It’s shaping up to be busy few weeks in late Spring / early Summer for Alfie Boe; as well as the cruise, and a scattering of UK concerts, he is now announced for two concerts with Boston Pops as part of their spring season.  The concerts take place on May 15 and 16, Rock the Pops with Alfie Boe and tickets go on sale on Monday 26 February, 10am EST, click here.

As we know from Classic Quadrophenia, rock music combined with a symphony orchestra produces a simply sensational sound, one that particularly suits the operatically trained tenor of Alfie.  Suggested tracks include those from Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, the Rolling Stones and Alfie’s favourites, Led Zeppelin but I’m sure there will be lots more to enjoy too!  Alfie has of course performed with Boston Pops recently, rocking Tanglewood with Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia. 

Hopefully, some of the fans Alfie gained from his Tanglewood performance will be able to return to see him again, not to mention those US fans who are super keen to see more and more of Alfie in concert.  You never know, perhaps the future will see Alfie perform at other symphonic venues across the USA?

Tickets are on sale from 10am EST 26 February – click here.

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On a wet and windy February day, what better way to cheer ourselves up with a look at six more sensational songs from Alfie Boe; this time, it’s the choices of Deanna Lintern.

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore from Storyteller.

Volare, from Serenata.

Luna Malinconia, also from Serenata and also from Newcastle.

Tell Me It’s Not True.

Buona Sera, from Serenata.

Mambo Italiano, again from Serenata – I think Deanna loves this album!

Yet again, these six songs showcase Alfie’s repertoire, with four of the six being brand new additions to the series.

If you want to share your favourite Alfie Boe songs with us, please fill in the form:

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exclusive review of second and third Japanese concerts

4 exclusive photos and a welcome message from Alfie

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Alfie Boe’s array of UK summer concerts for 2018 has just got a bit bigger – and Scottish fans will be ecstatic that today’s announcement is for Kelvingrove, Glasgow!

Alfie will perform at the Kelvingrove Bandstand on Thursday 31 May and tickets will go on general sale on Friday 16 February at 9am.  Click here for the link – good luck!

This brings the current total of summer concerts to five, with Fleetwood, Kenwood House, Scarborough and Llangollen following in June / July.  Click here for details on tickets.

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What a twelve months it’s been for Alfie Boe and Michael Ball – as if a second number one album wasn’t enough, they have now performed sell out concerts in four countries, with the three Japanese concerts taking place this last weekend at the Orb Theatre, Tokyo.  Fans jetted in from multiple continents (Cecelia, Annie and Margie amongst them) to join Ayano, Mitsuho, Akiko and many other Japanese fans.  Roberta was also there and this is her review.

On Saturday night, two amazing performers, Alfie Boe and Michael Ball, stepped out onto the stage at a sold out Orb Theatre and conquered another audience, in another city, in another country, on another continent. Alfie and Michael loved the audience and the audience loved them from the first song to the last note in the Wham medley. To many in the audience this was a dream come true – Alfie and Michael singing in their country – and to others it was a completely new experience. The camaraderie between the two was so infectious that it easily carried over to the audience. Not only did you leave the show humming or singing a song you had just heard you felt good doing so due in large part to the affection flowing back and forth between Michael and Alfie and between them and the audience. To be a part of this event was an amazing honour and one to be treasured. The audience itself was much more diverse than in the UK, tending towards a younger age range with quite a few single men. At the stage door it was interesting to see young men among others asking Alfie to sign their programs or pose for a picture. The UK, US, Germany, Korea, China and Australia were all represented by fans who flew in for the concerts proving that music transcends any language barriers there may be.

Alfie and Michael came onto the stage with an amazing exuberance going from Somewhere to Tonight as they bounded and spun across the stage. Right from the start they were encouraging the audience to clap along with the music and the audience was happy to comply throughout. To say that Alfie and Michael were pleased with the audience response is probably an understatement.  Due to the fact that the two albums had just been released in Japan the set list was primarily a mixture of songs from both. However, Run and Keep Me In Your Heart seemed to be the highlights. Being a bit of a risk taker Alfie had no problem asking the audience with the aid of the translation skills of one of the backup singers (all three local singers were excellent) to sing along with him. While the first pass at the chorus was a bit timid by the time Alfie had a lucky gentleman on stage to repeat the chorus everyone was applauding and laughing and singing loudly.

Going into Run, Alfie made his now famous leap off the stage to the audience’s surprise and amazement. It did not take anyone very long to realise what a bonus they had received. People were reaching out to touch Alfie and stepping in the aisles to hug him as he completed his circuit. Since phones are not allowed there were very few phones lit but some had glow sticks which were waved throughout the song. Another popular song was New York, New York as Michael substituted Tokyo, Tokyo for New York. The reaction was as expected. A personal favourite was You’ll Be Back. Alfie and Michael took this up a notch, actually acting the lines out with forceful hand gestures and facial expressions. It was not a song well known to the audience but with all the acting it was well received. The audience even sang along on the da, da, da lines.

The Wham songs were as well received as in the UK; instead of the pudding hat Alfie wore a baseball cap with “I ♥️ Japan” on it. and wore it through the whole song. Alfie forgot to toss Michael his tee shirt and so while Alfie was bouncing across the front of the stage Michael was going through Alfie’s parka looking for the shirt.  Once again we had audience participation in addition to the clapping and dancing and Japan’s Alfie’s Arrows sitting in the front row put on their Choose Life tee shirts. It was a wonderful addition to a great medley.

 

The orchestra was reduced in number but this had no apparent effect on the sound – the music was as full as ever. Among the five of us who had experienced a collective seventeen performances in the UK, all agreed that Tokyo surpassed those shows.

Wow – what a fab review and as there were some differences between the first and second shows, we have another review still to come! Thank you so much Roberta x

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Danny Boy in the Utah Senate and 9 February was proclaimed as Alfie Boe Day in Utah!

Danny Boy was featured on Alfie’s 2013 album, Trust and is the only version of this song that I’ll happily listen to – the version I like best is that recorded as part of the commemmoration of JFK’s assassination:

Although of course traditionally associated with Ireland, the lyrics were in fact written by an English writer!

Trust is available here:

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My 2018 new year resolution to listen to more music is into the second month and this time, I’ve chosen Led Zeppelin, recommended to me by the lovely Linda Wellington.  In fact, when I asked for recommendations, I would have been shocked had Linda not mentioned Led Zeppelin as she absolutely loves them!  Aside from Stairway to Heaven, I wasn’t really aware of much of the music of Led Zeppelin until I heard Alfie sing Rock and Roll and Kashmir – this made me listen to the originals but until now, that was as far as I got.

Linda kindly supplied the whole back catalogue for the band but especially recommended Led Zeppelin IV and Physical Graffiti as being the best albums to start with.  Led Zeppelin is a band that I would never normally listen to, having the preconceived notion that I’m not keen on that genre of music.  Now however, whilst admitting it’s still not 100% my kind of music, there is a lot to like, not least the different influences apparent over both albums.

My highlights from Led Zeppelin IV include The Battle of Evermore, with it’s eastern inspired sound and acoustic guitar and mandolin, Going to California, When the Levee Breaks and Misty Mountain Hop.  The shorter, acoustic inspired tracks appeal to me more but I really loved the blues infused Levee Breaks as well.  Rock and Roll is also a favourite, but I hope I’m forgiven if I say I like Alfie’s version better!

You can see how much I liked Led Zeppelin IV by how many highlights I picked but Physical Graffiti is also a great album.  Besides Kashmir, my favourites here are Night Flight, Down by the Seaside, The Rover and Trampled Under Foot:

Although many songs pass the get up and dance test, Night Flight, with it’s opening bars sending you headlong into the song is the best.  Some of the other songs have fabulous long intros which allow the listener to really appreciate the musical skill on show but getting straight into the main body of the song is what I liked about Night Flight.

As I mentioned earlier, my New Year resolution is to listen to more music, especially that inspired by Alfie, so I’m looking for more recommendations.  If you have any recommendations for me, fill in the form and I’ll see what I can do:

Led Zeppelin IV and Physical Graffiti are available here:

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Shawn Alexander is the latest fan to choose her six favourite Alfie Boe songs  Shawn says that she “originally learned of Alfie through Michael Ball. I’m a big fan of Michael’s – then watching the Les Mis anniversary concert I was introduced to Alfie. With living in the states and in Florida I don’t have many opportunities to see shows. When Michael and Alfie were in NY I just HAD to go – I’m a single Mom, and I don’t spend foolishly but I just had to treat myself.”

These are Shawn’s choices, chosen simply because they are her favourites.

Love Reign O’er Me from Classic Quadrophenia – Shawn saw Alfie perform this in New York and it “moved me to tears”.

Along with Shawn’s first choice, Bring Him Home is the most popular song in this series, each having been chosen six times.

Someone to Watch Over Me

Maria, from West Side Story.

It Was A Very Good Year – this song provides one of the best moments on the DVD of the Bring Him Home tour, Alfie Live!

When I Fall in Love.

Yet again, I’m taken aback by the depth of Alfie’s repertoire – four of these six songs have not been chosen before!  If you would like to see your six songs featured, please fill in the form:

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Coming to the end of January and we can start to look forward to a new Alfie year with some new shows and new music scheduled for this year.  Those going to the Japanese concerts won’t have to wait very long to see Alfie but before you know it, June will be upon us and Fleetwood, London, Scarborough and Llangollen will be blessed with many Alfie’s Arrows descending upon them. For those of you not in the know, Alfie’s Arrows was a term chosen by Alfie fans several years ago; Alfie liked it and the merchandise of the time produced Alfie’s Arrows badges.  Give me a shout if you’ve got one!

All fans would probably love to meet Alfie, even if they became somewhat tongue tied when speaking to him! If this is you, you are not alone!  One of the most exciting things for fans is to enjoy a meet and greet experience with Alfie and over the years, these have changed format, from the very informal to the ‘sign and pose’ opportunity of recent years.  Having said that, a meet and greet experience is still very special and seeing that Alfie smile just for you really does make your day, or even, dare I say, your year?!

Needless to say, apart from the actual “hello, how are you” and signing part of a meet and greet, the moment captured in a photo is the icing on the cake and a lasting memento of the day.  Here are a few fans who sent me their photos, as well as a few taken at stage doors etc:

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Thank you to everyone who sent me their photo, I just love seeing the happy faces!  If your photo is featured here, please click here to send me your meet and greet story and it might feature in a future post!

If this has whetted your appetite for your own meet and greet this year, click here to see availability at Fleetwood, Kenwood House and Scarborough.

If you would like to see your photo and story included then please fill in the form below:

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Last week, I brought you a review of Timeless, the new album from musical legend Dave Willetts and gave you the opportunity to win a copy by answering the question

Which West End show did Dave Willetts star in after Les Mis?

The answer is of course Phantom of the Opera and the lucky winner is

Bronwyn Wilson – click here to send your address

Those of you not lucky enough to win, the album is released on 2 February and is available to pre-order:

Timeless is a collection of songs that are exactly that; timeless.  Encompassing popular standards and songs from musical theatre, the album feels full of choices personal to Willetts and needless to say, they show off his vocal range and versatility to perfection.  This is a singer who through his vast acting experience, is able to convey warmth, tenderness, fun, pathos whilst also projecting enormous vocal power.

My favourite tracks are those from musical theatre, particularly I Dreamed You and This Is The Moment, from Tony Rees and Gary Young’s Jekyll and the Broadway production Jekyll and Hyde, respectively.  Willetts has worked with both shows and when I spoke to him in 2015, he was involved in writing the book for a further musical based on the Jekyll and Hyde story, The Man Inside, which has since had it’s premiere, Willetts of course taking the lead.

The majority of the other tracks are not from musicals and are such an eclectic mix that you have no option but to believe that these are personal choices.  Fun is the word that springs to mind when listening to You Took The Words Right Out and San Francisco Bay Blues – they would be great to listen to live.  Tears in Heaven and Smile allow Willetts to show his tender side while Bridge Over Troubled Water lets that rich tenor soar.  Leaving all this aside, the song I’ve taken away from this album is a duet, with Lara J West, on I Swear, a massive 1990’s hit for All4One.  As soon as you hear it, you’ll know it, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll love it.

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At the beginning of the month, indeed in my very first 2018 post, I offered fans the chance to win one of four Alfie Boe and Michael Ball Together Again goodie bags, featuring a signed programme as well as other exciting things.

The question I asked was:

Which countries did Alfie and Michael perform in, in 2017?

The answer was UK, USA and Australia (or three countries total, although those who gave England, Scotland and Wales separately were included in the correct entries).

Without further ado, the winners are:

Kathryn Richards

Ann Wickens

Valerie Fish

Elaine Roberts

Please click here to send me your postal address.

To celebrate, let’s have a look at the updated gallery (click on the image) – many thanks to Linda Wellington:

Leeds 2017

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