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Two to Tango: The Mill, Banbury
This turned out to be a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Inside the auditorium though, it could have been night time, as the lighting was kept very low, in keeping with the clubby feeling the performers were aiming at. Instead of rows of seats we had round tables scattered around the floor, with an open space for dancing in the middle .It was a showcase for two groups of musicians. First up we had The Next Hot Thing, an hour of jazz, with songs from Suzette ‘The Duchess’ Neptune, backed by guitar, sax and piano. She has a fine, deep voice, with a lot of power when needed, but can also soften it down for smoochier numbers in her set. A striking figure, the silver stud in her pierced tongue glinted continuously in the stage lighting. Suzette began with a fine rendering of S’Wonderful, and took us through a bunch of well known standards, among them You Go to My Head and Mac the Knife, to end the set with Hoagy Carmichael’s Georgia.
After the break we entered the world of tango with Alma de Tango, headed by Patrissia Cuberos. She’s a terrific singer, with a seductive, moving voice. She is musical, full of energy, and gave beautiful phrasing to the succession of tango numbers that she performed. She has a nice line in chat, too, between the songs, which included a tango waltz, and in her penultimate number, a remarkable whistling solo!
I had expected that a show called Two to Tango would include some danced tangos, but the performers never budged from the stage. There was dancing however, as the audience were encouraged, even cajoled at times, to take to the floor. I remained seated with my glass of wine, but several couples, of varying abilities, danced through practically the entire set; and while this was hardly Strictly Come Dancing, it added a lot of atmosphere to an enjoyable show