Review: Steve Steinman’s Vampires Rock – Perth Concert Hall

“Do you know where you are?” Perth Concert Hall, baby. The beautiful glass-fronted building is a welcome sight on a very windy Friday night. The foyer is very busy with a mixture of people smartly dressed for an evening at the theatre, and people dressed to rock vampire style in leather and lace, but we are all here for Steve Steinman’s Vampires Rock.

For close to 20 years, Steve has toured the rock musical around the UK, building a loyal following demonstrated by near-capacity attendance for this 1,200 venue. I first saw this show in Edinburgh when it was set in the “Live and Let Die Night Club”, and over the years Steve has tweaked and polished the show and moved the story to an abandoned fairground but the main bones remain the same. It’s the classic love story as long as time itself, boy meets girl, wife not happy, girl falls in love with somebody else, rival kills boy, boy comes back to life and turns girl into one of the undead…

The first shock of the night is the appearance of Mr. Steinman (Baron Von Rockula), he is maybe taking this vampire malarky too seriously as he appears to be aging in reverse. He sweeps around the stage with no fourth wall between the players and the audience. He is quick to claim, tongue in cheek, that “this is not a pantomime” but the reality is Vampires Rock Ghost Train is exactly that, the cast all appear to genuinely enjoy what they are doing, it’s fun and it’s funny but it is also slick and professional and that is what makes the difference between a good panto and a great panto, and this is a great, classic rock panto.

The first half of the show lays the basics of the story and contains great performances from all the cast members, along with some flashy dancing and costume changes but after the interval, the show kicks up a gear. Queens’ ‘The Show Must Go On’ is fantastic. All the singers are outstanding and the acoustics in the hall are superb but Lorraine Crosby (The Vampire Queen), who sang on Meat Loaf’s only number one hit, ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’, is a force of nature. Whitesnake’s ‘Fool For Your Loving’ gives her the chance to rattle the rafters which she does with ease and was one of many highlights. The mix of household name rock classics is intermixed with a few Steve Steinman originals, he deserves credit that these originals blend seamlessly with the established numbers, and the listener is only left confused about how they managed to miss that little belter if it was from the same era that the other songs are drawn.

After the villain, Van Halensing, is unmasked as the Baron’s sidekick Bosley (long-standing cast member and best friend John Evans) the story falls away but the anthems keep coming and the show becomes a full-on high-octane gig and the evening ends with the entire audience on their feet. Mr. Steinman has always chosen first-rate musicians and performers to work with and this tour is no exception (look out for Dan Stevens of Inglorious-fame on guitar, along with James Marsh on guitar/vocals, Joe Brierley on bass, Sammy Stopford on drums, Harry Garbutt on piano/keyboards, and the amazing trio of Claire Micallef as Roxy, Trixabelle Bold, and Ashley Cavell). There is still time to catch the show as it moves around the UK until April 29th.

It looks like Mr. Steinman likes to keep himself busy, the devil finds work for idle hands after all. There is a new show coming in 2024, a continuation of the Ghost Train narrative but containing more original Steinman music. There is also a UK boat cruise with the band lined up for the summer, as well as writing the album to follow the success of 2021’s ‘Take A Leap Of Faith’, and the autumn Vampires Rock – Day of the Dead tour which will also feature the Symphonic Rock Orchestra, and Nathan James from Inglorious on special guest vocals.

Typically, the rain has joined the heavy wind as we exit the hall. A great night’s entertainment and I look forward to catching the Day of the Dead tour when it rolls into Edinburgh in October, but until then fangs for the memories…… sorry.

All Vampires Rock tour dates can be found here.

Review and all images – Callum Scott Photography 

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