LIVE REVIEW: The Geordie Rat Pack, The Sage Gateshead

The Geordie Rat Pack on stage at The Sage Gateshead. From left, Jason Cook, Neil Grainger, Glen Roughead and Steffen Peddie. Picture by Kevin Duffy.
The Geordie Rat Pack on stage at The Sage Gateshead. From left, Jason Cook, Neil Grainger, Glen Roughead and Steffen Peddie. Picture by Kevin Duffy.

Those Geordie Rat Pack boys really have got something special here.

The idea was born last year when swing singer Glen Roughead invited Hebburn stars and comics Jason Cook, Steffen Peddie and Neil Grainger to join him on stage at a charity gig.

The guys had so much fun that they decided to form a group and carry on doing it – and a sold out audience at The Sage Gateshead was certainly glad of it last night.

Backed up by The Paul James Band, the foursome gave a phenomenal performance.

Selling out your first ever gig is quite the achievement on its own, but these guys seem like they’ve been doing this for years.

Kicking off with a swinging version of Ain’t That A Kick In The Head, I was immediately blown away.

The Geordie Rat Pack on stage at The Sage Gateshead. From left, Jason Cook, Glen Roughead, Neil Grainger, and Steffen Peddie. Picture by Kevin Duffy.

The Geordie Rat Pack on stage at The Sage Gateshead. From left, Jason Cook, Glen Roughead, Neil Grainger, and Steffen Peddie. Picture by Kevin Duffy.

Roughead is super suave and has a sensational voice. I already knew that Grainger had a polished pair of pipes on him, but I had no idea that Peddie and Cook could sing – but boy, can they!

Dressed in suits, the group looked handsome and debonair, and their slick vocals completed the alluring appeal.

The group’s performances of famous swing songs like Feeling Good and Mack The Knife were impeccable, but it wasn’t all about the music.

The show was a unique and unforgettable blend of swing and comedy that had the audience in absolute stitches.

Selling out your first ever gig is quite the achievement on its own, but these guys seem like they’ve been doing this for years.

As Grainger poured and served shots to the audience from the on-stage bar and Cook held a bottle of Lambrini over his arm like a waiter in a posh restaurant, the tone was set for a delightfully chaotic evening of fun.

Cook has a sharp, natural wit that he used brilliantly to banter with the audience – he held them firmly in the palm of his hand.

The foursome work wonderfully together and play off each other well. You can tell how much fun they’re having on stage and that seeps out into the audience to ensure that everyone leaves with a huge smile on their face.

Peddie’s swing version of LMFAO’s Sexy And I Know It was utterly brilliant, and Cook’s version of In Summer, the song performed by snowman Olaf in Disney’s Frozen, was both exceptional and hilarious – I was particularly impressed by that big note at the end.

The Geordie Rat Pack on stage at The Sage Gateshead. From left, Jason Cook,  Glen Roughead, Neil Grainger, and Steffen Peddie. Picture by Kevin Duffy.

The Geordie Rat Pack on stage at The Sage Gateshead. From left, Jason Cook, Glen Roughead, Neil Grainger, and Steffen Peddie. Picture by Kevin Duffy.

Roughead gave a stunning performance of Mr Bojangles, backed up sensationally by 11-year-old tap dancer – and Cook’s niece, Mia Thompson.

When Cook joined her on stage – wearing a dog onesie – and they danced together, my heart melted.

Grainger’s version of Uptown Funk really got the crowd going, and the addition of a four-strong troupe from Poppleton School of Dance, gave it that extra panache.

Peddie’s Louis Armstrong impression is also worth a mention. It had everyone tickled.

As the group took requests, they gave a stunning rendition of I Wan’na Be Like You from The Jungle Book and a surprisingly brilliant swing version of the Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant.

The Paul James Band played sensationally and really gave the show that extra touch of class.

New York, New York brought everyone to their feet and the boys ended the show with a Geordie-fied version of My Way.

The show was an absolute triumph. I don’t have to be a mathematician to tell you that comedy + swing = a fantastic night out, but what I can tell you is that the Geordie Rat Pack is going to be huge.

Keep on eye on these lads and grab tickets to see them now. You’ll have a truly unforgettable evening.

The Geordie Rat Pack is performing next at the Customs House, South Shields, on January 16, next year. Click here to book tickets before it’s sold out.

Click here to find out more about the group.

Twitter: @vickinewmanjp