Bring Him Home Tour

All posts tagged Bring Him Home Tour

Last week we saw the first of our two new entrants to the top ten in the 2017 Best Alfie Boe Song poll and this week sees our second new entrant; funnily enough, both newbie songs are from the same album, Alfie:

Despite Wheels of a Dream being one of Alfie’s most performed songs, dating back to the Bring Him Home tour, it’s one of his most popular, as attested to here by the sharp intake of breath on this video when we hear the first few notes.  Fans also like the lyrics of this song, seeing as Alfie lives in America and has a wife named Sarah!

The song is taken from the 1996 musical, Ragtime which opened on Broadway in 1998 and in the West End in 2003, netting an Olivier Award for Maria Friedman in the process – Maria featured in 2016’s Ball and Boe TV show.  Here are the original Ragtime stars, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald:

Stay tuned for number 7 next week!

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Following on from last week’s installment of Alfie Boe’s Best Live Song poll 2016, we have now arrived at the half way stage, with two songs that tied for second place in 2014.

Number six in the countdown is a song that hasn’t appeared in Alfie’s set list since the Bring Him Home tour and is quite tricky to find on YouTube (although it does feature on the Alfie: Live DVD) but luckily, we have Nikki Lewis to thank for recording Jacob’s Ladder in Birmingham, 2011:

Jacob’s Ladder is a spiritual, gospel tinged song that has been recorded by a variety of artists including Bruce Springsteen and Paul Robeson – click here to see these two completely different versions of the song.

As mentioned earlier, the song that was voted in at number five is the song that tied with Jacob’s Ladder for second spot last time and of course it’s Barcelona with Laura Wright:

Laura and Alfie’s voices work so well together and the audience here clearly thought so too.  Laura tweeted a photo the next day accompanied by “giving it some welly on the high notes last night” – well, there’s plenty of high notes Laura! Although this is the only footage we have of Alfie and Laura singing this together, Alfie did appear as a guest on Katherine Jenkins’s Home Sweet Home album singing Barcelona.

Barcelona was originally written by Freddie Mercury and Mike Moran and recorded by Mercury and the Spanish soprano, Montserrat Caballe in 1987.  Memorably, it featured heavily during coverage of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  Here is the original:

As we know, Alfie is a keen Queen and Freddie Mercury fan and during his ITV Perspectives programme on Mercury, he was seen backstage before the Barcelona song saying it was “quite a big sing”.  I also seem to remember he was messing about with his hair quite a lot as well!

Alfie: Live DVD and Home Sweet Home are available here:

Alfie BHH DBD

katherine jenkins katherine jenkins

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In the countdown to Scarborough, we’ve been voting to find out  fans Favourite Alfie Boe Live Song and this seems an even more perfect time to be doing this now we know about the Together Tour. This is the second time we’ve run this poll and I’m sure there’ll be a third time – we’ll hopefully have some duets with Michael Ball in the running next year.

The top five last time around was:

Don’t Stop Me Now

Rank Strangers

You Are My Hearts Delight

Buona Sera

Jacobs Ladder / Barcelona

Will they all feature in the same order this time?  Over the next few weeks we’ll be revealing all, starting now with numbers 9 and 10.

In at number 10, we have a new entry, the James Bond Medley from Strictly in 2011.

Alfie also sang this on his Bring Him Home Tour that year and appears on the Alfie: Live DVD in which he quips “it’s not the same without the dancers, is it?”  I think Alfie’s voice is tailor made for the traditional Bond themes although perhaps it’s sacrilege to think of anyone other than Dame Shirley Bassey singing Diamonds are Forever or Goldfinger.

Number 9 is also a new entry to the top ten but like the Bond Medley, is not a new song.  Indeed, both are songs that haven’t been part of Alfie’s repertoire for a while now so it’s good to see fans have long memories.  O Sole Mio / Now or Never, however, may be popular not just to the song but the memory of that wonderful summer four years ago when everyone was looking at London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics:

O Sole Mio is a song that goes a long way back for Alfie and he has performed it many times over the years although only for a period of twelve months or so in conjunction with Now or Never.  Now or Never, of course, is a version of O Sole Mio, first recorded by Elvis and went on to be his second best selling single.  The song went on to feature (albeit in a completely different arrangement) on Alfie’s Storyteller album.

Numbers 7 and 8 in the countdown will be revealed next Monday!

Alfie: Live DVD and Storyteller album are available here:

storytellercdAlfie BHH DBD

Alfie Boe and Michael Ball: Together Tour information can be found here.

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It’s our birthday! Two years old today  – woohoo!  It’s been a fabulous year, interviewing Alfie, interviewing several of the former and current Jean Valjean actors and of course, becoming the Official Alfie Boe Fan Blog at the end of February.

To celebrate, I’ve got a new competition for you!  Up for grabs are three signed Finding Neverland playbills.  All you have to do is be a subscriber to this blog and answer the following question:

Winners will be picked on Friday 6 May – good luck!

Thank you for reading and sharing this blogging journey with me – wouldn’t be the same without you.  Thank you for all your comments, I love reading them all so keep them coming!

This is one of my favourite videos from the last twelve months, what’s yours?

We don’t get to hear that very often these days, after being a staple of Alfie’s earlier Bring Him Home tour.

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It’s polling time again!  It’s been a while since the last poll (in fact, we have to go back to last year when we voted for the second annual Best Alfie Boe Song) so we’re well overdue.  So far in our polling history we’ve found the answers to such conundrums as Alfie’s Best Look, Fans Favourite Duet, Fans Favourite Classical Video and Best Live Song but the question I’m now asking (thanks to Jan Fitzgibbons for suggesting it) is

I know, it’s a tough one!  Or then again, it might not be a tough one – you might have a firm favourite already.  It doesn’t matter if you saw all or none of the performers as we are lucky enough to have the Alfie Boe YouTube page to view all three performers (click here).

Laura Wright was of course the support act for Alfie’s first headline tour, Bring Him Home (sadly for me, before I   was a fan), Emilia Mitiku came in for the Storyteller tour and last but not least, New Zealand trio Sol3 Mio supported Alfie on the Serenata tour.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a closer look at all three acts. I do have my own favourite but I’m not going to reveal it yet!

For the purposes of this poll, we’re only looking at the main support acts for Alfie’s three headline tours of the UK so apologies to all Matt Lucas and Jason Manford fans – we’ll come back to them at a later date.

To help you decide between Laura, Emilia and Sol3 Mio, here are six videos, one each with Alfie and one by themselves (Laura’s videos show Alfie’s cheeky side and watch out for Alfie’s incidental joke at Emilia’s expense too!):

One of these videos contains one of my all time favourite Alfie songs – do you know which one?

The Storyteller and Bring Him Home tours are available on DVD:

Alfie BHH DBD

storyteller dvd

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A week on from the question How well do you know Alfie Boe? and it’s time to see how you did.

  1. Which role will Alfie shortly take over on Broadway?                                                                                                      JM Barrie in Finding Neverland
  2. Who did Alfie pick as his favourite Javert in an interview with thoughtsofjustafan last year?                            Norm Lewis and Earl Carpenter (click here for the interview)
  3. How many brothers and sisters does Alfie have and what are their names?                                                                 8: Anne, Joseph, John, Pauline, Michael, Fran, Teresa, Maria
  4. What are the names of the two alternate Rodolfo’s in Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme?                                             David Miller and Jesus Garcia
  5. What is the name of Alfie’s management company?                                                                                                  Vector
  6. Name the support acts for Alfie’s three headline tours (Bring Him Home, Storyteller and Serenata).          Laura Wright (if you relied on the tour DVD for this answer you may have got it wrong!), Emilia Mitiku and Sol3 Mio
  7. Alfie won Glyndebourne’s Christie prize – what was the role?                                                                                 Albert Herring
  8. In which opera house was Alfie’s last operatic role?                                                                                                   Coliseum (ENO)
  9. And which opera was he performing in?                                                                                                                            The Mikado
  10. What was the name of the new song that Alfie revealed at Leeds in 2015?                                                          Against the Tide

If you got 10 you’re an Alfie Boe mastermind champion

If you got 6+, you’re a strong contender

If you got 3-5, call yourself a fan?

Less than 4 and you’re probably scratching your head and saying Alfie who?

So, how did you do?  Come and tell us if you got 10 out of 10!

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If you’re reading this then you must be a fan of Alfie Boe, right?  But how well do you know the man himself?  Could he be your specialist subject on Mastermind?  If you’ve been left shouting ‘Alfie Boe’ at the TV during Pointless when the contestants didn’t have a clue, perhaps this is the quiz for you.

There’s not a prize though, just the satisfaction of scoring ten out of ten.  Good luck – answers next week.

  1. Which role will Alfie shortly take over on Broadway?
  2. Who did Alfie pick as his favourite Javert in an interview with thoughtsofjustafan last year?
  3. How many brothers and sisters does Alfie have and what are their names?
  4. What are the names of the two alternate Rodolfo’s in Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme?
  5. What is the name of Alfie’s management company?
  6. Name the support acts for Alfie’s three headline tours (Bring Him Home, Storyteller and Serenata).
  7. Alfie won Glyndebourne’s Christie prize – what was the role?
  8. In which opera house was Alfie’s last operatic role?
  9. And which opera was he performing in?
  10. What was the name of the new song that Alfie revealed at Leeds in 2015?

Answers revealed next week!  In the meantime, don’t forget to tun into BBC Radio 2 on Monday 14 March at 10pm for Alfie’s Opera Heroes!

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2015 was a phenomenal year for singer Beth Ford, with a top ten iTunes hit on her debut single, a viral YouTube video and a slot with soprano Rebecca Newman at Lichfield’s Garrick theatre.  All this and I haven’t mentioned Beth’s duet with Michael Boe for his album (with Sean Ashmore), Along the Way!  However, 2016 is only a few weeks old and looks set to be just as good as last year, as Beth has just performed with Jonathan Antoine on the Birmingham leg of his Believe tour.  Sharing the stage with Jonathan is an early highlight for Beth who said “I don’t have words to describe what was one of the best days of my life. I have been on Cloud nine ever since and I am so happy that everyone had a good time. I am grateful to Jonathan Antoine for giving me this fabulous opportunity”.

Angry Baby’s Flo Bannigan went along to the concert and reviewed it for us – thanks Flo!

Jonathan is the endearingly shy young man from Britain’s Got Talent who, along with his duet partner, Charlotte Jaconelli, shot to overnight fame at the audition stage.  Only Pudsey the dog robbed them of first place!  At that time, Jonathan was only 17 years old.  He has still only just turned 21, but despite his young age he has developed confidence that commands the stage as a solo performer. Thankfully, this isn’t at the expense of a natural personality and playfulness that infects his singing and his chat with his audience. But it was the music that we came to hear, and we were not disappointed. Jonathan is much more than a classically-trained singer. His effortless vocals move from the strength and projection required for Granada through rich, plaintive tones for romantic Italian arias, to a truly tender lullaby Hushabye Mountain and love songs sung with softness and intensity that requires truly accomplished interpretation.

Jonathan’s talent for singing is matched by his talent for choosing supporting acts and the highlight was local girl Beth Ford.  Enchanted by Beth’s pure, natural voice, which provided a gorgeous contrast to Jonathan’s rich tones throughout their duet of Come What May, there was an audible gasp from the audience when they heard that Beth is just 15 years old.

If it’s possible to feel an audience leaning in to hear and appreciate the emotion in every note, that’s the effect that Beth created through her solo Beautiful Dreamer. There is something other-worldly about Beth’s presence on stage and her hypnotic rendering of this classic song definitely left everyone wanting more.  [Luckily Beth can give you more – click here to get your free download of I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.]  Another local act, Rugby’s teenage ensemble The Strawhouse Singers ably rose to the challenge of supporting Jonathan’s powerful vocals.

Thank you for a wonderful review Flo!  Of course, like six degrees of separation, Jonathan and Beth have both appeared on the same stage as Alfie Boe – Jonathan at 2015’s Llangollen Eistedfodd and Beth memorably sang Impossible Dream with Alfie on his 2012 Bring Him Home tour.  Dare I say that Beth has gone one better than Jonathan in recording with a Boe?  As mentioned in the introduction, Beth recorded a duet version of Streets of London with Alfie’s elder brother Michael in 2015 – click here to order.

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Hushabye Mountain on the Bring Him Home tour (31 January 2012) – thanks Linda W for sharing:

I chose this song as it’s not one we hear much these days, in fact not since 2012 I believe!  Originally written for the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring Dick Van Dyke, the song has been recorded by artists such as Tony Bennett.  The version I’m showing you though, hails from Friday Night is Music Night in 2013 with a former West End Javert, Hadley Fraser:

Bring Him Home is available here:

Bring Him Home album

Alfie Live on DVD (which includes Hushabye Mountain) is also available by clicking here.

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White Christmas with Matt Lucas and the result was magic – thanks to Jayne for sharing:

The actual date was 18 December 2011 and the venue was Nottingham on the first leg of the Bring Him Home tour.  There’s a lot of banter to start with and throughout which shows the great bond Alfie and Matt have.

Like the song from the Second Day of Christmas, White Christmas has become one of our best known and loved Christmas songs after being written for a film.  Irving Berlin wrote the song for the 1942 film Holiday Inn, which is a great Christmas film and of course Bing Crosby made the song his own.  Since then, pretty much everyone has recorded or performed it – the version I’m showing you is by one of my favourite singers, Otis Redding.  His version is on the soundtrack from one of my favourite films ever, certainly my favourite Christmas film, Love Actually.  Yes, it’s unashamedly a rom com chick flick but it’s fabulous and funny.  And it’s Christmas, so soppy films are just what we want.

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