Tag Archives: An Evening With Collabro

REVIEW: An Evening with Collabro with special guest Carly Paoli – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

2014 Britain’s Got Talent winners, Collabro have had an enviable career since the TV talent show. Unlike some of their fellow winners, they have scored┬áthree top-20 albums including the number one Stars, have completed worldwide tours, appeared at Proms in the Park and performed at exclusive engagements around the world.

Tonight their Home tour arrives in Glasgow with support act Country/Christian/pop act Philippa Hanna and a guest appearance from classical/crossover singer, Carly Paoli.

Collabro are undoubtedly a class act and the quality of the set/stage presentation reflects this, though the video intro with BGT/X-Factor style voice over is unnecessarily cheesy, the lighting design, video projections and the quadruple staircase staging are all visually pleasing.

The set comprises the great and good of musical theatre as reflected in their current album Home. There’s a pleasing variety in tone throughout the night, but it’s the big-hitting Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera medleys that have the fans in raptures. They are at their best when singing as one, their harmonies are incredibly impressive, though the solo vocals are largely of a high quality, it is Jamie Lambert who has the most original voice.

Special guest vocalist and rising star of the classical/crossover world Carly Paoli is an impressive talent. She, like headliners Collabro, is a class act and her beautifully toned voice soars in the Theatre Royal (fittingly owned by and the home to, Scottish Opera), she is the perfect fit for the vocal quartet. As well as showcasing songs from her debut album Singing My Dreams she performs a beautiful duet on Over The Rainbow.

This is an evening of quality throughout, from the choice of songs, the production value and the superb quality vocals – it’s hard to fault.*

The Collabro Home tour continues until 2 December 2017.

*The only gripes about the evening would be the excessive promotion of merchandise which permeated the entire evening from the support act Philippa Hanna, guest star Carly Paoli to Collabro themselves. Each one interrupted their set to push product. That, and the incongruous Country/Christian pop support act Philippa Hanna, who while a gifted singer was an odd musical choice for the headline act.

 

REVIEW: Philippa Hanna – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

As the opening act for audience favourites Collabro you will always have a hard job of winning over the band’s loyal following, even if you are currently the No.1 selling UK Country Chart act. On paper, Philipa Hanna, seems like an unusual musical fit for the musical theatre/crossover classical singing group.

Hanna is warmly received by the audience and as with any Glasgow crowd, is accompanied with gusto on the many occasions for audience participation, both vocally and percussively.

Hanna is a gifted singer with a crystal clear country voice and her output is very firmly placed in the current pop-country world (she is also a proponent of Contemporary Christian pop). The problem is that while entirely pleasant to the ear, the music is a tad similar-sounding. Another, more concerning aspect of the performance is the highly detailed introductions to the songs. Each appears to have been inspired by the knocks in life that Hanna has experienced and she explains each at length, along with her belief in the support network around her and her faith in God. While, undoubtedly the intention is to inspire – indeed the title of her current album is Come Back Fighting and another song I Am Amazing, unfortunately the audience interaction, coupled with the lengthy interlude to promote the sale of her current album and book, pressed all this reviewers cynicism buttons (indeed, the merchandise plugging was a device used throughout the evening with all acts on the bill trying to sell something). I am a great believer in letting the music do the talking, if it, and you, are good enough, then they alone will win any audience over.

While undoubtedly a talented singer and a competent songwriter, Hanna has huge potential in her chosen genre(s), there are more suitable tours for an artist of this genre. While this will garner her huge exposure on Collabro’s almost sell-out tour, it’s an odd choice and an uncomfortable fit with the acts to come.