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G-Love Me For A Reason, Osmond tells Hunstanton




We live in strange times. Merrill Osmond pitches up at the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton on Friday night and performs the entire concert in white gloves to ward off coronavirus.

A small thing. But you couldn't help feel that it didn't exactly aid his bass playing.

Still it was good of him to come on what was the first night of his UK tour.

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Caption: Merrill Osmond will set hearts racing at the Central Theatre in Chatham next month.
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Slug: MM OS Category: Entertainment Caption: Merrill Osmond will set hearts racing at the Central Theatre in Chatham next month. Copyright: Jenny Impressive Pr 0207 284 3444 WARNING USE SMALL ONLY KM GROUP USE ONLY WARNING USE SMALL ONLY SUPPLIED BY Jenny Impressive Pr 0207 284 3444(31567124)

As he said, he would not have wanted to let down his fans, of which a respectable, if not overwhelming number, had come to Hunstanton to see the 66-year-old.

Merrill was the lead singer of the Osmonds. No, it wasn't Donny. He was a sort of add-on just the most famous one individually of the family. And it was Merrill who penned, or co-penned nearly all the songs.

He has mainly performed country inthe most recent decades but this show was much more rock n roll and featured all the big hits and hat-tips to showbiz pals such as Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond and Elvis.

It had a Las Vegas review feel about it, which is no bad thing. The band were very good and a multi-media approach of showing video behind the performance added interest when it was of the Osmonds in their pomp (rather less so when it was more arty efforts).

Merrill may have had trouble remembering the track listing and doesn't quite belt them out as he used to when he was competing against 5,000 screaming girls, but he still has a good voice and no-one felt shortchanged by the music. He also comes over as very likeable.

Starting with Crazy Horses, perhaps the Osmond's best known track in this country, may have felt like throwing away your ace card, but Merrill's songwriting chops are pretty impressive.

I've long felt that Gary Barlow listened long and hard to the Osmonds before penning many of Take That's hits. They were of their time, very much rock and roll rather than the soul-tinge bubblegum offered by the Jackson 5, but they have pretty much stood the test oftime.

One Bad Apple, Down By The Lazy River, Yo-Yo, Let Me In, hold Her Tight, The Proud One and finishing with Love Me For A Reason made a very satisfactory evening.

It seemed to end a little quickly. No encore and no meet and greet by the merchandise stand afterwards as you would expect at the Princess. But Merrill and the band had came, saw and conquered as far as the fans were concerned.

Mark Leslie



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