Queen

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Ball and Boe were back together this weekend at Carfest South, first time for Michael but a return for Alfie – he last played this festival for Children in Need in 2013.  Regular reviewer Claire Shorter was there for us, as well as fellow fan Caroline Old:

Do you think they will like us? That is the question Michael asked Chris Evans before they went on stage……fast forward to the end of their set and the rapturous applause and cheers suggests the crowd didn’t just like the boys, they absolutely loved them. This was echoed by the number of backstage guests who flowed to the front of the stage (including Chris Evans).

Michael and Alfie’s set was after Reef and Miles Kane and before Razorlight and although their style is different to those bands, the audience was just about to find out Ball and Boe can turn their hands to any genre they choose and the set list at CarFest showed their diversity, talent, humour and all round awesomeness.

Michael and Alfie came out singing Tonight, they were beaming and appeared so happy to be back on stage together. Then it was For Once in My Life and You’ll Be Back; the way they interact during these songs is nothing but cute and Alfie also came down to the barriers for a singalong with the crowd. Next were great songs to get the audience involved – He Lives in You and You’re the Voice. For the last chorus Alfie got Chris Evans and some others on to the stage to join in and they were loving every minute.

When the Queen medley commenced, we were treated to A Kind of Magic, Radio Gaga, We Will, We Will Rock You and We are the Champions. They put so much energy into this medley and the audience were loving it as much as Ball and Boe were, on stage.  This was a high point for seven year old Dan (Caroline’s son) who said that “I loved We Will Rock You, I was on Daddy’s shoulders.”

We then heard the boys do their brilliant Les Mis medley: Bring Him Home, Empty Chairs, I Dreamed a Dream and One Day More.  We have never heard an audience sing along to Les Mis as much as they did that day and standing in a field it felt like an appropriate place to do it. The whole audience singing One Day More was incredible, a proper goosebumps moment.

Then it was time for the encore, Michael making sure Alfie had left the stage made a start with A Different Corner.  Alfie then appeared on the adjoining stage saying “Oi Bally, get off the stage…”, he then stripped down to his ‘Choose Life’ T-shirt, gave Michael his and then the party time started with a Wham medley including Freedom, I’m Your Man and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.   Chris Evans and a group backstage crew, family and friends returned to the stage having a great sing along and pulling out some cracking dance moves. Alfie was having a high kick contest with a couple of kids. It was great fun to watch them all having a blast.

Although we also love the boys performing solo this is a reminder that we need another combined tour, they are a perfect match and their talent, friendship and humour is a beautiful thing to witness. They love being on stage together and we love seeing them there.

Thanks for a fabulous review Claire, Caroline and Dan, who gets the last word: “It was so funny when Alfie told Michael to get off the stage!”

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With less than two weeks until Alfie Boe’s Homecoming concert at Fleetwood, we’re down to the last two songs in our quest to find the fans favourite live song 2018!  Number two is a song that has only been sung live by Alfie, not recorded and it was a total surprise when Alfie appeared on TV on 31 December 2013:

Of course, it’s Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now and it’s a real corker, showing why Alfie’s version is making it’s third appearance in the live song poll.  In three years, it’s never been lower than number three.

We know that the music of Queen is important to Alfie and he was recently performing some with the Boston Pops.  Click here to see some tracks on YouTube.

Next week we look back at the top ten and reveal the song you chose as Alfie’s best live song.

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Alfie has just begun a hectic schedule of events with two nights at the Boston Pops – and regular guest reviewer, Roberta Kappus was there for us.  Here is what happened on Tuesday:

How can you not be totally entranced by a man who gives his all to every performance, whether it be for five minutes or two hours? Rock the Pops may have been a Boston Pops production but there is no doubt that the star was Alfie Boe.  Alfie rocked Boston brilliantly, totally deserving Keith Lockhart’s praise as “the most absurdly versatile musician I’ve ever met.”  We all knew that about Alfie but it was nice of Lockhart to acknowledge it.

The opening featured some Pete Townshend songs, starting with Baba O’Riley.  Appropriately Alfie’s next two songs were from Classic Quadrophenia which Alfie and Lockhart had performed at Tanglewood.  Perhaps to show the significance of Quad Alfie wore the same outfit as he had during that tour including the pin on the jacket.  His songs were 5:15 which was amazing and Love Reign O’er Me, performed with an intensity that only Alfie can achieve. Then a switch to The Rolling Stones and You Can’t Always Get What You Want and Sympathy for the Devil. Hauntingly beautiful and indicative of Alfie’s versatility was Nights In White Satin done as an instrumental with Alfie offstage over voicing it.  As usual, intermission came much too soon. The whole show went way too fast as is usually the case with Alfie’s performances.

The second half featured Led Zeppelin’s Goin’ To California, Who Wants To Live Forever (stunningly beautiful), We Are the Champions and the encore Sweet Home Alabama. With both We Are the Champions and Sweet Home, Alfie vigorously signalled to the audience to join him in singing and to get out of their seats; they did both. Standing ovations followed.

The Symphony Hall is a rather intimate venue and Alfie showed his ability to adapt to any environment.  He did not have the full stage for his performance but only the section that would comprise the very centre stage.  Alfie made full use of this area, bounding from one side to the other and constantly going to the edge of the stage and waving to familiar faces in the audience. There is no doubt that Alfie loves performing and certainly enjoys his audience. He includes them whenever possible and shows it throughout every performance.

Thank you Alfie Boe for an evening that only could have come from you.

Fabulous review Roberta – thank you!

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One Vision at the Team GB celebration at the Royal Albert Hall – rock Alfie is well and truly to the fore: (Alfie starts at 2m55)

Alfie recorded this with Kimberley Walsh as the official song for Team GB and the 2012 Olympics, here’s what they had to say about the song:

One Vision was of course originally written and recorded by Queen and as we’ve subsequently learnt, Freddie Mercury was a big influence on Alfie’s life and music.  Click here for Alfie’s Freddie Documentary.

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Three weeks left until the 2017 Together Tour starts and excitement is almost reaching fever pitch levels.  Cardiff at the end of this month sees the first tour date and it’s safe to say that fans can’t wait.

Before then, however, we have the last three songs in the Alfie Boe Best Live Song poll and number three is a song that has featured twice before, once at number one and last year at number two:

This was of course at Gary Barlow’s BBC New Year’s Eve show in 2013 and astonishingly in this digital age, was kept a complete secret until Alfie leapt onto the stage.  Since then, it has been one of Alfie’s most popular live songs, as seen by it’s consistent presence in the live song polls.  Why is this?  Well, my theory is that as well as being totally unexpected, Alfie is so clearly having a fabulous time – it’s a joyous performance and one that you can’t listen to without smiling and dancing.

The thing is, it’s not just Alfie fans that think this about Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now – science thinks it too.  In 2016, neuroscientists from the University of Missouri published data about what makes a song happy and as the answers were all about upbeat tempo, the song that was chosen as the happiest, in seventy per cent of choices, was Don’t Stop Me Now.  Let’s see the song with Adam Lambert and Queen:

Have you entered the competition to win a signed Together Again deluxe album?  Click here – entries close this Friday.

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…the Queen classic, Don’t Stop Me Now, on Gary Barlow’s New Year’s Eve show (thanks to Linda for sharing):

A complete surprise to us all (and to the annoyance of some who, like me, missed it!) this was the best bit of New year TV for years.  Come back and do it again next year Alfie!

I’ve already done my highlights of 2015 but a heartfelt thank you to everyone who reads, comments, shares and subscribes to this blog – I love you all and we’re well on the way to our first 100,000 hits.  That will be a real celebration post!

Happy New Year and hope 2016 is a very happy, healthy and prosperous year for you all

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So, with just a week to go before Alfie Boe’s Arena tour starts in Newcastle, the number one song in the Alfie Boe Best Ever Live Song poll is:

A powerhouse performance by Alfie at Gary Barlow’s 2013 New Year TV show – and a complete surprise to us all!  Imagine my annoyance when I missed it and woke up to a zillion messages on my phone and on twitter!!!!!

As we know, Freddie Mercury and Queen were a big influence on Alfie and this song is from the 1978 Queen album, Jazz. Mercury wrote both music and lyrics and is based around the piano; guitar being only a small part of the recorded version.  Here is the Queen version:

To recap the top 5:

Rank Strangers – Storyteller tour

You are my heart’s delight – Blackpool

Buona Sera – Belfast Proms

Jacobs Ladder / Barcelona (Laura Wright version)

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