REVIEW: The Buddy Holly Story, Sheffield Lyceum

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IT’S BEEN Buddy brilliant for 21 years and this musical tribute to the musical genius still raves on.

The story starts as the boy from Lubbock, Texas, fights to be a rock and roller in an age when white folk only did country.

Newcastle-born Glen Joseph may be a different build and look a bit Vic Reeves, but he was Buddy; geeky and well-mannered one minute, utterly driven the next – and a high-octane performer to boot. Melissa Keyes, the hot little mama at the Harlem Apollo Theatre, was a comic doll and Miguel Angel a sizzling Ritchie Valens.

It’s a comedic and touching show, with 20 blistering performances of Holly hits, and it’s awe-inspiring to watch the man who changed the face of popular music make a hit record in one go.

The second half is a stunning version of Holly’s last concert, alongside the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. But the story doesn’t end with their untimely death in that ’59 plane crash. After a few seconds of mourning, the curtain raises and Holly, Bopper and Valens rock on, just as their music has.

They raised the roof. The audience danced in their seats, roared for more and left singing.

Fade Away? That’ll be the day.