Michael Ball

All posts tagged Michael Ball

Fantastic news for all those Alfie Boe and Michael Ball fans who want to get their Together Again album signed in person – the pair have just released a string of album signings.

All signings are on release day, 27 October and as this is a world record attempt, timings are expected to be strict – or we’ll end up in Oxford Street at midnight!  For the same reason, photos with Alfie and Michael might not be possible.  As with anything, it’s better to be early!

If you want to make history with Alfie and Michael, get down to Blackpool, Manchester Arndale, Sheffield Meadowhall, Nottingham or London Oxford St on 27 October – hope to see lots of you in Oxford St!

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The first night of the Australian Ball and Boe tour is over and before the show moves on to Melbourne, here is Margie McKay-Lowndes’ review.  Many of you will know that Margie has three times flown to London from down under to see Alfie in concert, so it is all the more fitting that the first review of the first show is hers:

Right from the get-go our boys held the audience in the palm of their hand. Somewhere and Tonight kicked us off with For Once in My Life rounding off the lively beginning, the audience now clapping to the rhythm and singing along. It was very clear that Michael and Alfie were happy to be here in Brisbane in our beautiful Concert Hall, which was almost filled to capacity: the stalls were booked out, and about half the balcony.

All the renditions were powerful and moving; the first of many highlights was You’re the Voice. There was an audible collective gasp of surprise and pleasure from the audience, who sang out every word of this moving, powerful, unofficial Aussie national anthem. The Ball and Boe rendition is destined to makes waves across the nation, I’m sure. Into the Elvis medley, where the audience were standing, dancing, clapping and loving every moment. The boys were having a great time as well, with all the sound on point, (at least to my ears). The orchestra was a mix of UK and Aussie musicians with Murray there as well. The back-up singers delivered particularly melodious harmonies – a very warm sound.

During all of this fabulous feast of music the fans in the front (where I was blessed to be seated about 1.5 m from where they were singing all evening) were enjoying it hugely, having not only met the stars at the Meet and Greet, but also meeting each other. Most of the fans that I met were Michael Ball fans, who were happy to have ‘discovered’ Alfie as well, although I met one elderly fan who was Team Alfie through and through, and there were certainly several Alfie fans front and centre in the hall. The Meet and Greet was well organised with about 40 people lining up. We had an opportunity to have something signed, a professional photo taken, and were welcome to mill around until the whole thing was finished. I had intended to say welcome to Brisbane etc, but ended up telling them about a whole of other things they were probably not interested in!! It was so great to see Alfie again and I must say, both of them seemed to be in glowing good health.

The second half was even better than the first, if possible. They impressed with Stairway to Paradise, Me and My Shadow (hamming it up through the ‘dancing’), Luck be a Lady and New York, New York. Onto the Bond Medley: this one impressed my friend who had kindly purchased a ticket for me before discovering I had also purchased a ticket for myself – so she brought her husband and voila! they are now confirmed Alfie Fans. They just loved it. Keep me in your heart and surprisingly, Free Falling, a tribute to Tom Petty, was a highlight, as was Michael’s Gethsemane, which again brought the crowd to its feet. The fellow sitting next to me had his dream come true when Michael sang Love Changes Everything and of course, the Les Mis medley just blew everyone away. A Standing O brought them back for You’ll Never Walk Alone. Walking out of the hall, the conversations around me were very positive. Everyone seemed to be blown away and there was long queue for the CD, which sold out!

Off to wind down with my friend and her hubby over a glass of bubbles while we kept an eye on the Stage Door to see if they would make an appearance, but alas no. However, we couldn’t fault the whole evening – as the man on my other side (as well as Michael’s tweet) said – it just doesn’t get any better than this!!

Thanks so much Margie for a wonderful review.

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It seems ages ago now but Classic Quadrophenia in the US has finished and so has our competition to win four programmes signed by Alfie – yes, you’re right in that the original post said three, but another one came back to the UK with Annie.  Thanks so much to Roberta, Cecelia and Annie for getting Alfie to sign them and to Linda A for passing the last one from A to B.

With further ado, the winners are:

Angie Pells

Kate Devaney

Diane Lilga

Jennifer Parr

Well done ladies, please send me your address via the contact page – click here.

Alfie and Michael yesterday released a video of Maria as part of the West Side Story Medley from Together Again:

Wonder if this will be their song on Strictly this year?  No idea if they will appear but it’s a great slot for autumn album releases and they already have their dancing set up!

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What was the highlight of your TV viewing last December?  Well, mine was Ball and Boe One Night Only on ITV – and I’m willing to bet most of you, at least those in the UK, will agree with me.  It was such a success that Alfie and Michael are teaming up again this year.

Guaranteed to be one of the hottest and smartest tickets in town, Ball and Boe Back Together will see Michael & Alfie performing classic songs from the West End as well as a few very unexpected music exclusives! They’ll also be collaborating with some special guests and enjoying plenty of laughs along the way.

Here’s a look at the show from last year – can’t wait to see what they do this time around!

Good luck if you apply!

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We may only be in September but the countdown to Alfie Boe and Michael Ball starts here!  Alfie has Classic Quad and the pair go to Australia in a month, not to mention the promotion of the album but Ball and Boe Together 2017 starts in three months!

To while away the time before then, let’s go back to a good old poll – this time to decide on the 2017 fans favourite live song from Alfie.  Nominations are now closed.

Here are last year’s choices to help you choose (they aren’t in the right order):

Voting will commence in two weeks and number ten will be revealed the week after after that.

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Alfie Boe and Michael Ball are certainly enjoying a period of unalloyed success with Together.  Fresh from a short summer tour, preceded by a sellout winter tour in 2016 and the platinum success of the album of the same name, Ball and Boe will take the show to Australia in October:

QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane – 5 October

Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne – 7 October

State Theatre, Sydney – 11 October

AEC Theatre, Adelaide – 14 October

Crown Theatre, Perth – 16 October

 

General tickets go on sale Friday 7 July  – click here.  Meet and greet opportunities will be available as well so this is your chance to get up close and personal!

 

Alfie Boe and Michael Ball last night bid farewell to their very own summer of love at the first night of the 2017 Greenwich Music Festival and as with the other dates, held the audience in the palms of their hands.  The title of this piece is Summer of Love and it’s been a joy to see so much love surrounding this tour of outdoor venues; love for Alfie and Michael from fans and on social media, love from Alfie and Michael for the fans and also the almost epic scale bromance between the two. This may be the first show of this tour that I’ve seen but I’m sure that Alfie and Michael have not missed any opportunity to spread the love and gratitude to fans and each other for the absolutely fantastic year they’ve had.

Although Greenwich was my only show of this tour, I’m so glad that I was able to be there for the last one – last nights are very special and I wasn’t disappointed.  How could I be when my favourite song, Keep Me In Your Heart (come on, you know my favourite line by now!) was included, along with last year’s Best Alfie Boe Live Song, Run.  Of the rest of the changes, I was most impressed by Luck Be A Lady (from one of my favourite old style musicals) and of course the addition of One Day More to the end of the Les Mis medley – just when you think Alfie can’t get any better, he does.  At this rate, I’ll need to research lots more superlatives with which to describe Alfie’s voice – for now, I’ll just say that for me, he was perfection last night.

The song that surprised me the most was the encore of You’ll Never Walk Alone which I have never really felt an emotional connection to.  Last night though, the theme of unity and standing strong through adversity spoke to me and the tears came.  Michael had earlier spoken very movingly about the troubled times we find ourselves in and it strikes me that You’ll Never Walk Alone is the perfect song to reflect our unity and strength – none of us have perfect lives, after all, despite what we say on social media!

Earlier in the day, Alfie and Michael had presented an award at the 02 Silver Clefs in aid of Nordoff Robbins and Alfie, an ambassador for the charity, spoke a few words during his solo slot about their work – click here to find out more about music therapy from Nordoff Robbins.

Now if all this sounds somewhat sombre, the concert did contain the usual amount of humour from these two likely lads, as can be seen from the beginning of A Thousand Years – rear of the year anyone?

Alfie and Michael’s Summer of Love may be over for the time being but it won’t be long until we see them again for Together Again 2017 and before that, Alfie will of course be seen as Jimmy in Classic Quadrophenia (click here for tickets).  Until then, we’ll have to be content to send the boys all our love – we’ve loved these two weeks!

Special thanks to Linda Wellington for taking such fabulous videos for us all to share and to my two reviewers, Cecelia and Barbara.  And I must give a special mention to the Boe Buddies I had the good fortune to spend the Greenwich concert with, particularly Margie who is here from Australia via Paris.

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Tonight is the last concert of the 2017 Together Tour but before we get to that, Alfie and Michael performed at Scarborough in what a local newspaper called biblical conditions – it was very wet!  One of our previous reviewers, Barbara Wren was there:

Singing and dancing in the rain, Alfie and Michael just got on with it and wow, what a concert and evening it was. For me Alfie could sing the phone book and I would be happy, so sitting in the rain was not a problem and clearly I was far from on my own ( I do have to add that there is no one else I would do it for). Bonded together by our love of Alfie and Michael the evening was far from lost and everyone I spoke to absolutely loved the concert, though without doubt one that everyone will never forget.

From the beginning, true professionals Alfie and Michael appeared at the top of the stage at the end of Somewhere with huge smiles and made fun of the driving rain and wind coming at them as they approached the front of the stage. The concert was off to a fabulous start. As the driving rain increased many of the song lyrics took on a whole new meaning. Clearly wishing there was sunshine Over the Rainbow  and Tell Me It’s Not True to name two. Alfie certainly warmed things up with That’s Alright Mama and as the Elvis set ended I have no doubt there would be towels at the ready and warm drinks as they left the stage for the interval.

Seated back for the second half after meeting up with Annie Lloyd and Pat Watterson we chatted with water dripping everywhere. The audience were buzzing, some had left but not many, everyone in the front sections were well up for it which was testimony of their loyalty to Alfie and Michael and respect for all the artists on stage who just got on with it.  The swing set was fabulous, as the guys looked out at the rain which was getting heavier and sang (also giggling) about the Stairway to Paradise, and cuddled up to keep warm through Me and my Shadow  then letting rip with Luck be a Lady  and New York, New York  to the delight of the audience.

Alfie and Michael’s solo slots took some guts as the rain, now very much heavier was driving towards the stage.  Alfie ditched his jacket and gave all he had, working at the front of the stage in the pouring rain as he got the audience to participate in Keep Me in Your Heart which was fabulous, and then leaving us breathless with Run, a song I truly believe, Nobody Does it Better than Alfie.  As Alfie retreated to dry off, Michael took over with his always wonderful, sincere and powerful delivery of Gethsemane and Love Changes Everything, to the audience’s delight. The James Bond Set bringing the concert to an end as always was spectacular.

On behalf of all the fans and everyone who attended last nights concert I would like to thank Alfie, Michael, the orchestra, backing singers and the whole crew for pulling off a brilliant concert in such desperate conditions. It was a wonderful evening despite the monsoon engulfing Scarborough.

 

Thank you Barbara for a wonderful review – although this might be one of the rare occasions when I’m not sure I wanted to be there in the rain and wind!

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Alfie Boe and Michael Ball’s Together Again summer tour is now into it’s final few days and we haven’t had a review yet!  Thanks to Cecelia, here is her take on Hampton Court:

Having spent a glorious day at Hampton Court that culminated in an Alfie concert two years ago with my daughter Cassie, when this venue appeared on the Together Again summer schedule it was inevitable that we return. Well, whoever said you should never try to repeat a great experience was dead wrong! Of course, it wasn’t quite the same as this year Alfie was joined by the other half of his double act, Michael Ball. While I’m looking forward to these two doing some work independently, I have a feeling this act could run and run. They truly have become the musical version of Ant and Dec — and not just because of the facial similarities between Alfie and Dec. We all knew their singing was fabulous, but what about their comic timing? It just gets better and better.

Cassie and I arrived early in the day to meet up with pals and explore this beautiful palace once again. Funnily though, we ended up spending a fair bit of time in the gift shop — where a certain New Yorker had positioned herself in prime position to catch the sound check. Then later, fully sated from our picnic on the front lawn, we strolled into the courtyard (champagne glass in hand) with just enough time to greet some familiar faces before we had to take our seats.

What a magnificent setting this is for a concert. You can’t help but feel the history surrounding you and wonder what events took place in the concert courtyard over the centuries. I’ll bet it wasn’t all singing and dancing – although Henry VIII is reputed to have loved both! There were several times when the atmosphere combined with the music literally gave me chills. One such moment was during Anthem. Love it or loathe it for its nationalistic content, this is a hugely powerful number, and to listen to it in a place where kings and queens have plotted for power was extraordinary. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if some of the palace ghosts had appeared. Surely Alfie’s voice soaring out into the night air could have reached them anywhere.

These palace concerts have no interval, so our boys just powered through the set list so as not to miss out any of the numbers. For them, I’m really glad that the temperature had dropped since the beginning of the week. I might add though that when Michael listed the reasons why he should hate his good buddy, he added the fact that Alfie doesn’t sweat. How that’s possible I don’t know! The man is a perpetual motion machine, and all that running and jumping and rocking and jiving is sure fun to watch. Michael, God love him, sweats enough for the both of them.  I’m sure you’re all aware by now that the set list pretty much follows that of the New York concert. Luck Be a Lady got everyone on their feet, and they stayed there all through New York, New York too.  As far as the boys keeping their eyes on the crowd, of course someone had to be caught out. In the middle of Keep Me in Your Heart as Alfie was dividing the “sha la la las” between the men and the women, he spotted a man walking and called him up to the stage. The guy did so very good naturedly, so Alfie didn’t torment him too much. Just a note or two, before all the men were asked to join in. Another funny moment occurred early on. Before the concert started, the wind had picked up on the front lawn. In the courtyard, we were quite sheltered and didn’t feel it as much. But, the stage, of course, was raised, and a gust of wind caught a violinist’s sheet music and sent it flying. Alfie, who was on that side of the stage, spotted it and ran and picked it up. Handing it back to the violinist, he quipped, “Is there anything else I can do for you mate? Would you like me to play for you too?” He then jokingly took the man’s violin and raised it to his shoulder for a moment before giving it back. Of course, the man laughed along with Alfie who patted him on the arm before continuing the concert. What always astounds me, is how both Alfie and Michael can go from giggling and bantering one minute to immersing themselves totally into a song. You can see the intensity on their faces and the fact that they have gone somewhere inside themselves. And then they’re back again for more banter and fun with each other and the crowd.

Now as for the singing itself, I can only say it was sublime. One of my highlights throughout this tour has been Michael’s Gethsemane, which we got to hear twice because he sang it for the sound check! The intensity of his performance is lightened by his banter and switch to Love Changes Everything. But on this night the song was particularly poignant as he made a point of commenting that he truly does believe this, and that we should remember it in light of the tragedies which have befallen our country over the last few weeks. As far as Alfie’s solos, I think we all thought we’d have no chance of hearing Run when he started singing Keep Me in Your Heart. But we were so wrong! For many of us I think it was the highlight of the evening. Powerful, raw, emotional, there aren’t enough words to express this performance. People lit up the darkness with their phones to add to the atmosphere. It was a truly magical moment, and I am so very grateful that I was there to hear it sung live.

And then, of course, there was the Les Mis Suite. The first time I heard this with One Day More added I wasn’t sure I liked it. It felt as though the latter had just been cobbled on. Not so any more. When Alfie’s voice soars into One Day More on the tail end of I Dreamed a Dream, it all works seamlessly. Listening to my favourite Marius and JVJ (albeit from different decades) together is the perfect finale for the show – especially when you know that encore is coming! Isn’t it amazing how both Alfie and Michael’s careers are so linked to Les Mis?

As a final note, I do think Together is the perfect name for this tour, and it can be again and again. These two extraordinary men have brought us all together. We sat next to a Michael Ball fan, who’d been Boed in the process. And I think that we die-hard Alfie fans have fallen under Michael’s spell too. You can’t help but smile when these two are “together”. In the process, more friendships have been made. I have a feeling Henry VIII would have loved these two at his parties. Here’s to the next one!

Thanks for a fab review Cecelia – felt as though I was there!

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It’s no secret that Alfie Boe and Michael Ball, having had such a success with Together in 2016 are teaming up for a new album this year.  Now you can pre-order – and there’s a DVD available too!  Take a look at the video:

Click here to place your pre-order from the official store – what are you waiting for?

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