Tag Archives: Clyde Auditorium

REVIEW: Let It Be – SEC Armadillo, Glasgow

2019 marks 50 years since The Beatles walked over that famous crossing on Abbey Road, 50 years since they played on the roof of the Apple Corps. building on Savile Row and 49 years since they released their last album. Seen by over two million people worldwide, Let It Be, continue their celebration of the music of The Beatles with a brand-new show for 2019.

The revamped show is split into two halves: the first a potted history of the Fab Four, starting from the famous Royal Variety Performance in 1963, through Shea Stadium to Sgt. Pepper and beyond. The second, is set a decade after The Beatles went their separate ways. It’s the 9th of October 1980, John Lennon’s 40th birthday, the band reunite for one night only for “the ultimate concert that never was”. Here we get a chance to hear some of the hits from each Beatles’ solo careers.

Let It Be is the Rolls Royce of Beatles celebration acts and the quality of the musicianship is outstanding. Emanuele Angeletti (Paul McCartney), John Brosnan, Ben Cullingworth (Ringo Starr) and Richard Jordan (John Lennon), go beyond simple impersonation. To the ear, this is as close as you are going to get to the real thing. Every specific tone and intonation of each man is captured in impressive detail.

While fans of the original show may wish to see something a bit different from the usual history and greatest hits of The Beatles, it is understandable that after seven years the performers and producers might want to shake things up a bit. This production is very much a show of two halves and while the quality of the vocals and musicianship never dips, the choice of songs in the second half mean that there’s a distinct shift in atmosphere. The joyous celebration of The Beatles early years is replaced by some more sombre moments from their later careers. That said, the whole evening ends on a high and with the audience on their feet, a series of Fab Four classics sending the crowd out into the rainy night with these musical masterpieces ringing in their ears.  Well worth catching if you can.

Review originally written for THE REVIEWS HUB | Image: Anthony Robling


REVIEW: Cinderella – SEC Armadillo, Glasgow

The SEC Armadillo pantomime has gone all-out in its efforts to sparkle and shine brighter than its rivals: even before you enter there’s the dazzling 5 foot high letters spelling out the title of the show, then there’s the twinkling lights from the 20 foot Christmas tree, the flashing neon of the big wheel and the rainbow-hued SSE Hydro right next door. For sheer sparkling extravagance in set, costume and lighting design, no expense has been spared in this year’s offering, Cinderella. Cinder’s starlit crystal coach is a particular highlight, sparkling as it flies out above the audience.

There’s the cast too, Scottish TV comedy giants Jonathan Watson and Gavin Mitchell, music, theatre and River City star Frances Thorburn, musical theatre star Keith Jack and veteran comedy duo The Krankies.

The storyline is a simplistic and very streamlined version of the traditional tale: the two ugly step-sisters are mean to poor old Cinders (though not as mean as they could be); Cinders can’t go to the ball; the prince masquerades as a servant and falls in love with our heroine in the woods; Cinders gets her glad-rags on and goes to ball in disguise; Prince and Cinders are re-united; slipper gets lost; slipper finds its owner; the lovestruck pair get married, and yes, they all live happily ever after.

There’s no slapstick, no audience participation and no sweetie throwing as expected from a ‘traditional’ panto. There is however heavy reliance on The Krankies to provide the light relief, but their smut-laden and entirely inappropriate dialogue is woefully outdated in 2018 – and this comes from someone who is very much not of the ‘snowflake generation’. Watson and Mitchell are fine comic actors and do their best with the material given and Thorburn and Jack, both gifted singers only have a few short moments to show their considerable talents. They are all supported by a hard working, top-notch adult ensemble and a well-drilled children’s troupe from JazzartUK.

Very much geared towards adults, this is a beautifully staged panto, but I can’t help think that opportunities were wasted by the script writers and director with such a talented cast of actors.

Runs until 30th December 2018

Tickets available HERE

REVIEW: Michael Ball & Alfie Boe – Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

The master of musical theatre Michael Ball and Britain’s best-loved tenor Alfie Boe join forces on a UK tour to promote their recently released album Together.

The whole evening rattles along amiably and the pair has an easy charm that transmits well to the audience. The programme is rich and varied: from an Elvis medley, a James Bond segment to a selection from Les Mis, a show that both have a history with – Ball as the first Marius and Boe as a critically lauded Jean Valjean on both Broadway and the West End. However, surprisingly, it is a Rat Pack segment that blends these two contrasting voices to best effect.

The pair have ample opportunity to showcase their considerable vocal skills; Boe has the power and drive and Ball the mellow honeyed tones. For Boe, the highlight is undoubtedly his rendition of The Who’s Love Rain on Me, a powerhouse performance that has the audience on its feet at its conclusion, for Ball it’s his personal anthem Love Changes Everything.

This is a rare opportunity to see two singing giants together on one stage and the result is a hugely entertaining evening – a rare treat, and a class act from start to end.

REVIEW: Stages- An Evening with Josh Groban – Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

Josh Groban’s latest concert based on his seventh studio album Stages, can be summed up in two short words – pure class.

As he steps into the spotlight and the first notes of Pure Imagination ring out around the sold-out 3000-seater auditorium, you know that Groban is a world apart from his contemporaries.

As the applause die from the blistering opening, the curtain pulls back to reveal an orchestra on an atmospherically dressed set replete with chandeliers, candelabra, draped curtains and a red carpet. The feel is one of both opulence and intimacy. Indeed, despite the grand scale of this auditorium, the whole evening has an air of intimacy, Groban shares (often self-deprecating) tales of his journey from childhood musical theatre nerd to global singing superstar – not that Groban acts like the superstar he is, a gifted raconteur, his genuine charm and graciousness have the crowd in the palm of his hand from the start.

While the stories lend a personal touch to the evening it is his technically brilliant, resonant baritone we are here to hear, and the song choices don’t disappoint: What I Did For Love from A Chorus Line is a great big barnstorming triumph that allows us to experience the effortless power Groban has, as does the Act One closer Anthem from Chess. Ballads, Bring Him Home and You’ll Never Walk Alone are moving in their sincerity and in Finishing the Hat and Children Will Listen, we hear just how perfect Groban’s voice is for the works of Stephen Sondheim.

Special guest, West End leading lady Louise Dearman duets with great success on Phantom of the Opera’s All I Ask of You and Carousel’s If I Loved You, as well as delivering a roof-raising Defying Gravity, the perfect choice from the only woman in musical theatre to have played the two leading roles in Wicked.

There are few who sound better at these songs than Groban, that he is as charismatic and warm as his singing voice is a delightful bonus. As he prepares for his first Broadway role, one fears that it may be a while before we get to see him again, we can only hope he doesn’t leave it too long.


REVIEW: For One Night Only An Evening With Al Pacino – Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

Topped and tailed by a standing ovation, Al Pacino took the packed auditorium at the Clyde Auditorium on a near three hour journey from his origins in The Bronx to Hollywood super-stardom.

Detailing his acting process and sharing anecdotes about his equally famous co-stars he had the audience in his thrall. Displaying an energy and undiminished enthusiasm for his craft of a man half of his age the evening flew past in the blink of an eye.

The night, hosted by Billy Sloan who set the context for Pacino’s anecdotes and insights, was interspersed with clips from his lengthy and distinguished career. The only crimp in an otherwise top-notch evening was a particularly cringe-worthy Q&A session with the locals (the most cripplingly embarrassing from a soap actress with an accent so impenetrable and an attitude so inappropriate it elicited boos from the audience and a plea for a message to a recently dead relative from another). A real disappointment and a missed opportunity as when questions of real quality did get through Pacino provided some valuable and at times unexpected answers.

A worthy evening and a rare chance to get inside the mind of a superstar.

REVIEW: Michael Ball – If Everyone Was Listening Tour, Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

Michael Ball returns to Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium to showcase his latest album If Everyone Was Listening, a selection of songs with personal resonance for Ball.

There’s a heavy modern country vibe about the songs from the new album which as unlikely as it may seem, sit well with Ball’s voice, the evening is also interspersed with pop hits, Avici’s “Wake Me Up” and Katy Perry’s “Roar” among them, and of course, a selection of West End standards including Les Mis’ “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” the song that brought Ball to the nation’s attention.

Whilst Ball more than does justice to the pop standards, the true power and resonance of his impressive voice only truly gets a chance to shine in the musical theatre numbers.


What makes every concert from Ball a winner, is his engaging personality. He shares personal memories about his career, the downs as well as the ups, gives heart-felt reasons for his song choices and revels in the self-awareness that he’s phenomenally uncool but he’s happy with that – and so are his audience.

The crowd are on their feet from the opening notes and throughout the evening, culminating in a mass storm of the front of the stage for the concert finale. Ball could easily claim to have the most avid fandom around and it’s hard to resist the love in the air, the sheer joy with which the songs are delivered and received, is infectious.

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Ball allows his backing vocalists their moment in the spotlight too and West End performers Sandra Marvin and Adrian Hansel’s duet on “A Whole New World” is particularly impressive, as are the seven piece band who provide rich accompaniment to the whole evening.

The evening ends on a high with Ball’s career changing hit “Love Changes Everything” and the audience leave even higher. This is a master of his craft at the top of his game, a better quality performance you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere.

REVIEW: Alfie Boe – Glasgow Clyde Auditorium 29th January 2012

Last night Fleetwood’s Finest Alfie Boe brought his Bring Him Home tour to Glasgow. Boe’s voice and engaging personality are a winner from the start, and he has the crowd eating out of his hand with Scottish anecdotes a-plenty, including one about touring round the Highlands and Islands with Scottish Opera, with a front row of crisp-munching kids and a dog in the audience.

The moment Boe begins to sing, you know he is serious about his talent – the cheeky chappie persona disappears and the intensity of his performance transforms him into the star he truly is.

The show was a stream of highlights from the emotional, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and In My Daughter’s Eyes, the pitch perfect, crisp, rendition of Sinatra’s It Was a  Very Good Year, an entertaining Bond Medley including a fab Thunderball to musical favourites like Hushaby Mountain and Tell Me It’s Not True. From start to finish Boe doesn’t put a foot or note wrong. The highlight of the show is Bring Him Home, a song I had the priviledge of hearing him sing at The Queen’s Theatre when he played Jean Valjean in Les Mis. It was glorious here too.

For his extended encore, he mixed opera classic O Sole Mio with some Elvis then finished off playing the drums (brilliantly) and singing We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder to a crowd of 3000 on their feet screaming for more. This shows you that contrary to popular belief nice guys do finish first and make thousands of people happy in the process. I’m sure that, like me, everyone who can, will be there to see him next year (in March) when he plays here again – if you were there tonight tell your friends and see you there next year!