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Love Hurts. Steve Steinman Productions. Skegness Embassy. Sunday 5 May 2024

Updated: Jun 6

This is my third year reviewing Steve Steinman's work when he visits the Embassy Theatre at Skegness, having previously reviewed Ghost Train and Anything For Love, hopes were high for the new show. Unlike many who do not necessarily follow Steve on social media, I was aware that he is currently recovering from knee replacement surgery and was not going to feature in tonight's show. Nevertheless, I was eager to see how the Steve Steinman Band would present the power ballads that broke a million hearts in the last few decades.

Due to a mix up, I was asked to put my camera away and not to shoot beyond the first few numbers. I did feel like a naughty schoolboy, but have always enjoyed taking shots during Steinman's previous shows to accompany the review. I have since been cleared to use those few photos I shot by the producers who had not realised that I was in reviewing. I apologise that my pictures are somewhat limited as a result but better to have some than none for this review.

The trademark anticipation was apparent among the sizeable crowd and the latest addition of a large, hi-definition projection screen at the back of the stage showed trailers for Steinman's other shows, including the much anticipated, forthcoming, musical Eternal Love which features an entirely new score written by the leading man himself. Then the lights went down and the opening bars of We Built This City on Rock 'n' Roll rang out. Show favourites John Evans and Trixabelle Bold were joined by a third (Welsh) singer, though I am sorry to say I didn't catch her name during the show. The trio took on the mantle of leading the show and gave it their all. It was hard to believe that this was only the second performance of this highly polished show.

As I would expect, the musicianship was spectacular. With a band consisting of two guitars, bass, drums, sax, and keyboards they were faultless in their performance and coped with any tunes the 70s or 80s could throw at them. It was definitely an opportunity to display rock's softer side but still managed to include hits by Aerosmith, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Divinyls and a whole lot more.

We were treated to a fabulous display of saxophone virtuosity on Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street. I really enjoyed a number of songs in this show especially the Russ Ballard hit, I Surrender, Divinyls, I Touch Myself and Maria McKee's Show Me Heaven. The choreography was absolutely on point and the energy expounded was admirable. The show is often sexy and always amazing, in how tight the band themselves are. Fans will always enjoy hearing so many big hits brought to life on stage.

The show is still finding its feet and seeking to forge its way forward without relying on the natural charisma and cheeky charm of Steve Steinman, but hats off to the company for what they do bring to the stage. It could do with a little more humour, a lot more haze and perhaps a wind machine to give it some real 80s cheese. Nevertheless, it delivered on its promise, and brought back so many memories through the selection of songs included in the show.

The show is going to improve every time they perform to enthusiastic audiences who will definitely enjoy its fare. If Love Hurts is playing near you give it a go, if you love rock ballads and anthems there is something for everyone who attends.

Andy Evans 6 May 2024

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