What a superb night of singing, dancing and comic routines awaited the audience that attended Saturday night’s Shetland’s Got Talent in Mareel.
The variety and standard was a delight, and more than £5,500 were raised for Relay for Life. Certainly this reviewer came away in awe of the high level of creativity here.
We were firstly introduced to Shetland’s answer to Ant and Dec, Bryan Peterson and Jonny Polson. They were more than entertaining in themselves with their unique humour and banter.
They balanced each other perfectly, Bryan the cheekie chappie that he is and Jonny with his dead-pan delivery and tongue in cheek humour. They created a hilarious, highly charged energy from the start.
The judges, Davie Gardner, Jillian Isbister and Malcolm Younger, were announced one at a time and made a grand entrance to carefully chosen music akin to the popular Britain’s Got Talent format but adding a local slant and flair. Their comments were interesting and entertaining as well as encouraging and supportive throughout.
The first of three dance acts was Team Gym Revellers. A great start to the night and the boys from the band were there to cheer them on.
Next was was Caroline Butler’s superbly choreographed pom pom routine from Shetland Baton Twirlers. It was an amazing Bollywood extravaganza culminating in the pom poms very cleverly spelling out Relay for Life.
The final dance act was The Pivot Dance Squad, a cross between African and American street dancing, run and fantastically choreographed by Jane McLaren. The judges were severely impressed by all three.
The majority of the night however was taken up by music performances. First up was Megan Nisbet and Lauren Johnson, two beautiful young lasses from Yell.
This little island does produce some superb singers, and these two were no exception. They sang Darling dedicated to Megan’s dad. Their close harmony was stunning and the judges were ‘bowled over’.
Martin Naylor, Carol Jamieson and Jonathon Bulter performed a song written by Carol about the trials of leaving your children at home while you go out to work. The judges complimented Martin’s voice and Jonathon’s sympathetic playing.
Three fiddles and a Clarsach treated the audience to a lovely rendition of two traditional folk tunes, with some nice subtle harmonies in the fiddles. The compares were a little less than professional at this point though, as they were more interested in who was single in the group than their music!
Twelve year-old Ellie Arthur delighted us with a rendition of Bob Dylan’s Feel My Love. Jillian commented on her professional delivery and her maturity.
The last of the music acts was Lisa and the Johnsons singing I’m Addicted To You. This was an excellent showcase for Lisa’s voice as the accompaniment was stripped right back and sensitively done. She gave a strong, stylistic performance, which ‘blew’ the judges away.
There were two comic turns, always popular with the audience. Although John Hunter had been practising very hard all week, the audience were more than aware of a few ‘wrong’ notes in the delivery of his piano recital. I have to say, John was not fazed in the least by the slight errors in the performance, and soldiered on regardless, much to the hilarity of the audience.
Gwilym Gibbons introduced us to Sam, a very shy, fluffy muppet-type character, who had considerable skills as a mime artist and ‘moothie’ player. Unfortunately for him, Bryan and Jonny did not agree and stopped the act in mid flow to say the standard was too low and he had to sharpen up the act or get off. The audience loved it and was laughing and clapping along.
The next interruption for the poor duo was by Da Flea (Allison Duncan) who flew at them with a shepherds crook and attempted to chase them off the stage, while poor Jonny got between them and tried to calm everything down.
The judges then retired to deliberate on the three top acts of the evening while the audience was kept entertained by Big Bryan and Big Jonny being interviewed by Peerie Bryan (Jacob Henderson) and Peerie Jonny (Sonny Teale) with hilarious results. Also, last years winners Inferno graced the stage again with two stunning routines.
The three acts that made it through to the audience voting were Lisa and the Johnsons, Megan and Lauren and Team Gym Revellers, with a well deserved win for Megan and Lauren.
On being asked what they thought on hearing their names they both replied “shocked”. They never believed when they came here that they would win the competition, they were delighted.
Jillian said at the end of the night that everyone deserved to win: “It was a very tough decision, but we were ultimately unanimous”, she said.
Well done to all who put this night together, an amazing sum was raised for Relay For Life and a great night was had by all.