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And so we come to end of another tour and what a tour it was.  I’ve said it was a perfect tour and I really think it was; intimate venues interspersed with larger arenas, plenty of dates, laughs a minute, Alfie and Michael solo spots and fabulous, gorgeous vocals from both and last but not least, the chance to spend so much time with so many lovely friends and fellow fans.  One of the best nights out in a very long while, Alfie related or not, was the first Bournemouth concert and the seemingly never ending quest to get a drink afterwards – we did manage it you’ll be pleased to hear and it was really lovely to be surrounded by good friends, discussing the important things in life.  Namely, Alfie Boe and his music!

This week had Ball and Boe finishing the tour in the way in which they started: with lots of dates together.  I was lucky enough to be at the final two shows, Manchester and Blackpool, both second shows at those venues and I honestly think Alfie and Michael saved the best for last. The audiences were brilliant, lots of dancing and singing along when requested and standing ovations galore – the second half seemed to consist of us standing up and down like yoyo’s on both occasions.  In Manchester, there was a definite extra thrill knowing that the concert was being streamed live around the world, with the added bonus of catching up with tweets at the interval from Boe Buddies in Australia and USA amongst others.

Blackpool was always destined to be just that bit extra special, being the end of the tour (the third such date this time around!) and being Alfie’s home ground and so it proved to be.  The mutual admiration and friendship between Alfie and Michael that has been apparent all the way through this tour was even more to the fore for this concert and came to a head during the Bond medley, both vying to out do the other in saying “nobody does it better”, preceded by Alfie’s astonishing end note of Thunderball.  In this case, the last line became “strikes like Michael Ball – brilliant!

Two years ago at the end of the Serenata tour I mentioned that I wasn’t all that keen on Bring Him Home but Alfie’s emotional intensity simply bowled me over.  This tour has given me a new way of looking at Alfie’s signature song but it still hadn’t brought me to tears until Blackpool – the Les Mis medley in its entirety was so beautiful, the tears just came.  Although, in truth, they had been there for a while at this concert, Keep Me In Your Heart starting them off. Regular readers will be aware that this is my favourite Alfie song but the way it’s been sung on this tour doesn’t lend itself to provoking tears, rather it’s been a joyful, dancing and singing along moment before the heavy emotion and power of Love Reign O’er Me.  Blackpool however, was different.  Following a heartfelt speech from Alfie about the tour, Alfie launched into an acoustic version of the song with just MD Murray Gould accompanying to start (thanks to Linda W for sharing):

The tears came almost from the beginning and they weren’t far away in Love Reign O’er Me as well.  I don’t have any more superlatives left to describe Alfie’s performance of this song so I’ll confine myself to a comment on the backdrop of the original Quadrophenia film.  When I saw this in Hammersmith I said that it detracted from the overall effect but that may have been because I was sitting to one side and not front on to Alfie – this time I was practically dead centre to the stage and the film was the perfect accompaniment to the denouement of Alfie’s powerful vocals.

Love Changes Everything was another high spot in the Blackpool show and the tears were there the whole time, mainly because the elderly couple next to me started singing it to each other.  I had Michael’s family on the other side of me and we ended both that song and the evening overall linking our waving arms, making it even more sweet.

What will I take away from this tour?  Fabulous music and fabulous times with fabulous friends.  Thank you to everyone who came and said hello, it was lovely to meet so many readers and fellow fans.  Thank you to my guest reviewers: Carole, Roberta, Cecelia, Samantha, Heather Crosskey, Heather Moore, Barbara, Joan and Christine. Thank you also to the people who made it special: Linda A, Linda W, Karen and Richard, Pat, Sue, Carole, Jan, Rachel, Nicola, Jayne, Nikki, Janet, Cecelia, Sally, Paul and Pauline, Jo Cassidy, Roberta, Hannah, Gill, Geri, Linda Evans, Jen and Donna, Liz, Pauline H, Chelley Thompson, Carole and Eric, Annie and Mitsuko.  If I’ve missed anyone out, I’m sorry! Super special thanks to Linda A for putting up with me throughout this tour especially when I was having 2017 ticket meltdown in a Manchester hotel room (we get to do it all again next year!!!) – and for giving me one of her meet and greet tickets so I could give Alfie and Michael the tour card from fans and get this photo:

alfie-card

Super special thanks to Linda W and Annie for taking and sharing their videos of the tour too – you can find them on the Together 2016 playlist on Alfie Boe on YouTube.

Click here for info on the 2017 tour dates.

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...It’s Only Love at the Royal Albert Hall on the Storyteller tour.

I love Alfie Boe singing Elvis (and I know that lots of you feel the same) and I couldn’t help dancing around the kitchen whilst I was supposed to be writing this.  Come on, I dare you not to feel like getting up and dancing when you hear this too!

I eventually stopped dancing for long enough to write this and as I watched once or twice, or maybe even more (!) I spotted some great friends in the audience including my lovely friend, Costa Linda who I am shortly seeing for lunch.  It’s lovely Linda’s birthday on 11th April so Happy Birthday lovely!

I was privileged to attend this concert and even more privileged to meet some wonderful people who have become firm friends since I’ve been a fan of Alfie.  Here are some of them at a very cold stage door (Linda W’s, aka jellytots Linda, photo, although she’s in it so think it was Pauline’s husband Paul who actually took it!).

RAH SD

The Two Linda’s are just two of the fabulous friends I’ve made in the last few years – click here to read their Alfie stories.  It’s worth it just to find out how they got their nicknames! If you would like to feature in an Alfie’s Fan Family story, leave a comment!

Storyteller is available on DVD:

storyteller dvd

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A beautiful sunny day, not a hint of rain, just a slight breeze and the lovely seaside setting of Scarborough combined to make a fabulous evening out at the Scarborough Proms.  Not to mention the fabulous company of amazing friends…once we all found each other.  All I can say is don’t mention the trains!

This trip to Scarborough was a birthday treat for the lovely Linda W who so kindly shares her videos and photos with us when she can and although we weren’t entirely sure where we were sitting, we were absolutely certain we weren’t at the back.  Suffice to say when we climbed the seemingly endless steps we were in the very back row!  However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it meant we could dance about to our heart’s content without getting in anyone’s way whilst also having a fabulous view – lesson learnt that being at the back can sometimes be a good thing, depending on the venue.  There’s a lake in between the stage and the seating area at this venue so being at the front doesn’t necessarily mean being closer to the performers either.

Being a Prom concert, and Armed Forces Day to boot, the evening had a different feel and set list to other shows in this mini UK tour, starting off with some beautiful harmonies from the Military Wives Choir of York.  The National Symphony Orchestra then performed a medley of Les Mis songs before Alfie first appeared to sing Bring Him Home, the first time I can remember hearing this staple at the beginning of a concert.  As usual, it went down a storm.  The musical theatre section then went into Come What May with Alfie duetting with London based American soprano, Angel Blue.  Alfie probably thought he was suffering deja vu from Swansea when Angel first started singing as her microphone failed!  Angel performed several songs throughout the evening including Mio Babbino Caro and Summertime before returning for the finale of  Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory.  She was absolutely superb with her acting fully complimenting her voice.

The repertoire that Alfie has been singing most recently was curtailed slightly due to this being a Prom concert but he still fitted in Mambo Italiano, Keep Me In Your Heart (which featured a men vs. women singing match – women won due to overwhelming numbers!), Volare (or oh Scarborough) Marechiari, Run and of course Quadrophenia.  The orchestra was bigger for this concert and they contributed magnificently to the epic sound needed for Classic Quadrophenia.  Alfie’s last note on Love Reign O’er Me was spectacular – it will be a long week until the world premiere of this next Sunday.

The evening was rounded off by the traditional Prom sound of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance with Alfie, Angel Blue and the Military Wives Choir singing Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia – all accompanied by ferocious flag waving and singing.  My first Alfie concert was Last Night of the Proms in Hyde Park in 2012 and I was there with lovely Linda W so it was doubly nice to be there with her again,  Here is her video of Jerusalem:

Lovely weekend with amazing friends The Two Linda’s, Jan, Carole, Pat, Janet, Paul and Janet, Nikki, Marie, Annie and Pauline.  We also discovered that every single person staying in our (small hotel) was there for the concert and we made some new Alfie friends in the bar afterwards – hello Roger and Barbara and the two from Leeds whose names I don’t know, sorry!

Speaking of names I don’t know – lovely Carole has told me the new guitarist is Al Cherry – and we have seen him before as he was with Emilia Mitiku on the Storyteller tour! No need to keep calling him “the other one” out of Murray Gould, Richard Causon, John Tonks and Dan McKinna!

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