Lock up your grannies. ‘Men About Town’ are at the Brisbane Jazz Club tonight, to celebrate five fun years as ‘the jazziest, snazziest guys around’.

The three wise-cracking, crooning mates, Alan Western, Peter Vance and Duncan Read, settled comfortably on to our stage, to share a night of their favourite songs with a very enthusiastic BJC audience. The audience had come primed and ready to dance and sing along. They were not disappointed.

Providing the perfect foundation for these three amigos, were the tight and bright, FourTunes Quartet, with Rockin’ Red Lopez at the keys, ‘El Shauno’ Shaun Ballagh on tenor sax and flute, Cruisin’ Amby Dowdeswell on bass, and Gentleman Jim Howard on drums.

That’s seven musicians; all of whom are very well known About the Kangaroo Point end of Town.

Alan is the Brisbane Jazz Club’s long time, hard-working Vice President, Life Member, and Manager of, and vocalist with, the Brisbane Big Band.

Peter, a BJC Life Member, is a passionate supporter of, and contributor to, the local music scene, including his regular performances at our Jazz Singers Jam Night, and as a generous sponsor of our annual Vocal Jazz Festival.

Duncan is a long-standing Committee member and lifetime music-lover. And he is almost famous for his unique and idiosyncratic on-stage gyrations for the dance numbers!!

Red, Shaun, Amby and Jim all perform regularly at the Club; each appearing in several different line-ups across our calendar.

The songs on tonight’s set-list were selected from the combo’s previous ‘themed’ shows, and they were presented in every possible combination of solo, duet and trio vocal performances.

From their Latin night, came classics such as ‘Mas Que Nada’, ‘Girl From Ipanema’, ‘Volare’ and ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’. Woven between crooner favourites such as ‘The Lady is a Tramp’, ‘Stardust’ and ‘Dindi’, the guys re-traced the steps of their ‘Travelling’ show, with songs such as ‘Georgia’, ‘Hotel California’ and ‘Viva Las Vegas’.

And at the end of the evening, they had us all on our feet for a punchy encore of Sinatra’s ‘Chicago’ and ‘New York, New York’.           

So, thanks guys, for a night of fun, and for your singalong, ‘just gotta dance’ arrangements of everybody’s favourite tunes. We loved ‘em all.

Alan Smith

Brisbane Jazz Club