Sinatra and Me

No fists, no fights, no feuds and no egos ... an easy-listening Sinatra.

music review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 15 Aug 2016

Richard Shelton seems a very nice man. From Wolverhampton but nicely-spoken. Suave. Bit charming. And in his portrayal of Frank Sinatra he's at pains only to share the nicer, suaver, more romantic elements of his hero Frank. Not the drunken, abusive serial adulterer and occasional associate of organised crime bosses. Maybe the polite sixty-something sell-out audience loves this, but it's like never singing a track from the B-side: if you dream of meeting Sinatra it's late at night in a smoky bar when he's half way down a bottle of Jack, not at a coffee morning in Corstorphine.

But for all his niceness, he's a stunningly good likeness. Physically similar enough to become the owner of Sinatra's tuxedo—made for Frank at a tailor recommended by Roger Moore—and if the Edinburgh cuisine means he now popped the middle button, that's as easily repaired as it is brushed aside by his charm. If you look at him reflected in the black mirrors of this basement, it's unnervingly accurate.

His voice and musicianship are good enough to have recorded with Sinatra's own band, and his versions of 'In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning' and 'My Foolish Heart' are almost perfection, with Sinatra's trademark weighted sibilants and legato phrasing. It's only in the brasher set-pieces where he indulges his stage actor's tendency to over-puncuate the lyrics with gestures. I would love to see him with a live band.