Review: Vampires Rock has audience on its feet

Baron Von Rockula had to cope with the York hecklers
13 Oct 2013 @ 10.23 pm
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Baron Von Rockula had to cope with the York hecklers
Baron Von Rockula had to cope with the York hecklers

Review: Vampires Rock
Venue: Grand Opera House, Thursday, October 10

Steve Steinman returned to York with his successful Vampires Rock tour which is celebrating its 10th year.

Vampires Rock tells the story of vampire Baron Von Rockula who’s on the search for a new bride by auditioning singers at his club Live And Let Die. The story is told via spoken cheesy song lyrics and loud rock music including Highway To Hell, Killer Queen, Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth, and a surprising rock version of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Power Of Love.

Steve shares a lot of asides with the audience, although I think he got more than he bargained for from the York audience on Thursday night – some of the hecklers were on top form and Steve handled it really well with fast and witty responses.

The two main dancers had a surprising number of costume changes and I’m left in corset envy. They certainly were good adverts for lingerie which is all they wore, and they had the figures for it as well.

The audience were especially captivated by dancer Chloe Bass when she performed an aerial routine using two strips of fabric hanging from the ceiling. The collective gasp and applause when she performed the splits mid air was well deserved.

Steve Steinman as Baron Von Rockula had a very strong voice and commanded the stage. Unfortunately his Pandora, Hayley Russell, didn’t have a strong enough voice, often drowned out by the rock band or Steve.

One of the stars of the show had to be Bossley the Janitor, John Evans, who had the audience on their feet in the second half with his medley of Eye Of The Tiger, Jump and Final Countdown although I’m not sure my daughter will ever recover from the sight of him in his white Lycra and pale blue PVC thong! It certainly made an impression.

The audience remained on their feet for the rest of the show and joined in enthusiastically to some classic hits such as Bat Out Of Hell and We Love Rock And Roll.

There’s a lot of adult humour in this show, and although there were children in the audience it seems to have gone straight over their head, and they just enjoyed the music and pyrotechnic effects.

It perhaps seems unfair to compare this show to previous performances of Vampires Rock but a lot of audience members were die hard fans who’d seen the show a number of times. This was our third time of seeing Vampires Rock and our fifth time seeing Steve – and we all felt that something was missing, not that anyone could really put their finger on it.

Part of it could be the new band (the old band were from York and were excellent), the lack of power in Hayley’s voice, or even the change in the story to write out the Queen (last played by Toyah who was amazing).

That said I will be returning to see Steve in his Meatloaf story when he returns to the Grand Opera House in March: he does a brilliant Meatloaf!