CarFest

All posts tagged CarFest

Ball and Boe were back together this weekend at Carfest South, first time for Michael but a return for Alfie – he last played this festival for Children in Need in 2013.  Regular reviewer Claire Shorter was there for us, as well as fellow fan Caroline Old:

Do you think they will like us? That is the question Michael asked Chris Evans before they went on stage……fast forward to the end of their set and the rapturous applause and cheers suggests the crowd didn’t just like the boys, they absolutely loved them. This was echoed by the number of backstage guests who flowed to the front of the stage (including Chris Evans).

Michael and Alfie’s set was after Reef and Miles Kane and before Razorlight and although their style is different to those bands, the audience was just about to find out Ball and Boe can turn their hands to any genre they choose and the set list at CarFest showed their diversity, talent, humour and all round awesomeness.

Michael and Alfie came out singing Tonight, they were beaming and appeared so happy to be back on stage together. Then it was For Once in My Life and You’ll Be Back; the way they interact during these songs is nothing but cute and Alfie also came down to the barriers for a singalong with the crowd. Next were great songs to get the audience involved – He Lives in You and You’re the Voice. For the last chorus Alfie got Chris Evans and some others on to the stage to join in and they were loving every minute.

When the Queen medley commenced, we were treated to A Kind of Magic, Radio Gaga, We Will, We Will Rock You and We are the Champions. They put so much energy into this medley and the audience were loving it as much as Ball and Boe were, on stage.  This was a high point for seven year old Dan (Caroline’s son) who said that “I loved We Will Rock You, I was on Daddy’s shoulders.”

We then heard the boys do their brilliant Les Mis medley: Bring Him Home, Empty Chairs, I Dreamed a Dream and One Day More.  We have never heard an audience sing along to Les Mis as much as they did that day and standing in a field it felt like an appropriate place to do it. The whole audience singing One Day More was incredible, a proper goosebumps moment.

Then it was time for the encore, Michael making sure Alfie had left the stage made a start with A Different Corner.  Alfie then appeared on the adjoining stage saying “Oi Bally, get off the stage…”, he then stripped down to his ‘Choose Life’ T-shirt, gave Michael his and then the party time started with a Wham medley including Freedom, I’m Your Man and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.   Chris Evans and a group backstage crew, family and friends returned to the stage having a great sing along and pulling out some cracking dance moves. Alfie was having a high kick contest with a couple of kids. It was great fun to watch them all having a blast.

Although we also love the boys performing solo this is a reminder that we need another combined tour, they are a perfect match and their talent, friendship and humour is a beautiful thing to witness. They love being on stage together and we love seeing them there.

Thanks for a fabulous review Claire, Caroline and Dan, who gets the last word: “It was so funny when Alfie told Michael to get off the stage!”

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Have you ever attended a concert and then told everyone you met about it afterwards?  Have you ever attended a concert, read a review afterwards and thought you and the reviewer must have been to a different concert?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes then this might well be the post for you.  I’m looking for guest reviewers for the Alfie Boe Michael Ball Together Tour and it could be you!

All you need to do is fill in the form to tell me about your first Alfie concert experience and which concert you would like to review*:

Don’t worry if you haven’t yet had the chance to attend one of Alfie’s concerts – fill in the form with a short review of one of his albums.

The concerts that are already covered are:

  • Bournemouth
  • London Palladium (Saturday)
  • Leeds
  • Hammersmith
  • Blackpool

If you are picked to review a concert, you will need to be able to produce a few paragraphs of text by the day after the concert – publication would be that day.  If you had taken any videos or photos, quality permitting, I would love to include those too.  Guest reviewers will be notified by the end of October.  If you need any inspiration, click here to see a guest review from Cecelia and here to see a review from Carole.  Neither of these ladies thought they would be able to write anything worth reading but I’m sure you will have enjoyed reading them as much as I did.

My first concert review on this blog was Alfie at Carfest South and one of my favourite videos from that day was:

Alfie was truly having so much fun that day – thanks Linda for sharing.

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…Jimi Hendrix’s Angel at Carfest North (thanks to Jayne for sharing):

This was one of my favourite songs from the Storyteller tour earlier that year, even though I had never come across it before.  Yet another example of Alfie introducing me to new genres of music.  Angel was written and recorded by Hendrix in the mid sixties but not recorded with a view to release until The Cry of Love was released posthumously in 1971.

For those of us who attended those Carfest gigs, it was fabulous and so refreshing to see Alfie in his rocking out element, holding the festival audience in the palm of his hand.  Hoping we get to see that side of Alfie again in the future.

Angel is available as a bonus track on the US version of Storyteller:

Storyteller US version

Just as awesome as the original, available here on The Cry of Love:

Jimi Hendrix cry of love

Fabulous additions to your Summer Playlist!

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There are two types of music, good and bad

The quote above comes from Alfie Boe who is endlessly asked about his broad musical choices and indeed, this love of and willingness to sing as many genres of music as possible, has gained him many fans.  It should be noted however, that this all encompassing approach to music has sometimes meant that critics and some fans are a little confused by Alfie’s career!  More to come of that in a later post.

Fans of Alfie know that one of his longest standing musical influences is the King himself, Elvis Presley.  In his autobiography, My Story, Alfie mentions that he first started listening to Elvis through his brother Joe who was a big fan; he remains a fan to this day, choosing Burning Love as one of his tracks on James Watt’s Radio Stoke One on One interview in November 2014. I’m particularly happy about this as it’s one of my favourite Elvis tracks – would love to hear Alfie sing this!  Are there any other Elvis songs that you would like to hear Alfie sing?  Let me know in the form below:

Back in October, I asked you what your favourite Alfie Boe singing Elvis song was and this was the list you came up with:

The first video is from Car Fest South when Alfie returned to his West London Karaoke Championship winning song Suspicious Minds to the unconfined joy of the entire crowd including Chris Evans – what a moment.  Really glad that If I Can Dream made the list as it meant I could choose one of my favourite Storyteller tour videos (showcasing the incredible talents of Seweuse and Lucy on backing vocals).  This song also gave me one of my favourite Alfie moments with my 8yo son: with my iPod on shuffle one day, Elvis singing If I Can Dream came on and 8yo asked who was singing.  When I replied Elvis, he looked totally confused and said “but why is he singing one of Alfie’s songs” – my work is complete LOL.

Would love to hear your Alfie / Elvis moments, leave me a comment!  You will all have to go a long way to better Cecelia’s Elvis moment – a few years ago (!) at the tender age of 5 she was on holiday when she met the King himself and got a kiss from him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How fantastic is that?????

I’ll leave you with Elvis and Burning Love:

Enjoy Alfie singing Elvis on the Storyteller DVD :

storyteller dvd

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Suspicious Minds at Carfest South…and it was incredible!

Cast your minds back to last summer and you’ll recall that late august threatened to be one of the wettest we’d had and standing in a field all day wasn’t looking a fabulous prospect, even to see the gorgeous Mr Boe!  Anyway, Sally and I arrived at the festival site and tramped from the car park for what seemed like forever until we found Annie sat dead centre in front of the stage.  Perfect!  Linda W, Jan and Carole soon arrived and we had a wonderful afternoon chatting and waiting for the music to start.  Linda even had time to get a photo with Murray Gould, Alfie’s guitarist, and the result is my favourite of her:

linda murray

Just before Alfie came on, the karaoke on the next stage was in full swing, and one guy sang Suspicious Minds.  He was good but Sally turned to me and said “we need the West London karaoke champion to be singing this”.  For those of you who don’t know, Alfie was crowned West London karaoke champion with his rendition of this song, many moons ago.  Alfie’s set started and it was fantastic…until the very last song which turned out to be Suspicious Minds.  Our joy was unconfined and part of the joy was watching the Carfest host, Chris Evans, marvel at the way in which Alfie worked the crowd; to say he held them in the palm of his hand is an understatement.  Here is the fabulous Linda’s video:

 

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The appearance of Seasick Steve with Alfie Boe at Carfest South 2013 was one of the highlights of the festival for many.  I admit that writing about Seasick Steve is out of my comfort zone: I only heard his name the day before his appearance!  However, despite knowing next to nothing about him, his duet with Alfie on Call the Breeze was a highlight of Alfie’s short set.  As Seasick Steve was then nominated and went on to make the short list of the favourite duet poll (click here), I faced a dilemma; what to write?  I solved this problem by researching a little, which turned out to be fairly problematic (couldn’t find an official bio anywhere) so i did what any self respecting blogger would do.  I found another bio and re-blogged!

This is from All Music:

Like T-Model Ford, Seasick Steve (aka Steve Wold) began recording his own music much later in life than other musicians. A storytelling singer reviving traditional country blues, Wold spent his childhood in California, but left home at 14. As a hobo, he travelled for several years, jumping trains and working odd jobs. After drifting around the U.S. and Europe, he finally ended up in Norway. Aside from his respectable musical background (which includes recording early Modest Mouse, appearing on BBC television, and playing with John Lee Hooker), Wold is also noted for his unusual custom-made stringed instruments. By the time he was in his sixties, he’d finally released some official material. His first solo album, Doghouse Music, out in late 2006, was performed almost entirely by Wold. Another record, Cheap, was recorded with the Swedish rhythm section the Level Devils. An amorous seven-track Valentine’s Day EP called Songs for Elisabeth (six of the cuts were culled from previous releases) arrived in 2010. With a rustic and at time almost punk-blues approach to his material, Wold increasingly merged country blues trance boogie with a street holler voice that makes Tom Waits seem like a mainstream crooner, and the best of his songs carry a hard-earned wisdom that can only come from living on the street one block over from the edge of civility. He released the stark and powerful You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks in 2011, and returned in 2013 with his sixth offering, Hubcap Music, which featured guest appearances from Jack White and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

Click here to buy Seasick Steve’s music on Amazon and don’t forget to vote in the poll!

 

WOW – what a fantastic set Alfie gave us at CarFest South! Holding the audience in the palm of his hand, Alfie and his great band gave us a very well thought out 45 minutes of glorious music. From the opener, “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” to a superb Elvis Medley (Including a stunning rendition of “Suspicious Minds”) at the end, Alfie showed the crowd what a truly amazing voice and stage presence he has.

However, the highlight of the set for me was the collaboration with Seasick Steve on JJ Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze” – Alfie was clearly in his element and having a ball.  At the beginning of the song, Alfie turned to Steve and said “this is gonna be fun” and you can see how much fun they both had in Linda Wellington’s video:

This fan at least, hopes for more collaborations between these two.

Thanks Alfie for an amazing day – and thanks to some fabulous friends who made it that extra bit special x

Great news for Alfie fans this August! If you’re in the UK or USA, August is a great time to see Alfie performing live or on TV.

UK fans can see Alfie perform live at the two BBC Radio 2 Carfest Events in aid of Children In Need. Organised by Chris Evans, the first event at Oulton Park was this weekend, with Alfie performing on Sunday evening. Thanks once again to gorgeous Linda Wellington for sharing “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”.

The second CarFest performance is on Saturday 24 August at Laverstoke Farm Park, Hampshire. Hopefully, Alfie won’t be too tired from his US trip to promote the US release of his top 10 CD “Storyteller”. US fans will also get the chance to see Alfie’s “Storyteller tour” filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in April which is showing on PBS stations throughout August as part of a pledge drive. Tickets to the 2014 tour may also be available so check your local PBS stations!

As I said, August is a great month for fans as Alfie is also doing a small, intimate gig at Joe’s Pub in NYC. Sadly for some fans but great news for Alfie – the show sold out in hours of going on sale last month.

Hope you like this blog about Alfie and his fans…hope to be back “soon” xx