Steve Mitchell and his Celebrating George Michael tribute band were truly ‘Amazing’ at The Kenton Theatre on Friday and Saturday night.
In 1984, a 14-year-old Steve, discovered the music of George Michael through a MTV screening of Wham’s Everything She Wants, the first hit which opened the show to rapturous applause from the audience. Throughout the show Steve’s incredible voice and mannerisms including nudging his sunglasses was so uncanny and if you closed your eyes you could be forgiven for thinking you’re listening to the late legendary worldwide star himself who passed away on Christmas Day in 2016.
Over the next 30 years, Steve followed George Michael in a fanatical fashion, always singing his songs but no public performances. Steve performed in many cover and show bands in the UK but never covered George Michael. Steve from Maidenhead, had a ‘now or never” moment in 2017 when he applied for a touring show looking for a vocalist to sing the songs of George Michael and has been touring ever since.
George Michael would have been 60 this June; his birthday was marked in his home village of Goring with Steve being asked to perform. Steve is joined by Dave West on bass who played with George and Andrew Ridgeley on the original demos for Careless Whisper and Wham Rap. Steve met Dave at a performance at the Clapham Grand Theatre in London in the summer of 2018, and formed a great friendship which showed on stage. With Dave’s relationship history with the iconic singer this tribute band certainly has some ‘Star People’ and they most certainly live up to having the accolade of the UK’s No1 George Michael tribute act.
The show includes George’s solo hits, Fast Love, I Can’t Make You Love Me, Star People and A Different Corner in the first half.
After the interval the Wham party started with the audience up on their feet and singing along to Tropicana, Young Guns (Go for it), Freedom, Wake Me Up, I’m Your Man and Careless Whisper. The show wouldn’t have been complete without Faith which launched George’s career in 1987. There was an amusing costume change before Outside (no spoilers here).
To end the show, Steve and the band the performed Don’t Let the Sun Go Down originally a duet with Sir Elton John, our personal favourite of the night. Going off stage, the band then returned to do an encore which included Chic’s Good Times and ending with George’s favourite song Somebody to Love by Queen.
We certainly loved the show and it would be great to see them perform again after Saturday’s sold out show. The Henley Festival should certainly look them up and consider them after having two recent tribute acts, Bjorn Again in 2019 and Taking Care of Elvis (Ben Portsmouth) this year.