Musicals

The first night of the Australian Ball and Boe tour is over and before the show moves on to Melbourne, here is Margie McKay-Lowndes’ review.  Many of you will know that Margie has three times flown to London from down under to see Alfie in concert, so it is all the more fitting that the first review of the first show is hers:

Right from the get-go our boys held the audience in the palm of their hand. Somewhere and Tonight kicked us off with For Once in My Life rounding off the lively beginning, the audience now clapping to the rhythm and singing along. It was very clear that Michael and Alfie were happy to be here in Brisbane in our beautiful Concert Hall, which was almost filled to capacity: the stalls were booked out, and about half the balcony.

All the renditions were powerful and moving; the first of many highlights was You’re the Voice. There was an audible collective gasp of surprise and pleasure from the audience, who sang out every word of this moving, powerful, unofficial Aussie national anthem. The Ball and Boe rendition is destined to makes waves across the nation, I’m sure. Into the Elvis medley, where the audience were standing, dancing, clapping and loving every moment. The boys were having a great time as well, with all the sound on point, (at least to my ears). The orchestra was a mix of UK and Aussie musicians with Murray there as well. The back-up singers delivered particularly melodious harmonies – a very warm sound.

During all of this fabulous feast of music the fans in the front (where I was blessed to be seated about 1.5 m from where they were singing all evening) were enjoying it hugely, having not only met the stars at the Meet and Greet, but also meeting each other. Most of the fans that I met were Michael Ball fans, who were happy to have ‘discovered’ Alfie as well, although I met one elderly fan who was Team Alfie through and through, and there were certainly several Alfie fans front and centre in the hall. The Meet and Greet was well organised with about 40 people lining up. We had an opportunity to have something signed, a professional photo taken, and were welcome to mill around until the whole thing was finished. I had intended to say welcome to Brisbane etc, but ended up telling them about a whole of other things they were probably not interested in!! It was so great to see Alfie again and I must say, both of them seemed to be in glowing good health.

The second half was even better than the first, if possible. They impressed with Stairway to Paradise, Me and My Shadow (hamming it up through the ‘dancing’), Luck be a Lady and New York, New York. Onto the Bond Medley: this one impressed my friend who had kindly purchased a ticket for me before discovering I had also purchased a ticket for myself – so she brought her husband and voila! they are now confirmed Alfie Fans. They just loved it. Keep me in your heart and surprisingly, Free Falling, a tribute to Tom Petty, was a highlight, as was Michael’s Gethsemane, which again brought the crowd to its feet. The fellow sitting next to me had his dream come true when Michael sang Love Changes Everything and of course, the Les Mis medley just blew everyone away. A Standing O brought them back for You’ll Never Walk Alone. Walking out of the hall, the conversations around me were very positive. Everyone seemed to be blown away and there was long queue for the CD, which sold out!

Off to wind down with my friend and her hubby over a glass of bubbles while we kept an eye on the Stage Door to see if they would make an appearance, but alas no. However, we couldn’t fault the whole evening – as the man on my other side (as well as Michael’s tweet) said – it just doesn’t get any better than this!!

Thanks so much Margie for a wonderful review.

thanks for reading – please share via the social media icons below

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos to download

xx

 

It seems ages ago now but Classic Quadrophenia in the US has finished and so has our competition to win four programmes signed by Alfie – yes, you’re right in that the original post said three, but another one came back to the UK with Annie.  Thanks so much to Roberta, Cecelia and Annie for getting Alfie to sign them and to Linda A for passing the last one from A to B.

With further ado, the winners are:

Angie Pells

Kate Devaney

Diane Lilga

Jennifer Parr

Well done ladies, please send me your address via the contact page – click here.

Alfie and Michael yesterday released a video of Maria as part of the West Side Story Medley from Together Again:

Wonder if this will be their song on Strictly this year?  No idea if they will appear but it’s a great slot for autumn album releases and they already have their dancing set up!

thanks for reading – please share via the icons below

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos to download

xx

It’s been a while since we looked at Six Sensational Songs and with so much happening in the next few months, it might be a while until we feature the series again, so let’s go into the weekend with six fantastic songs chosen by Kathryn Richards.  Kathryn has been following Alfie since first seeing him on Parkinson in 2007.

Stranger in Paradise, was chosen because it was indeed the first time Kathryn heard or saw Alfie and the song that made her fall in love.

E Lucevan E Stelle, chosen because this was the second time Kathryn saw Alfie and as he was singing opera, she thought “wow what a voice”.

God Give Me Strength, chosen because “I love this song and the video of him at the Scottish Proms was really good.”

Marechiari, chosen by Kathryn because “it always puts a smile on my face, a very catchy tune”.

Torna A Sorriento, chosen because “it transports me to Italy, a great summer song”.

Agnus Dei, chosen after Kathryn ” bought You’ll Never Walk Alone CD and the lovely haunting sound to Alfie’s voice gives me goosebumps and tears.”

I’m still astounded that fans continue to add new songs to our Six Sensational Songs playlist; of Kathryn’s six, four have not been chosen before.

If you would like to see your six songs featured, please fill in the form:

thanks for reading – please share via the buttons below

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus four exclusive photos to download

xx

With the Together Again tour coming ever closer, and the Australian tour even closer, it’s time to find out which song is really the fans favourite.  Thank you to everyone who sent in their nominations, we have six new songs added to the list.  Will last year’s winner, Run, win again?

To help you decide, here is the playlist of all the songs nominated:

Get voting – you should be able to vote multiple times!

Voting will close at the end of next week and we’ll begin counting down shortly after!

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus four exclusive Alfie photos to download

xx

What was the highlight of your TV viewing last December?  Well, mine was Ball and Boe One Night Only on ITV – and I’m willing to bet most of you, at least those in the UK, will agree with me.  It was such a success that Alfie and Michael are teaming up again this year.

Guaranteed to be one of the hottest and smartest tickets in town, Ball and Boe Back Together will see Michael & Alfie performing classic songs from the West End as well as a few very unexpected music exclusives! They’ll also be collaborating with some special guests and enjoying plenty of laughs along the way.

Here’s a look at the show from last year – can’t wait to see what they do this time around!

Good luck if you apply!

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your exclusive Alfie news straight to your inbox

including advance notice of things like this!

plus 4 exclusive Alfie photos to download

xx

As August winds to a close and Classic Quadrophenia in USA gets closer (less than a week!), it’s time for another look at your favourite Alfie Boe songs.  This week it’s the turn of Helen Linden, who first heard Alfie sing in 2010 at the Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert. Helen says “I’d never even heard of Alfie Boe up to this point – it was my then sixteen year old daughter who persuaded me to go with her to see Marius as she was a massive Nick Jonas fan.  That’s when I discovered Alfie and have been a fan ever since.

These are Helen’s six sensational songs:

Caruso, chosen “because I love the tone of Alfie’s voice for this dramatic song. It’s a powerful melody and how Alfie manages to fit in all the words, I’ll never know! It was a favourite of my Dad’s when Pavarotti used to sing it but I think Alfie does it better.”

Chitarra Romana, added to Helen’s list of favourites when Alfie performed it at the MEN arena in Manchester. It was just a joy to hear Alfie singing this upbeat song on the sofa with Murray and the rest of the band.

The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face, chosen because it’s one of Helen’s favourite songs and “when I heard Alfie singing the first line….followed by ‘I was sick’, I just roared with laughter. It took Alfie a while to get back ‘n the zone’ but love how he doesn’t take himself too seriously.”  I couldn’t find that particular video so I included another where he was clearly enjoying himself with a laugh.

Volare, chosen because “I just love this song and Alfie’s interaction with the audience during this one. I even brought Castanets to play during one of the shows!”

Love Reign O’er Me, from Classic Quad.  As Helen says, “not an easy song to sing but Alfie just nails it. And that last note. Well, what can I say?”  Having written about this song for to years now, I agree that there aren’t enough superlatives to do justice to Alfie’s voice on this song and indeed the whole album.

The song that started it all for Helen: “I first heard Alfie sing this back in 2010 at the O2 for the Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert. I’d never even heard of Alfie Boe up to this point.  But I was hooked, just like so many others after hearing Alfie Bring Him Home. It’s my favourite favourite Alfie song and I never get tired of hearing him sing it.”

Love Reign O’er Me and Bring Him Home now tie with A Living Prayer as the most chosen songs for your choice of Alfie Boe’s Six Sensational Songs and nice to see three new songs in this series.  Thanks Helen for sharing your songs with us.  If you would like to share your six sensational songs with us, please fill in the form:

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive Alfie photos

xx

Over half way through the year and as time counts down to Alfie’s upcoming appearances with Pete Townshend and Billy Idol in Classic Quadrophenia across the pond, we turn to an American fan, Nancy Webb for her choice of six favourite Alfie Boe songs.  I first met Nancy on the Serenata tour of 2014 when she and some fellow US fans joined us for a memorable train ride to Cardiff for the last night of that tour.  Two near misses with missing passengers (both going and returning!) and lots and lots of chat and giggles accompanied by my mum’s mince pies frame the memories of that wonderful trip.  Let’s look at Nancy’s choices:

Nessun Dorma, in Matt Lucas’s kitchen.  Nancy says “This was the first song that came up on Google after I saw Alfie in the 25th Anniversary concert. Alfie’s power stunned me again but the humour and gentle humanity of the man won my heart.”

Addio Sogni Di Gloria.  Nancy says “What can I say. I just love it! Alfie could blow the roof off a building when he sings this one. I voted for it as my favourite of the year in the last contest.”  It was a very worthy winner in 2016!

Stranger in Paradise, Parkinson – Nancy says “Another stunner! He was so young, so handsome and so amazing. Several people have said over the years that this was the performance that made them fans (pre Les Mis days). I already loved his voice, but this made me sit up and pat myself on the back for having excellent taste. He is just great here.”

Amazing Grace (starts 14m 21).  Nancy says the song is”a personal favourite since I was a teenager, but no one had ever sung it the way I wanted to hear it…missing notes, straining to hit the highs, flat etc. When I saw the old video of Alfie fronting for the Fron Male Voice Choir and he started to sing this, I actually had tears in my eyes. No problem hitting the high notes and then going higher….just beautiful. Not to be morbid, but I have asked my daughter to play this at my funeral (many years from now, of course)”.

Rank Stranger – Nancy says “I can not get over the absolute silence in the auditoriums/arenas when he sings this…not a cough or a shuffle, hardly a breath. When he finishes, there is a second more of silence as people come back to earth and then the applause. It is just wonderful!”

Agnus Dei – Nancy says “the crystal clarity/purity of this song makes me catch my breath every time I play it. I have it on his You’ll Never Walk Alone compilation, but did not find out where he recorded it originally until much later. That CD, Eternal Light: A Requiem, is so very beautiful, and Alfie could make an angel cry with happiness.

Thanks Nancy for letting us share your six sensational songs – the thing I love most about this series is enjoying songs and videos from the past, it’s been a while since I saw the one from the days when Alfie supported the Fron Male Voice Choir.

If you would to share your favourite Alfie songs with us, fill in the form!

 

The latest in our series of Alfie Boe sensational songs comes from Lee Kelly.  Lee first became aware of Alfie shortly after the 25th anniversary Les Mis concert and was spellbound.  She’s since been lucky enough to see him live a few times and met him in New York on 28 February last year. In her words, she was a “quivering wreck”! These are Lee’s choices:

Trust, chosen simply because Lee loves the album.

Wayfaring Stranger – love the fun Alfie’s having in this video!  Lee chose this song because of the “haunting words”.

Tell Me It’s Not True, chosen as “Blood Brothers is my husband’s favourite musical and hearing Alfie sing Tell Me It’s Not True is wonderful”,

Run – Lee chose this as she has “always liked this song and Alfie takes it to another level”.

Bring Him Home, chosen as Lee says “Alfie makes every hair stand on end every time I hear him sing this” – I think we all agree!

Rank Stranger

Thanks for sharing your favourite songs with us Lee.

If you would like to share your favourite Alfie songs with us, please fill in the form!

The summer tour is over but no need to cry because we are in the rather unusual position of having lots to look forward to!  Performances in three countries, a new album, we’re in danger of being rather spoilt in the latter half of 2017.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at six more sensational songs, this time from Karen Rogers.  I first met Karen, very briefly, at a Storyteller album signing in London’s Oxford Street and since then we have run into each other at several concerts, culminating in a memorable evening in Bournemouth last year.  Ball and Boe were the warm up act for an absolutely hilarious evening with our Boe Buddies – how many Alfie Boe fans can you get into a single hotel room was the name of the game!  Here are Karen’s six songs:

A Living Prayer, which appears in this series for the fourth time now.  Karen says “I’m not religious in any shape or form but absolutely love this song. The words, even as a non believer are so very beautiful. The video that accompanies the song is lovely too and adds to the emotion.”

Bring Him Home at the 25th anniversary concert.  Karen says that she chose it because “as Alfie’s signature song how could I not include it? However the reason I chose it was because of the memories it evokes. I never thought I would get to see Alfie, live, in Les Miserables but when he announced he would be reprising the role in New York I knew I had to get there. I went with the lovely Carole Hunt and we saw him 4 times. Each time was as special as the first. The picture in my head of him sat at the barricade with Marius at his side asleep as he sings it brings tears to my mind every time. Very special times.”  We don’t have footage of his stage appearances so I chose this video as the next best thing.

Doctor Jimmy, from Classic Quadrophenia – what a fabulous evening that was.  Karen says “I absolutely love this song for the totally shallow reason that Alfie says the f’ word!!! I know its awful to admit but I do. The raw emotion as he swears is amazing. As the wife of a Who fan who was totally bowled over by Alfie’s performance at the RAH I cannot put into words how special it all was.”

Run – Karen’s choice because “it’s a fabulous song with wonderful words but given the Alfie Boe treatment becomes an all time great anthem.”

It’s Only Love – another song that gets me up and dancing every time!  Karen chose it as she “absolutely adored Alfie on the Storyteller Tour. It is as a Rock God that I adore him the most.His performance of the song as he charged from side of the stage to the other, jumping on the speakers in those tight jeans was sublime.”

O Sole Mio / Now or Never at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  Karen says “again it shows his versatility as he goes from classic to rock and roll. The highlight for me of the Queens Jubilee. Rocking out in his tight black jeans (I do love him in tight jeans!) and lovely black shirt. Doing what no one expected him to do and bringing the house down in the process. Fantastic!”

Thanks Karen for six very different choices – I love seeing the songs people choose and the reasons why.

thanks for reading
if you like what you see, hit the sharing buttons below and spread the word about Alfie
and if you want all your Alfie news straight to your inbox
plus 4 exclusive photos
just enter your name and email address on the right to subscribe
xx

 

Come What May with Sophie Evans at Llangollen:

Two years ago, Alfie was performing at several festivals, much as he has just done with Michael Ball, and Come What May was again part of his repertoire, albeit usually as a solo.  In Llangollen though, the song was performed as a duet with Sophie Evans, who was also on the bill for that event; Sophie had also appeared with Alfie at Singleton Park earlier a few weeks previously.

Come What May is of course from Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge, one of my favourite films of all time – who doesn’t love a film that you can sing along to, swoon over Ewan McGregor and then have a good cry at the end?  Alfie has sung this song with a variety of partners over the years, from poll winner Rebecca Newman to, at the other end of the scale, Mel C but the one that sticks in my mind the most is Laura Wright from the Bring Him Home tour:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who loved Alfie and Laura together!

thanks for reading

 if you like what you see, hit the sharing buttons below and spread the word about Alfie

and if you want all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

just enter your name and email address on the right to subscribe