The songs are simply sensational, every note of music an absolute triumph. 

That's perhaps not surprising, given the subject matter, one of the great vocal groups of the sixties. 

Their massive hits, numbers like Under the Boardwalk, Save the Last Dance for Me and Sweets for My Sweet, are the backdrop to this new musical, which has started its UK tour in Southampton this week.

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But the story centres around the female powerhouse and force of nature who put the band at the top of the charts - and kept them there.

Carly Mercedes Dyer is spectacular as Faye Treadwell with her soaring, sensational vocals filling the auditorium. 

Unfortunately, we learn little about her back story as we meet her just as she is offered a role with the group by their manager George Treadwell. 

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She's likeable, strong and sassy from the start, uttering the great line 'I don’t answer no phone but my own' when she's concerned she will simply be a secretary.

Faye goes on to be the driving force behind The Drifters over decades, before and after the death of her husband and through a long-running legal battle with former members.

She maintains that the band is a brand 'like the Yankees' and cannot be replicated even by 'ex-players'.

There are a dizzying number of changes to the line-up, perhaps unsurprisingly as The Drifters has had more than 60 members in as many years.

The cast deal with this brilliantly, switching roles at the drop of a jazz hat. 

Daily Echo: A scene from The Drifters Girl

The second act is especially entertaining as the band tour the UK and encounter amusing accents and silly stereotypes along the way, as well as delighting the audience with a series of spectacular concerts. 

This means Faye's international estrangement from her daughter is used as a storytelling device which I didn't particularly care for. 

By the time the finale came around, everyone was on their feet giving the cast the lengthy standing ovation they so richly deserved. 

The Drifters Girl runs until Saturday. Tickets from or 023 8071 1811.