Eagles ‘Hell Freezes Over Tour’ and quickly went on to create The Illegal Eagles which now consists of himself, Al Vosper, Darin Murphey, Keith Atack, Greg Webb and Garreth Hicklin. The band play an impressive range of instruments and move around the stage comfortably, swapping from piano to drums, various guitars and even a mandolin! The fun they have on the stage is very obvious and simply increases the enjoyment for those watching the performance!

The band manage to recreate those famous sounds of The Eagles brilliantly, not an easy task! Playing a selection of The Eagles hits over the years including Life in the Fast Lane, Desperado and Tequila Sunrise, the band recreate The Eagles harmonies and do it with style! The voices and incredible musical skills of Gregg Webb and Gareth Hicklin, add a freshness and modern edge to the production.

During the second set there was even more fun was to be had, we were treated to a beautiful acappella performance and many other songs showing off the bands incredible musical skills. Each band member again moved around the stage with great presence and created a fantastic atmosphere throughout the theatre. Towards the end, we were encouraged to sing along, although of course most people were already joining in by then anyway and we all quickly ended up on our feet, singing, clapping and in some cases, dancing!

I admit to not knowing even half of the songs played, down to my own limited Eagles knowledge but this in no way effected the evening! The band, and especially Al Vosper encouraged the audiences participation throughout even shouting song words to us. The band finished their performance and bid us farewell but of course the enormous roar of the audience demanded their return onto the  stage at which point they finally played Hotel California, to the entire audiences delight! It was very clear from the buzz and chatter on leaving the auditorium, that every member of the audience were impressed and had had a great night.

We saw this performance at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton. It’s always a great theatre to visit, boasting parking close and a modern foyer with various bars as well as my favourite frozen yoghurt stand! The theatre offers good disabled access and very helpful staff also.

To call The Illegal Eagles a tribute act does them a little disservice, yes they exclusively perform The Eagles hits but wow… they do them so well and are very much a fantastic band in their own right too! Currently five weeks into a five month national tour, there are still plenty of opportunities to catch The Illegal Eagles… you won’t be disappointed on seeing this fantastic show! 5 out of 5 from us!

Rating: 5/5 thumbs_up

The Illegal Eagles are currently touring around the UK. For more information, tour dates and venues visit www.illegaleagles.com.

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811


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