England, Europe and Middle East, London, Newsletter, Trip Reviews, United Kingdom

Leo Green Experience at the QT. A speakeasy bursting with brilliant energy.

05/03/2024 by .
Leo Green Experience at the QT

Andy Mossack reviews The Leo Green Experience at the QT, and finally takes a breath after 90 minutes of high energy music.

Honestly, I didn’t think the cavernous halls of Covent Garden’s fancy Middle Eight Hotel could take much more of this. I thought speakeasies were where New Yorkers could listen to great music while secretly boozing to their heart’s content during prohibition. Dark and smoky cellars and great soulful jazz, provided you knew the password to get in of course.

Middle Eight’s QT is a speakeasy but as Mr. Spock used to say, ‘not as we know it’. Leo Green’s version of events is ‘it’s jazz Jim, but not as we know it.’  Green, a great saxophonist, and son of the legendary sax player Benny Green, takes great pop tunes from the 80s 90s and noughties and spins them with his own jazzy interpretations.

Supported by a glorious cast of top session players and singers, the place rocked from start to finish. Breathless energy, nonstop bangers, and even a twenty-minute shout out request session that showed just how good the Leo Green Experience was. No request declined.

Leo Green Experience at the QT

Now in its third year, offering two 90-minute sessions every Friday and Saturday night, the show has become something of a fan favourite for a guaranteed cracking night out.

And so it came to pass, this writer, a man who over the years has witnessed more than few acts fail to match the billing, turned up at the QT and was shown downstairs with no password required! Of course, this is a five-star speakeasy.  Small, elegant tables, comfy seats, excellent pizza and nibble food, an extensive drinks menu, and you’re close enough to the small stage to catch the sweat.  All under the ever-watchful eye of Event Manager Gatis who patrolled the room with a clinical service obsession and had everyone juiced and ready by the time Leo took the stage.

Right from the off the band hit the stage with both barrels, Gatis banged his silver tray in unison at the front of the stage, and we were up and running.  Leo Green is clearly a force of nature. Boundless energy and some eye-watering acrobatics whilst still playing his sax.

Boy he knows how to work a room.

Even the stately couple to my left were right at it. The lyric from Slade’s classic sprung to mind: Does your granny always tell ya that the old songs are the best? Then she’s up and rock ‘n’ rollin’ with the rest.’

And she sure was.

The Leo Green Experience was like a function band on speed; but totally, brilliantly much more awesome. As one banger finished another intro was struck with Green announcing “You’ll know this one. Come on!”

But here was the magic. Not simply a straight cover, but cleverly managing to weave a jazz vibe into every number, with Leo’s trio of singers belting out very impressive vocals.

Leo Green Experience at the QT

By now, Green had the room in the palm of his hand. Strutting between the tables while running sax riffs up down the scales. He was the ringmaster.

The twenty-minute all-request finale was the perfect ending for me. A stream of shout outs, and the band, after agreeing a key, just launching into each one. I mean, you can’t please a crowd better than that.

Leo Green Experience at the QT is a belter of a night out and excellent value. Just make sure you remember to breathe.

Tell me more about the Leo Green Experience at the QT

Leo Green Experience at the QT, The Middle Eight Hotel, 66 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5BX

Shows Friday and Saturday two sessions each night:  8:00 PM – 9:15 PM and 10 PM – 11.15 PM Tickets from £28.60.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *