"good idea to book early"
by Aline Waites for remotegoat on 17/12/18

Yes, King Biddie the Multitalented Monarch of Cabaret is back at the Pheasantry with his Christmas Show. This is a show unlike any of the others he has delivered this year with a whole new raft of songs he has never sung before at that venue.

Except for one which he tends to bring out all the time. 'The Old Bazaar in Cairo'. He seems to do this because, with all his additional daft lyrics, it is so complicated that he calls upon the assistance of his magnificent piano player Chris Marshall who provides extra vocals and harmonies to the numbers and the two are so in tune they seem to be joined at the brain. Marshall is working with a damaged hand, but this is not in the least obvious to anyone. He tells me he isn't playing as many notes as usual. There are plenty enough for me.

Biddie's versatile vocal chords can sing anything you put in his path and one of his great achievements on this evening is the song by the Pogues 'Fairy Tale of New York' normally sung with more than one solo voice - Biddie characterised them with his usual perfection. This is one of the songs that will be on his new album which is to be released in the Spring.

Another of his outstanding performances is an music hall kind of song about a little homeless girl 'My father's a Drunkard and Mother is Dead' which he does without microphone and in modern send up style making gentle fun of the little girl's voice. He finishes the song to laughter and applause and then just says very gently as himself 'There are five million children in poverty in this country.'

This remark reaches the audience as Biddie continues with his humorous banter, but it is a moment to remember - no one else would have the courage to throw this in.

In the second half there is a little more banter as he gets the audience to sing along with his medley of Christmas songs.

What is so nice about this special evening is that there are so many people of different ages there to see him, obviously word of mouth has worked and it is a full house including many young people - the kind who usually go to the more noisy kind of entertainment.

Biddie's work is for everyone. As somebody remarked to me 'Biddie is a one off. There is nobody like him' and added 'I would be delighted just to hear his incredible voice, but he gives us so much more.'
He has been compared to all the great entertainers of the past, Noel Coward, Marlene Dietrich, Sammy Davies.. He has affinities with all of them plus one thing extra.. The irreplaceable Biddie ingredient.

He will be at the Crazy Coqs in February - his first venture to Zedel's in Piccadilly. It might be a good idea to book early.

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