THERE ARE plenty of soul music theatre shows around including Magic of Motown and the many Blues Brothers tributes.

So a stage version of Roddy Doyle’s creation The Commitments – the story of an Irish soul covers band in the 1980s – has to be more than just a glorified concert.

The show has to capture the gritty atmosphere, brash attitude and rude humour of the original novel, the hit movie and Southside Dublin itself.

And – as well as presenting a setting to believe in, a story to grab us and characters to root for – it does actually have to be a glorified concert.

For however much they enjoy the narrative aspect of The Commitments, nobody will go home satisfied unless they’ve stood, danced and clapped along to a blistering set of soul classics.

Thankfully every one of those qualities is in abundance as the hit West End show comes to the Bradford Alhambra for a week.

The story is quite simple: man forms band, band learns to play, band gains success, members fall out.

Coming from the pen of Roddy Doyle, The Commitments is never a fluffy, uplifting story of local boys achieving their dreams: it’s a story by turns dramatic, funny and bleak, and just occasionally romantic.

As a musical The Commitments certainly works: it’s not a classic of the genre but it’s better than many jukebox shows and you’ll leave the theatre buzzing.

Songs like In The Midnight Hour, Mustang Sally and Reach Out are phenomenal – never performed better than by this gang of powerhouse vocalists and actor-musicians.

• Bradford Alhambra, until Saturday. Visit or call 01274 432000 to book tickets.

- David Knights