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Hits Out of Hell – Plenty of Meat

Written by on 13th January 2020

Bat out of Dunstable – Another hit for the Grove Theatre

Since it opened, I’ve become very fond of the Grove Theatre, Dunstable. Not only is it quite an intimate setting for plays, films, comedy, bands and pantos but it’s a venue you can get to without difficulty and you can park for free in the evenings. Chuck in Craig Halford, Jodie Lee and the Never Neverland Express Band performing the Meatloaf songbook and you have 700 very happy people indeed.

I must admit, the good lady and I didn’t know quite what to expect as we hadn’t seen Maet (intentional) Live and we were wondering if Craig Halford could live up to the big man himself. The first thing we noticed was his attention to detail: he is quite fat and uses this to his advantage. In the prelude to You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth, he is asked ‘Will he offer me his hunger?’ We all shout ‘Yes,’ as per the album, ‘And will he starve without me?’ Craig looks at his belly and says, ‘Eventually.’
The question on everyone’s lips, though, was, what sort of a voice does this man have because he’s got big shoes to fill. He started with All Revved Up And No Place To Go and within a few beats I’d turned to the good lady and said, ‘This man can sing.’ From start to finish he never hit a bum note. He was brilliant, his band was brilliant and then there was Jodie Lee herself. She was the perfect reminder that more than a few Meatloaf songs rely on strong female vocals to make them. Cue Dead Ringer for Love, I Would do Anything for Love and the complete version of Paradise by the Dashboard light.

It didn’t end there. Craig’s stagecraft was excellent: he gave the audience every opportunity to sing along and he got us up dancing for the whole of the second half. What I hadn’t expected though, was his sense of humour and there was a lot of fun to be had between and sometimes during songs, which never once detracted from the music. As we were leaving I asked a few audience members how many stars out of five they would give the show. It was a five out of five for everyone. Another great show for the Grove Theatre and Craig and his band. Well done to all concerned!

Hits out of Hell is on tour and you can check out other dates here

You can listen to the audience interviews and our thoughts here and don’t forget you to listen to the King & Queen Jerky Show

Other tributes coming up at The Grove Theatre are the Paul McCartney and Queen – find the full listing here