LEGEND though he undoubtedly is, Frankie Valli’s career has received a belated boost from the success of the jukebox musical Jersey Boys, featuring the peerless catalogue of his band The Four Seasons.
Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
Rating: * * * *
After that taster, who wouldn’t want to hear the real thing? Although that killer falsetto has inevitably weakened with age, the spry 81-year-old still possesses a quite extraordinary and instantly recognisable voice.
Backed up by a couple of his old muckers, Robby Robinson on keyboards and Larry Lingle on guitar, a glorious six-piece horn section (shame about the synthesized strings, but that’s budgets for you) and his Four Seasons surrogates, a quartet of cookie cutter chorus line boys with the necessary top notes and mechanical moves, he presided over a not terribly snake-hipped Grease, teen angst anthem Save It For Me, sentimental easy listening ballad My Eyes Adored You and the smooth disco dream Swearin’ To God.
As if he doesn’t have enough hits of his own, Valli then launched into a succession of 60s covers, the best of which was a touching rendition of Let It Be Me.
But the show really came to life in the second half with an a capella Silence Is Golden and northern soul stomper The Night as standouts, the gleefully embraced disco cheese of December ’63 (Oh, What A Night) and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and a doo-wop dream of a closing salvo including Walk Like A Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Let’s Hang On.