For every high-calibre tribute act, the passing of their muse may be a time of confliction. On one hand, they’ve lost the source of inspiration. On the other, the performer has the opportunity to continue a legacy. And what better legacy to celebrate than that of international pop legend George Michael?
“It all started when I sang Careless Whisper on a karaoke, says Joseph Sansome, a design consultant turned tribute performer who brought his Fast Love – A Tribute To George Michael show to the Edinburgh Playhouse on Saturday night. “People thought I was miming to a record and still do nowadays. I guess I should take that as a great complement.”
Joseph’s George Michael act has gone from strength to strength over the years, making him one of the best in the industry. In fact, George’s manager even said that he’s “the best soundalike you are likely to hear”, and for the 3,000 attendees at Saturday night’s show, he could have been the man himself.
Opening with Waiting For That Day, the Wham! classic I’m Your Man, and Faith, there wasn’t a person in the theatre that wasn’t either clapping, singing or dancing along.
Accompanied by a live band, backing singers and dancers, Joseph continued the show with a mixture of Wham! favourites and chart-topping solo material, such as Amazing, Freedom, Father Figure, Outside, Jesus To A Child and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.
The real stand out moment in the show was the stunning solo by special guest Ed Barker, George Michael’s original solo saxophonist. Hauntingly beautiful, his introduction to Careless Whisper had a noisy theatre fall silent in appreciation. He was then joined by Joseph, who sang the song with passion and dedication.
After performing as George alongside the likes of Billy Ocean and Bob Geldolf, Joseph’s act is as authentic as they come. Dressed in George’s iconic attire, such as the purple suit and the policeman uniform, he stayed true to character from start to finish. His illusion of authenticity was especially apparent for the adoring front row fans who were reaching out to touch ‘George’.
But for the others who weren’t as lucky to be within touching distance of the man himself, there were plenty of familiar faces spread around the theatre, with fans in masks and Choose Life t-shirts having the time of their lives singing along with the same passion as Joseph himself.
Words: Aimee Stanton