Review: Anton Du Beke - From The Top



A few years ago, someone told my dad that they had once worked on a show with Anton du Beke and reported that he was a demanding diva. My dad decided to form an opinion on the back of this information and cites the anecdote at every relevant opportunity. I suppose it could be true, however, I prefer to take the man at face value. He’s never done anything to upset me personally and in order to provide me with entertainment has taken on some utter no hopers on Strictly with incredible patience and good grace so I am willing to give him a chance.

That said, when issued with this particular task from BTM towers I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit.

I’m guessing that most BTM regulars are not in the target audience for Anton’s new swing album but like I try to tell my dad, we shouldn’t judge before we experience it for ourselves so with as open a mind as possible let’s have a listen to ‘From The Top’ by Anton du Beke - who is somewhat excited by the whole thing.

Track 1 - Putting on the Ritz Oh dear. A song which has been covered many, many times since it was written by Irving Berlin in 1930 (thanks Wikipedia) and the majority of them were probably better than this. For some reason Anton has decided to: a) Call it Putting in the title instead of Puttin’ on the Ritz - as it was written. b) Reject the word ‘the’ from the lyrics and sings “Putting onna Ritz” instead. Given how many times that line is repeated it is very irritating but mercifully the track is only 2.08 minutes long.

Track 2 - Me and My Shadow A duet with Lance Ellington. A not unpleasant, straight up version of another classic. The big band doing a super job here. There’s a little bit of banter between du Beke and his shadow but it is nowhere near as charming as when he did this song with Bruce Forsyth in 2006.

Track 3 - Something Stupid Hayley Sanderson provides the female vocals. Now here’s a song I have always loved. It’s a tender story of someone opening up their heart to humiliation and describes perfectly how embarrassing getting rebuffed by the object of one’s affections can be. Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s original is beautiful, if slightly weird for a father/daughter duet and I loved Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman’s version too. This one was never going to be of that standard BUT… it’s ok. Again I notice that here the g has been included in the word Something, whereas the original is Somethin’.

Track 4 - More A very jaunty version of an Andy Williams love song. It’s not good. I can’t think of anything else to say.

Track 5 - City of Stars Duet with Connie Fisher. This one is quite nice. I’ve not seen La La Land so wasn’t familiar with it before. Quite nice. That’s all I have to say about that.

Track 6 - Moondance As a student I once shared a house with a girl who was obsessed with the Van Morrison song and had the single (yes, a single, on vinyl, not in a retro way) on repeat endlessly so I’m not predisposed to be nice about it. However, with the collaboration of The Overtones it is an interesting and nicely produced version. Except that it includes A du B singing the line “Well I wanna make love to you tonight” and that is not really a thought I wanted to be having.

Track 7 - Fly Me To The Moon Obviously, Anton is no Sinatra but he can hold a tune, fair play. In other words, I don’t mind this.