REVIEW: Alfie Boe – Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow

Blue sky, cheeping birds, the warm breeze rustling the green leaves of the beautiful trees, a flock of geese low-flying in formation above the picturesque and intimate setting of Kelvingrove Bandstand. The ideal night, and the ideal setting for a concert from one of Britain’s best-loved singers. After a few (highly successful) years in partnership with musical theatre treasure Michael Ball, Alfie Boe is back on his own, and arguably at his best.

Boe looks happy, he looks comfortable and totally at ease, sharing anecdotes about his life since bursting to prominence, he banters and cracks jokes, the crowd too are revelling in this perfect early summer evening, and the result is arguably the best concert Boe has ever delivered. There’s no interval, Boe arrives, bag-piped on to the stage at 8pm precisely and so lost in the moment is he, that the set runs 50 minutes over and skirts close to the 10.30pm curfew, ending (lit by the light of a few thousand mobile phones) in Snow Patrol’s Run. The set itself is hugely eclectic but surprisingly, absolutely perfect. There’s a mix of Italian classics, musical theatre, country, jazz and blues, pop standards and an absolutely barn-storming set of covers of The Who’s classic rock songs.

The audience are free to wander to the front, dance in the aisles, the sight lines are excellent, the sound quality sublime, the relaxed atmosphere a joy to be part of. It really doesn’t get any better than this. Simple excellent.