Last night saw the first concert of Alfie Boe’s summer concerts, in Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow. Roving reporters Roberta Kappus and Annie Lloyd were there for thoughtsofjustafan:
Glasgow was simply everything anyone could have hoped for – two hours and fifteen minutes of Alfie’s musical talent, backed by an incredible band (there was no support act). There was no intermission and it was pure Alfie, covering what could be described as his greatest hits and more. It was musical heaven and as it was Alfie’s first UK solo performance since Leeds in 2015, to say it was well worth the wait would be an understatement.
Last night we were once again treated to Alfie’s amazing talent as he began with swing from his upcoming album. We then journeyed through Serenata, both Together albums and concerts, Trust and Classic Quadrophenia. He saved the best till last with a mix of country and rock and never before heard material from Alfie. He was back on the guitar for Wagon Wheel, an amazing Glen Campbell medley and an Islands in the Stream duet with one of the female singers. Alfie has an amazing ability to sing a previously recorded song heard many times before and place his own mark on it. Once Alfie has sung it the song is never the same again.
The addition of Tommy after Quad was a fantastic surprise and a massive crowd pleaser; he really hit his stride from this point, loosening up and clearly enjoying playing the music he loves alongside fantastic musicians who out played any orchestra.
Yes he did sing Bring Him Home, to a standing ovation, but not before teasing the audience that he was going to sing from Les Mis, instead launching into You’ll Be Back from Hamilton, accompanied with stories of his time on Broadway.
A fantastic night that can only be even bigger and better in Fleetwood.
Another fabulous review from two star reporters – roll on Fleetwood!
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Last Night of the Proms is a British Institution and more recently, that has included Proms in the Park. The finale of the Last Night is always the patriotic fervour of Rule Britannia, Pomp and Circumstance et al and is guaranteed to get the crowd singing along enthusiastically (depending on whether we know the words!). This repertoire will have been bread and butter to Alfie as an aspiring and jobbing operatic tenor so he would have no trouble in remembering the words!
I have fairly often watched the second half of Last Night of the Proms on TV throughout my life and enjoyed it but never thought to attend Proms in the Park despite living just down the road from the London venue. All that changed in 2012 when I first fell into the world of Alfie Boe and got a ticket to see Alfie at the London Proms in the Park. I had met the ever lovely Linda W (not forgetting Alfie!) the week before at the Bluewater book signing and spent a delightful day with her in Hyde Park before the music started.
Since then, Alfie has appeared twice more at Proms in the Park (Glasgow and Belfast) and a furious evening of TV channel hopping and online surfing has duly commenced for me and every other UK fan sitting at home; I well remember the fury expressed when the BBC cut Alfie off in 2014 and then failed to show much of his set in the highlights!
Going further back, Alfie’s first recorded Proms in the Park was Swansea and of course, he appeared with Michael Ball in the Proms proper in 2008. Hopefully, Alfie will appear in many more Proms in the Park’s in years to come – until then we’ll have to content ourselves with his past performances, now in a playlist:
My favourite videos from this list are the bookend performances: Swansea and Belfast. I adore Alfie’s operatic performances, particularly Brindisi so it was wonderful to hear La Donna e Mobile in Belfast last year whilst also hearing the beauty of Serenata. I suppose it depends on where you stand in the classical Alfie vs. rock Alfie discussion as to which your favourite is – but do leave a comment and tell me.
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