Llangollen Eistedfodd

All posts tagged Llangollen Eistedfodd

Hot on the heels of Scarborough, Alfie Boe took his short summer tour to Llangollen, opening the annual Eistedfodd.  Roberta Kappus and Annie Lloyd were there for us.

In brief, Llangollen was brilliant! It was the fifth and final summer concert and Alfie saved the best for last. We had songs from Alfie’s new album, songs from La Passione and Serenata, songs from Classic Quad, songs from the Together albums and a lot of cheering when England beat Colombia plus a few bars from We’re Coming Home.  Following the win Alfie was so elated he pronounced Llangollen the best gig ever and more than enthusiastically went into his next song, You’re The Voice, which had been interrupted by the win. Showing his ability to follow football while delivering a masterful performance Alfie did not miss one word or note,  turning on a stage monitor showing the game and then with no hesitation going right into Swing.

The set list was a partial departure from the previous four shows. Taking the audience and the ambience of the festival into consideration he enthralled all with Bring Him Home followed by seven Italian songs, primarily from La Passione and Serenata: A Vuchella featuring Pete on guitar, Parlami D’amore Mariu, Mamma, Chitarra Romana, Volare with the usual very long note, Mambo Italiano and Buona Sera. The audience was up and dancing, clapping to the music and singing along especially with Volare and Mambo Italiano. During this segment Alfie stated that he had found new ways to sing some of the songs and if we send back our old cds he would re-record them for us. Of course he got a laugh.

The second half began with the usual audience involvement in Keep Me in Your Heart. Sir Terry Waite, seated in the centre of the front row was given the honour of being singled out as the male soloist, a role he graciously accepted to cheers from all.  Tom Petty’s Wild Flowers, first sung at Scarborough remained on the list as did many of the familiar songs.  I’m One took the place of The Real Me. The show ended with a very powerful Love Reign O’er Me which received and deserved a standing ovation.  Alfie quickly followed this up by returning for the encore and asking if we wanted another Who song. The approval was thunderous with people shouting out various Who songs. Alfie went with Baba O’Riley which was greeted with massive approval. The final song was, of course, Run.

The band was outstanding. They very smoothly transitioned from New Orleans jazz as Alfie calls it to the soothing rhythms of the Italian songs to the country music to the Who. They were just brilliant. Throughout it all the audience was in complete approval of everything sung. It is interesting to note that given Llangollen’s reputation, Bring Him Home received a partial standing ovation while all were on their feet to applaud Love Reign O’er Me. There is no doubt that the audience adored Alfie right from the beginning and were with him all the way through. Alfie was obviously having a great time despite the heat. The tent was very warm and the stage even warmer. Alfie went from jacket to just shirt at the beginning of the second half to pulling his shirt out towards the end. Following the final bows Alfie appeared reluctant to leave the stage wandering around a bit before finally exiting.

Together Alfie and the Llangollen audience proved that music has no boundaries. As Alfie said “it is the same notes in different order”. An evening to be treasured and remembered.

Thank you so much Roberta and Annie – let’s hope we see this repertoire at some point in the future!

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Yesterday saw the news that Alfie Boe will return to Scarborough for Armed Forces Day on 30 June 2018 and the news today is no less exciting – Alfie’s back at Llangollen!  Alfie will appear at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod on it’s opening night, Tuesday 3 July.  Other performers at the annual event include Van Morrison, Red Priest and Calan.

Alfie is of course a firm favourite with Eisteddfod audiences, having performed several times throughout his career; here he is two years ago:

Tickets for the main concert series will be available to Festival Pass holders and Friends of the Eisteddfod from 9.30am 28 November (anyone purchasing a membership to the Friends of the Eisteddfod during the two-week priority booking period will also gain access to advance tickets) and to the general public at 9.30am on Tuesday 14th December. Click here for the festival website.

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Banish the winter blues – two new dates for Alfie Boe’s 2015 concerts have been announced this week!

Alfie will first headline the Utah Stars and Friends benefit concert on 14 March, joining other Utah based musicians such as Lexi Walker, We Are The Strike and the One Voice Children’s Choir. Click here for tickets.

Announced the same day, Alfie will return to the Llangollen Eistedfodd on 9 July.  In contrast to his previous two visits, Alfie will be singing at a dedicated musical theatre evening and will be joined by Sophie Evans (runner up in TV’s Over The Rainbow), saxophonist Amy Dickson and fellow tenor Jonathan Antoine.  Festival Director Eilir Owen Griffiths said

I’m thrilled Alfie Boe has agreed to headline what will be an absolutely fantastic evening concert. Alfie’s unforgettable West End performances as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables were critically acclaimed and rightly so.  This isn’t his first appearance at Llangollen of course and audiences have always responded to him, he is definitely a firm favourite. But this will be the first time we have had a concert which will specifically celebrate musical theatre and movie themes. It will be a wonderful night and one not to be missed.

Alfie’s previous two appearances at Llangollen could not have been more different; in black tie in 2008 to sing the Pearl Fishers duet with David Kempster and then in 2012 his appearance was in keeping with his repertoire of that summer tour – more Elvis than opera!

Tickets for Llangollen will be on sale in February so if you don’t want to miss out, don’t forget to sign up for emails.  Until then, click here for the festival website.

My next interview is with the youngest ever JVJ – and a good friend of Alfie – John Owen Jones – it will be out next week.

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