Stepping Out Streatham at Hideaway

By: Penny Garcevs

A swinging, foot-stomping joyous evening with Ray Gelato and the Giants brought a taste of New York nightclub to Streatham’s Hideaway in May. As a regrettably non-regular punter, the Hideaway's outstandingly good acoustic was just one of many reminders to me of why this is a live-music jewel. Every table gave the legendary jazz entertainer the welcome afforded an old friend returning. And he and his band of six virtuosic Giants never disappointed, giving us numbers from Louis Prima, Fats Waller to Frank Sinatra. Plenty of the audience took to their dancing feet, a tribute to irresistible rhythm.

During the performance, Hideaway’s waiting staff did an impressive job keeping tables plied with food and drink - pleasantly, non-intrusively and efficiently. There was no need to wave at waiters or stare at an empty glass-and venues combining music and dining don’t always manage this with all the distractions. The menu, offering around seven choices for each course, was enjoyable and reasonably priced for an evening of superb jazz in a venue that is both spacious and vibrant.  Our table of five all opted for the jerk chicken, nicely spiced and pleasantly charred, and our three courses came to an average of £25 a head.

But the star turn was, and should be, the performers. Ray Gelato, with his mastery of the tenor sax, his compelling jazz voice and showmanship kept the evening on a high note.  When they played his own song, Pizza You, and he asked the audience how they enjoyed his mob-themed video, his fans left him in no doubt. “Keep coming to this great live music venue” he told us.  I, for one, will be back.

Winner of the Parliamentary Jazz Live Music Venue of the Year
Hideaway, 225 Streatham High Rd. 020 8835 7070 www.hideawaylive.co.uk

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