James 'Hansi' Last's orchestra has been making people smile and tap their toes for 48 years and, although the conductor himself turned 83 years old last week (alles gute zum geburtstag, Hansi), the JLO shows no sign of slowing down.
In fact, Last had scoffed at any suggestion that his 2011 tour would be his 'last'. Never one to miss a gag, James Last has since announced The Last Tour for 2013 - a 22-date European jaunt which may, or may not, prove to be his last. In the meantime, fans of the cheery big band sound of the JLO can look forward to renditions of the many favourites in the band's back catalogue, not least his rock and pop influenced re-tellings of standards such as Here Comes the Sun, Greensleeves and MacArthur Park.
With the orchestra and as a solo artist, Hans Last (as he was born in Bremen in 1929) has released around 200 albums and sold in excess of 70 million records. His joyous take on popular classics, energised with the chirpy resourcefulness of a full band, with strings, has won the German many friends and each of his UK dates next year promise raise a smile once more.
The 2013 European Tour touches down in the UK in late April, almost exactly a year from now, with two dates at the Royal Albert Hall on 26th and 27th April 2013, followed by a show at the Bournemouth International Centre on 28th April.
We will have tickets on sale from 9am on Tuesday 24th April 2012, priced £55 for London and £52 for Bournemouth.