21 January 2017
Reviewed by Sharon Mongey
Can I say OMG when it comes to a review? Well yes, I believe I can come when it comes to The Neil Diamond Rocks Tour that I had the pleasure of attending last night, this without doubt is the best tribute act that I have been to see.
I attended the Grove Theatre last night in Dunstable to witness John Hylton and his band take on the marvel that is Neil Diamond.
The theatre is well signposted and is situated in the centre of Dunstable, a few bars are close by and there is large car park that is free after 6pm. The foyer was extremely busy and staffed worked hard to serve the crowd. My only criticism would be that it was quite cold in the foyer. After a short wait we received our tickets and were given directions as to where we would be sitting. The staff were as always helpful, toilets were clean and tidy. We spoke to a gentleman in the foyer who asked if we had come to see the band and he hoped we would have a great night… we later found this to be the ‘drummer’ who was introduced as Nigel.
We made our way into the auditorium where we were met at the door by a pleasant usher who showed us to our seats; it was a pleasant temperature inside.
There was a great atmosphere in the theatre; we didn’t have to wait long for the show to begin…
John Hylton gave an outstanding performance supported by his two backing singers (two of his sons) and his 4 piece band.
He performed quite a few ballads but did tell the crowd that the songs tonight would be upbeat, and the title of the tour Neil Diamond Rocks was a clue as to what to expect. In my opinion you could have been listening to Neil Diamond himself, not only did he have a phenomenal voice he was charismatic, engaging the audience throughout, “you may have guessed I’m not Neil” he said after his first track. This was an arm swinging foot tapping show from start to finish. John and his band seemed to enjoy performing as much as the audience enjoyed being entertained.
I was one of the ‘pups’ as John put it, those that were under 50, and although I did not know every song that was sung, I certainly enjoyed every one of them.
The night continued with many a tune including ‘Beautiful Noise’, ‘Sweet Caroline’, ‘America’ and my personal favourite ‘Hello’. We were also treated to tracks that have been turned from ballads into rock songs.
John was happy to share personal information with the audience. He was born in Liverpool, grew up in Canada and has a very large family!
I saw him chatting in the foyer in the break to other members of the audience and even got him to pose for a photo with me.
I would highly recommend that you go to and see this show, I am already looking forward to going to see next year’s tour that we were told to look out for ‘Real Diamond – by Request’.
A definite 5 out of 5 stars!
For other shows at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable visit www.grovetheatre.co.uk.
Grove Theatre, Grove Park, Court Drive, Dunstable, LU5 4GP | 01582 602080