Note: This review is from the 2018 Fringe

Billy Joel: Piano Man Live! showcases the very best of the dynamic songbook of the legendary Billy Joel. In under an hour, the five-piece band, led by talented piano-vocalist and musical director Joe Revell, pay tribute to the iconic stadium sounds of the original Piano Man.

Unlike Billy Joel’s recent Manchester performance that left the audience feeling short-changed with his failure to sing enough of his greatest hits, this intimate performance (in a hot, basement studio), is all the better for it. Revell sings each word with clarity, giving fans of Billy Joel a real flavour of what a great songsmith the original is.

With the opportunity to hear eleven of Billy Joel’s favourite hits and even the opportunity to sing-a-long and help Revell out with the chorus of Piano Man, it’s a toe-tapping, high-energy show and includes hit songs including Movin’ Out, New York State of Mind and my favourite, Scenes from An Italian Restaurant.

There’s not much banter between the songs and we don’t necessarily get to hear the background to these songs, but we do learn that ‘She’s Got A Way’ was the first Billy Joel song Revell learnt to play, when a friend asked him to play it at university. It’s just a lovely hour of hearing some great songs, sung and played well and the opportunity to revel in nostalgia with Revell and the rest of the audience, who lip sync the majority of the songs.

Accompanied by some live talented musicians, young Will Innes plays the drums with real gusto breaking into a sweat, while Lorna Thomas on bass and Tolek Konior on guitar manage to look suitably cool. Tom Pickles on saxophone might have missed a few notes on some of the songs but nonetheless added variety and passion to the songs of the Piano Man.

Whilst this performance will definitely only appeal to those of a certain generation providing a trip down memory lane, this is one concert that won’t leave Billy Joel fans disappointed.