Michael Ball

All posts tagged Michael Ball

Less than a month to go until American fans get the chance to see Alfie Boe and Michael Ball live in concert for one night only! The UK’s biggest selling artists of 2016, who scored the Christmas number one album no less, are appearing at the New York City Center on May 23 for one night only – tickets are still available, albeit going fast, so click here to ensure you don’t miss out.  Introduce a friend to the music of Ball and Boe – get two tickets and you get a copy of Together thrown in!

The duo have many US fans and are thrilled to have the opportunity to perform songs from Together – who knows, they might sing something that features on the next album! Alfie in particular, has ‘test driven’ a number of songs before recording in recent years.

So why New York you might ask.  One answer might be that both Michael and Alfie have appeared on Broadway and are well known by audiences there; furthermore, their chart topping album, Together, was recorded there last year. Alfie first appeared on Broadway way back in 2002 as Rodolfo in Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme; at the time, an operatic career beckoned and was duly embarked upon for the next few years before the life changing 25th anniversary concert of Les Mis came along.  It was Les Mis that brought Alfie back to Broadway in 2015, taking over from fellow Les Mis 25th star Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean for a five month run – he handed over to John Owen-Jones who was part of the Valjean quartet at Les Mis 25.  Following on from that, Alfie went into a short stint in Finding Neverland.

Michael’s first Broadway role was in 1990 when he originated Alex in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love (he also originated the role in London).   Then came a break of fifteen years whilst concert, TV and UK based theatre work took precedence although when he did return, in 2005, it was to two productions in quick succession – the first was for New York City Opera, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience.  The role that took him back to a Broadway musical was Count Fosco in The Woman in White, again for Andrew Lloyd Webber.

For two such amazing voices, the set list for this concert could be endless, such is the variety of their repertoire but I would suggest that two songs guaranteed to make the final list are their most famous songs and ones that have been sung at almost every concert the pair have ever given: Bring Him Home and Love Changes Everything.

Bring Him Home as part of Les Mis Medley  – first night of the UK tour 2016:

Love Changes Everything:

If you’re looking to make the concert that extra bit more special, VIP meet and greet tickets are available too – click here.

thanks for reading

please share – #BallBoeTogetherNYC

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

Make it a night to remember with Alfie Boe and Michael Ball at their only US concert on May 23 2017! VIP tickets are now available from VIP Nation – you’ll meet and greet Alfie and Michael and have the opportunity for a photo as well as watch the show from rows 3 – 10.

Click here to buy

Their album Together was the top selling UK release of 2016 and went on to become the Christmas Number 1 and recently returned to the top ten of the UK chart. Together is a compilation of musical theatre and popular classics including a Les Miserables medley, Somewhere, Music of the Night, When You Wish Upon a Star, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Speak Softly Love and For Once in My Life.

Other tickets are available here.

thanks for reading and sharing

#BallBoeTogetherNYC

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

Voting has now closed in the 2017 Best Ever Alfie Boe song poll and the following playlist contains the top ten:

 

In 2016, the top ten looked like this:

1 – Love Reign O’er Me
2 – Dimming of the Day
3 – Trust
4 – Bring Him Home
5 – First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
6 – My Heart is Yours
7 – It’s Over
8 – A Living Prayer
9 – If You Go Away
10 – Forever Young

The first thing that strikes me about this year’s list is that there is only one song from Alfie’s most successful commercial album, Together – whether this has anything to do with it not being a solo album, I couldn’t say.

In contrast to previous years, Bring Him Home is now the only song to feature in every top ten, with just two more songs featuring in two top ten countdowns.  In addition to Anthem, there are two more new entries in Wheels of a Dream and In My Daughter’s Eyes.  This means that for the first time, A Living Prayer drops out of the top ten.

Last year we saw a definite move away from Alfie’s classical repertoire towards the rockier albums and 2017 continues in the same vein, albeit this time we are seeing a resurgence in the musical theatre songs.  I can definitely see the influence of Together in these choices – it seems that hearing Alfie sing a lot of musical theatre songs in recent months, as well as his appearance in Carousel has prompted more votes for this genre of music.  Trust remains the strongest album over all the polls so far, with Alfie having two tracks and one each for Bring Him Home, Classic Quadrophenia, Storyteller, Serenata, Together and La Passione.

Stay tuned for next week’s reveal of number 10 – we’ll be counting down until the beginning of the summer tour!

Thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

The anticipation for US fans is over – I’m thrilled to be able to tell you that Alfie and Michael will bring their Ball and Boe Together show to the New York City Center venue for one night only – May 23 2017! Tickets available here!

Their album Together was the top selling UK release of 2016 and went on to become the Christmas Number 1 and has recently returned to the top ten of the UK chart. Together is a compilation of musical theatre and popular classics including a Les Miserables medley, Somewhere, Music of the Night, When You Wish Upon a Star, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Speak Softly Love and For Once in My Life.

Here they are on the UK tour last year:

Buy two tickets to the show – click here – and you’ll get a copy of the album included! The album was recorded in New York last year and you might see some NYC locations in the official video!

 

thanks for reading and sharing

xx

What a fabulous start to the day!  Two more dates have been added to the summer 2017 tour for Alfie Boe and Michael Ball:

Hampton Court 23 June – click here for tickets – on sale Friday 24th Feb 10am

Greenwich Music Time Festival – 30 June – click here  for tickets – on sale Friday 24 Feb 10am

Click here to see the rest of the tour dates.

 

Enjoy!

Apparently today is Blue Monday or the most depressing day of the year so in case you’re feeling in need of cheering up, here’s the thoughtsofjustafan 2017 quiz of everything Alfie Boe!

As with previous quizzes, there are no prizes but plenty of pride to be played for – how many will you get right?  Answers will be posted next week.

Good luck…and no cheating!

  1. With which product did Alfie make his TV commercial debut in 2016?
  2. At which football team’s ground did Alfie sing the National Anthem in 2016?
  3. How many dates were there on the 2016 Together tour?
  4. Name Alfie’s three opera heroes from the Spring radio 2 show.
  5. What was special about 12th November 2016?
  6. Which actress and singer featured as a guest artist on Ball and Boe: One Night Only?
  7. Alfie will play which role in Carousel in 2017?
  8. Katherine Jenkins will play Julie Jordan; where will she sing with Alfie before that?
  9. Which song was voted the fans favourite in 2016?
  10. Which two songs featured in Alfie’s solo section of the Together tour?

Have you seen the Together tour YouTube playlist* yet?

*the first video may not play in all countries.

Check out the updated Alfie Boe gallery too – click here.

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

We have a winner!  Our new year competition was to win a Ball and Boe Together tour goodie bag and this morning the lucky winner was selected (randomly, thanks to twitter) as

Pauline Merrick!

Congratulations Pauline, please click here to send me your address details.

It’s so exciting, perhaps we should celebrate by watching Ball and Boe Together on YouTube:

And if you want to look back at some fabulous memories of Alfie over the last few years, click here to see Linda W’s gorgeous photos.

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie new straight to your inbox

plus 4 new and exclusive photos

xx

 

Happy New Year!

It’s the beginning of another exciting new year for Boe and Ball (we’re allowed to call them that on this site!!!) and to start us all off in the right mood, it’s competition time!

I have a Together tour goodie bag to give away which contains the following:

BB umbrella

BB VIP bag

BB tour lanyard

BB hardback tour programme signed by both Alfie and Michael

To win this goodie bag all you have to do is answer the following question*:

How many live dates are Alfie and Michael scheduled to perform in 2017?

Entry is now closed!

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

*all entrants must be subscribed

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.

thanks for reading and sharing 

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

you’ll get the chance to win a Together tour goodie bundle very soon

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

The 2016 Together tour has finished and the rush of anticipation for the next one has already started – anyone excited yet?  Before that, we’ve the small matter of a couple of reviews to sort out and here is the first of these and the last of our guest reviewers, Christine Firby who reviewed Sheffield for us.

December 12th and Ball & Boe were back in Sheffield giving a packed City Hall a second helping of their sensational show and me, my first experience of the joy that is the Together tour.  Having seen Alfie several times I knew what I’d be getting from him, but Michael was a mystery – this being my first time seeing him live. Turns out he was a magical mystery, a wonderful performer, warm, friendly, cheeky enough to give as good as he gets from Alfie and in possession of a voice that can more than stand it’s ground when paired with Alfie  or be stunning on its own as was shown in his show stopping rendition of Gethsemane.
From the moment the lights went down and the amazing orchestra began to play Somewhere, there was a buzz of excitement all around and when Alfie and Michael appeared the audience erupted with joy and delight.  From this exuberant start the fun and fantastic performances just kept on coming – some late arrivals coming in just after Somewhere were immediately spotted and picked out for good natured ribbing with Alfie stating ” Don’t sit down, we’re finished.” Lessons to be learnt – don’t be late to or go to the loo during an Alfie / Michael gig – you will be spotted and put in your place!
The bromance banter and hilarity continued throughout giving a wonderful contrast to the magnificent musical numbers.  A particular highlight came just as Alfie was getting on his stool to sing Wonderful World / Over the Rainbow, as he sat down the stool cushion gave a loud squeak like a whoopie cushion, Alfie gave a confused look and then proceeded to bounce up and down with his mic pointed at the seat as it produced more squeaks, he said something like “It’s the stool, not me” to which quick as a flash Michael replied ” I think it’s the curry” – so typical of these two to come down to childish toilet humour – needless to say the audience were in stitches.
As for the musical numbers – oh boy can these guys sing!!  Every number was a joy to hear and in some cases see too – the soft shoe shuffle to Stairway to Paradise and the Me and My Shadow routine were quite something to behold! From the gentle beauty of Speak Softly Love via Tell Me It’s Not True (so stunning it had me trembling) to Elvis (rocking and Vegas) and the swing of Ain’t That a Kick in the Head and Mack the Knife, there was something to appeal to everyone, and with so many amazingly beautiful performances it’s nearly impossible to pick just one favourite – so I’ve picked three.
My musical highlights are, as mentioned earlier, Michael’s show stopping rendition of Gethsemane – if anyone doubts Michael’s ability as a singer / performer they need to see this and they will change their mind – vocally and emotionally powerful to the point that Michael was visibly drained at the end this performance truly showed how talented Michael  is, especially coming as it did straight after Alfie’s tour de force performance of Love Reign O’er Me – my second musical highlight.  Powerful and emotionally charged as only Alfie can make this song whenever he performs it, this time was extra special with Alfie’s soaring vocals perfectly matched to the heartbreaking Quadrophenia video on the backdrop and Murray Gould’s outstanding guitar solo – a perfect spinetingling storm of a performance. Finally mention must be made of the Bond Medley.  Ball & Boe were made to record a Bond theme and this proves it – a stunning combination of Michael channelling his inner Shirley Bassey and Alfie’s finesse and sheer vocal skill – holding the last note of Thunderball for what seemed like forever, much to Michael’s awe and approval – judging by the smile he gave.
Needless to say there was also plenty of audience participation from the full on singalong and dancing of Keep Me in Your Heart (well done to the men in the women vs men warm up – they were rather good!) to the arm waving of Love Changes Everything and my turn as Fleece model!!! Can’t believe I was the one asked by Alfie to stand up, put my fleece on and turn around so everyone in the audience could see it and that I actually did it!!! (if anyone recorded this I’d love a copy) and of course the amazing encore of You’ll Never Walk Alone with everyone standing, joining in with full voice and phone torches twinkling in the air – a beautiful end to a beautiful, emotional and stunning evening of entertainment finished perfectly by getting a wave back from Alfie and Michael as their tour bus pulled away from the stage door and we hardy fans who had waited waved them off.
It was a spellbinding night and hopefully we will hear more musical magic from Alfie and Michael very soon as this fantastic collaboration deserves to run and run.
Thanks Christine for a fabulous review – and thanks also to all the other reviewers along the way, it’s been wonderful to get your insights.
thanks for reading and sharing
if you like what you see, why not subscribe?
all your Alfie news straight to your inbox
plus 4 exclusive photos
xx