The Icons In London

Published April 17, 2008

He enjoys dressing as Elvis, he can sing as Johnny Cash and Tina Turner and he hears voices in his head, including that of Kermit the Frog. Greg London is not your average West End star (or maybe he is). Last night the American corporate entertainer and Las Vegas showman made his West End debut at The Venue, where the lively crowd was only too happy to join in with his renditions of American Pie and Mandy. Caroline Bishop sang quietly…

The Icons In London: it’s a clever pun that. Not only is Greg London doing impressions of ‘icons’ (for that read an eclectic list including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Louis Armstrong, Tom Jones and Barry Manilow) in the capital city that is London, he is also telling the story of his life as an entertainer and how the voices of these ‘icons’ occupied his head (in London, geddit?) and told him to make a living singing as an impressionist.

So backed by his band, which, he tells us, accompanied him on over a hundred corporate shows for well-known burger companies, and three backing singers, London entertains us with a playlist of tunes which he sings in the voices of the artists – from It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones to Suspicious Minds by Elvis, through Walk The Line by Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond’s Love On The Rocks, with Barry White, the Bee Gees and Billy Joel along the way. The show also sees him doing impressions of made-up characters like Kermit the Frog (who sounds uncannily like Sammy Davis Jr) and Austin Powers. Robbie Williams’s Angels is thrown in for good measure, just because London likes it.

The crowd at The Venue – which is quickly establishing itself as a theatre for 20 and 30-somethings – was only too pleased to laugh along with London’s good-natured jokes, including the obligatory jibe at Cliff Richard, and join in with the tunes, some more enthusiastically than others. The trio of backing singers provided a couple of rest-stops for London as they shimmied their way through a Temptations medley and a Britney Spears/Doris Day combo.

The singer rounded off the evening with a couple of numbers from the ultimate icon, Elvis Presley, sending the audience home feeling all warm and fuzzy.

The Icons In London is running at The Venue until 24 February.

CB