London's Royal Albert Hall was reminiscent of a bygone age last night (Oct. 10) as former boy-band sensation Robbie Williams entertained an adoring sell-out crowd with his versions of swing classics.

London's Royal Albert Hall was reminiscent of a bygone age last night (Oct. 10) as former boy-band sensation Robbie Williams entertained an adoring sell-out crowd with his versions of swing classics.

In front of images of Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra beamed onto a giant screen, Williams told the black-tie audience that these were "the coolest men that ever lived." The Las Vegas-style spectacular featured a 58-piece orchestra and, with the help of duets with actress Jane Horrocks, comedian Jon Lovitz, and singer Jonathan Wilkes, Williams crooned his way through such standards as "One for My Baby", "Mack the Knife" and, of course, the show closing "My Way."

But perhaps the finest moment of the show came from the late Ol' Blue Eyes himself, whose voice "dueted" with Williams' on a version of "It Was a Very Good Year."

Williams revealed that Sinatra's estate granted him permission to use the track on his new Capitol album, "Swing When You're Winning," which also features some of Sinatra's original band. The set was recorded at the Capitol Records studios in Los Angeles where Sinatra used to record, leading Williams to
quip that he had spent a lot of time in America lately, but he wasn't sure why, "because I don't do any business there."

The event, which commanded some of the highest ticket prices that London has ever seen, will be broadcast by the BBC next month, with the album hitting stores on Nov. 19 internationally, and a day later in North America.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print