Phil Hopkins, Group Travel Editor & Theatre Correspondent

Meat Loaf Feast Leaves Bad Taste

Steve Steinman’s tribute to Meat Loaf – Anything For Love – is musically tight and brilliantly staged with excellent vocals: so sad that cheap gags and bad language tainted the memory of this musical great.

Steinman (the lad from Manchester that is), came to prominence after appearing on TVs Stars in Their Eyes nearly three decades ago. His homage to the rock master proved such a hit that he was able to develop his own touring tribute show and the rest, as they say, is history. Now, he’s probably the talent show’s best graduate.

But, while you can take the lad out of the North, you’ll never take the North out of lad and Steinman let himself down, opening the show with a string of cheap ‘F’ word expletives to the point that he said: “Just realised, there’s kids in and I’ve been swearing for 10 minutes.” And he had. It was cringeworthy.

The show was well-crafted, musically solid and the stage dancers and musicians worked their socks off but the anecdotal narratives in between? Tacky and largely straight out of a 1970’s comedy sketch.

Steinman is bald, so am I and I have no problem with either. But, why sing as a Meat Loaf baldie – brilliantly may I say – and then, half way into the set, disappear offstage to return sporting an awful wig with a comment to the audience: “It’s ok, it IS me.” Crass, cheap and totally unnecessary.

The cheap gags kept returning throughout the evening like a bad curry and, sadly, they took my eye off the music as I found myself waiting for the next acutely embarrassing moment.

Anything For Love has been around a long time and it has a great line up of musicians. The two female backing singers cum dancers were brilliant as was Lorraine Crosby, the female lead vocalist on Meat Loaf’s Grammy Award winning song Anything For Love.

The numbers kept coming one after another: Dead Ringer, Bat Out of Hell, For Crying Out Loud, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad along with a string of others and, without exception, they were put together brilliantly.

But Steve, as a critic I condemn you for all the wrong reasons. As good as you are vocally, it is time to look in the mirror. You have forgotten your performance credentials.

This isn’t Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club and you are better than the performance you ‘personally’ gave. Step up to the plate and get back to the show. Drop the swearing and cheap gags or, as a former chef, you'll get relegated to Gordon Ramsay's next series of The F-Word

Anything For Love
St George’s Hall, Bradford