Following a rocky warm-up act, the Three Little Sisters burst onto the stage and came out swinging – pardon the pun. But in all seriousness, the golden voiced trio comprising of Tania Savelli, Kat Jade and Melanie Smith delivered one of the most authentic musical tribute acts I have ever seen at Fringe.
There was great interaction between the women. Big smiles, cheeky glances and a clear love for the musical era they were portraying. They blew the audience away with their effortless harmonies and their genuine joy emanated from the stage.
The audience was of the older generation, and they too were in their element. Classics like "In the Mood" went down a treat, as well Andrews Sisters hits like "Rum and Coca Cola" and my personal favourite, "Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree".
Whilst musically, there was not a note out of place all night, some of the between-song narration by the singers came off a little clumsy, and jolted you out of your pleasant musical stupor. The voice-over narration in the Hollywood-style US accent was a much better way of keeping the audience interested while resting the artists. Coupled with photos and clips of the sisters and war-era America, the projections were a thoughtful touch that helped transport us through time. Furthermore, the one snippet where we heard the voices of the original Andrews Sisters in conversation was a great touch, and a bit more of that would not have gone astray.
There are a few surprises in the show which keep things fresh. The charismatic Peter Noble joined in for a few tunes, “standing in for Bing”. The chemistry between him and the trio was great, making it great fun to watch. The accompanying five man swing band a little small, and a fuller sound would’ve really amped up the show, not to mention have been era-appropriate.
In closing, this is one of those shows where reviewers always mention how much of a crowd-pleasing, toe-tapping delight you’re about to step into and indeed I must urge you to prepare for some very invigorated elderly people. But if you can put up with the occasional bursts of out of time clapping, you will eventually get swept up in the energy of the event and might even find yourself letting off a clap or two.
Whether you’re diehard Andrews Sisters fan or simply love war-era music, the ‘Three Little Birds’ deliver a charismatic performance complete with sizzling saxophone and trumpet solos. Whilst a few things could use a tweak, overall it’s what one would expect of a high-end tribute show that does not leave you wanting.