THE world’s best-selling classical violinist seemed to feel at home in the glamorous art deco surroundings on the first night of his mini-residency.

Nigel was in a playful mood from the outset, cracking jokes to a packed house who were happy to lap up his off-the-cuff comments and observations.

His Bach interpretations filled the intimate setting as he and his highly talented four-piece band produced ever more expansive and swirling sounds from their instruments.

Playing the role of an eccentric and maverick band leader he stamped his feet and yelled ‘yeah’ as though to get the most out of his violin and the musicians huddled around him.

Fittingly for a man who returned decked out in an Aston Villa shirt, the concert was very much a ‘game of two halves’ like many of the matches of his beloved club.

Luckily for the audience the quality of both remained in the breathtakingly brilliant category as the virtuoso used the Fats Waller inspired section to explore jazz elements and sounds with an eastern European flavour.

After about half-an-hour he pointed out the programme notes may as well be torn up as he’d exhausted his designated programme.

But far from bringing the curtain down on the entertainment he darted off into various different directions, leading the audience on a merry dance like a mischievous Pied Piper for a further hour.

Three standing ovations and many additional songs later he left the stage with the air of a man who had enjoyed the experience every bit as much as the audience who thanked him with rapturous applause and cheers of joy.

  • Nigel Kennedy completes his four-night residency at The Regal Cinema tonight and tomorrow.