Len Crawley - Solo [Mixed, Solo Artist]
When Len Crawley is not wearing his other cap as one-quarter of the Barron Knights he provides a terrific night of entertainment with his one-man show.
Len certainly knows his stuff. He started playing music when he was still at school beginning as a drummer and progressing to keyboards and has some fabulous stories to tell about his early days in the music business, working with Tom Jones, Elton John and a little-known band in the early sixties called the Beatles!
At the Royal British Legion club they love Len for his well-chosen mix of glorious instrumentals, great melodies from the American Songbook and lively dance numbers. Handling everything with consummate ease Len has a relaxed, laid-back style that appeals to regulars at this Potters Bar venue who invite him back time after time.
Len eased into his show with a beautiful rendition of the haunting instrumental Cavatina and a jazzy working of George Shearing's Lullaby Of Birdland. Songs made famous by Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Nat 'King' Cole and Tony Bennett followed and they attracted the dancers indicating that Len knows his audiences well and has a clear idea what type of material will fill the dancefloor.
I liked the way he slotted in instrumentals like Booker T's "Green Onions", the theme from "Midnight Cowboy", and Percy Faith's "Theme From A Summer Place" to break up nicely the vocal numbers and it appeared there was no end to Len's talents as he demonstrated his highly skilled harmonica playing in songs like "Isn't She Lovely".
Unlike some performers, Len was happy to cater for all requests and he made one Sally present a very happy lady with a surprisingly rocking version of Eric Clapton's "Lay Down Sally" and two of Buddy Holly's hits, "Raining In My Heart" and "True Love Ways" were particularly well received, as was the reggae number, "Kingston Town" (complete with steel drum effects) and the uptempo Van Morrison hit "Bright Side Of The Road".
Other high spots for me were a lovely mix of Booker T's "Soul Limbo" plus "Yellow Bird" and the subtle interpretation of the Adele/Bob Dylan hit "Make You Feel My Love", in which he showed the quality of his soothing voice. Just one suggestion Len - it would be nice to hear some of those anecdotes during the show.
Len Crawley is the ideal one-man band and club organisers and people booking private parties would do well to snap him up.
Colin Fenn, DJ, journalistWednesday 30 January 2013
Thanks Colin for the super review, hope to see you again sometime, maybe at a Barron Knights show at a Theatre near you.