Tag Archives: Concert

REVIEW: Andrea Bocelli – SEE Hydro Arena, Glasgow

It’s oft been quoted, but it bears repeating: “If God had a singing voice he would sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli”, so said pop diva Celine Dion of the vocal phenomenon and 90 million album selling superstar, and she’s not wrong, Bocelli’s voice is so sublime it’s almost divine.

The world’s biggest selling classical artist is accompanied on this spectacular evening by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cuban soprano Maria Aleida, flautist Andrea Griminelli, the Edinburgh Choral Union, some classical dancers and Britain’s own R&B queen Beverly Knight.

It’s hard to describe adequately the atmosphere, but it’s almost reverent, the audience are entirely rapt for the whole  evening, it’s a warm, comforting feeling, old-fashioned but just, well…lovely. Every detail has been thought of and every artist a master of their craft, every note, every bit of staging (including massive panoramic projections) is of the highest quality. There’s no facile chit-chat, the music does the talking and does so, beautifully.

There’s a perfect mix of classical favourites, some personal choices from Bocelli, his classical crossover hits and duets with his guest stars, interspersed with clips from his recent movie The Music of Silence which provides some background on Bocelli’s childhood and sight loss. There’s also exquisite dancing accompaniment and a selection of Spaghetti Western themes from flautist Griminelli. Soprano Aleida delivers impressive vocal gymnastics including those on The Doll Aria from Les Contes d’Hoffman, Knight sings a relaxed version of her hit Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, and duets with Bocelli on Canto della Terra. The sentimental Glasgow audience erupt at Neapolitan classic O Sole Mio, Con te Partiro and Nessun Dorma which sends the audience home floating on a cloud.

Bocelli’s beaming smile at the rapturous reception says all that’s needed to be said about this perfect evening’s entertainment.

NEWS: The Overtones announce new band member Jay James and promise ‘best tour yet’ including Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

Multi-platinum-selling vocal harmony group The Overtones are delighted to announce that Welsh singer & songwriter Jay James has joined the band. The announcement heralds the start of an exciting new era for the group which has had 5 top 10 albums, 9 sold out UK tours and will now embark on a UK tour this December. The band will be in Glasgow on the 11th December.

Tickets for The Overtones Christmas Party are on sale now from gigsandtours.com

We will be performing classic songs from yesteryear, favourites from our albums and plenty of surprises” says Mike Crawshaw. “Over the last 10 years we’ve learnt a thing or two about throwing a Christmas party! People come to our shows to let their hair down, get their spirits up and dance their hearts out. We want everyone to leave an Overtones concert with a huge smile on their face and a spring in their step. This year will be our best tour yet!”

A former Royal Navy serviceman, Jay James had enjoyed a varied recording career working with the likes of Booker T Jones, John Legend, Naughty Boy and the Jonas Brothers (amongst others) before rising to prominence as Simon Cowell’s tip on the X Factor. Since then Jay has continued to record music and perform as well as becoming an established broadcaster.

“We met Jay 9 years ago when we all performed on the charity record (Songs To Save A Life) for The Samaritans, and our paths continuously crossed over the years” explains Darren Everest. “When we thought about a new member joining the band he was the first, and only, name that came to mind. Everything about Jay says ‘Overtone’. He has a classic style and is inspired by the same great artists as we all are. Jay has fitted in seamlessly and we can’t wait to push on and get to work.”

Speaking about joining The Overtones Jay says “I’ve known the boys and been a fan for many years now and it has always been clear what they were all about – making great, timeless music, putting on incredible shows and enjoying life! Over the years that has never changed. I’ve been blessed to support them on a number of occasions, and I’ve witnessed the joy they bring and felt the warmth of some of the best fans I’ve ever met. To now join the group is absolute magic and I cannot wait to stand beside Darren, Mike & Mark in creating some more brilliant nights & continuing to make people smile, sing and dance for many moons to come!

The first song to be recorded with this new line up is Earth Wind & Fire’s ‘September’ “We’ve been busy over the last few months and it’s been so exciting being back in the studio with Jay” says Mark Franks.  “The new music is very much ‘classic Overtones’ but with a twist. This song is a taster of what’s to come, Jay’s voice adds a new dimension as you can hear and, as soon as we recorded it, we knew that it was the perfect fit for us four boys – feel good and uplifting… an absolute gem of a song.”

LISTEN TO NEW TRACK ‘SEPTEMBER’ HERE  https://listnin.co/September

With their innate charm and adherence to vintage-modernist style, and a devotion to the timeless appeal of male vocal harmonies, The Overtones are a bridge between pre-rock’n’roll classicism and lively 21st Century entertainment. They’ve sold over a million albums, made countless TV appearances and filled venues to capacity on tour after tour, all the while building a relationship with their fans that has real depth and devotion.

In 2018 the group released their sixth album ‘The Overtones’, the accompanying sold-out UK tour took their trademark sense of celebration and party on the road with the group living up to the promise of “a night to remember”. That’s the tradition they come from and they’re certainly not about to stop now.

Day Show Date Venue Name
Mon 02 Dec 19 Gateshead Sage
Tue 03 Dec 19 Birmingham Symphony Hall
Wed 04 Dec 19 Leicester De Montford Hall
Thu 05 Dec 19 Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Sat 07 Dec 19 Liverpool Philharmonic
Sun 08 Dec 19 Salford Lowry
Mon 09 Dec 19 Sheffield City Hall
Wed 11 Dec 19 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Thu 12 Dec 19 Harrogate Royal Hall
Fri 13 Dec 19 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Mon 16 Dec 19 Cardiff St David’s Hall
Tue 17 Dec 19 Guildford G Live
Wed 18 Dec 19 London Indigo

NEWS: EASTWOOD PARK THEATRE HOSTS A ‘GOLD’ GIG FOR 80s MUSIC FANS

Eastwood Park Theatre will host a nostalgic night for fans of 80s music in Glasgow next month, featuring two of the UK’s most iconic bands from the era.

From Gold to Rio, celebrates the music of Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran and comes to the Giffnock theatre next month, on Saturday 7th September and is the show’s only Scottish date.

With over 20 top 10 hits, the show will feature 2 hours of non-stop, classics including Gold, Rio, True, Save A Prayer and Girls on Film performed by a full live band.

Anna Meldrum from Eastwood Park Theatre said: “From Gold to Rio will take you on a nostalgic journey back to the New Romantic era, which ruled the charts for over a decade.

“For the very first time the music from two of the UK’s most iconic bands will be celebrated in one power packed show and we can’t wait to host it for Glasgow fans.

“So if you’re a Duranie, a Spandy, a Wild Boy or a Soul Boy, then this is something you don’t want to miss.”

The live band has more than 30 years’ professional experience, featuring Lee James who is widely recognised as the most authentic performer to Tony Hadley, playing across the UK and Europe for over 10 years. Lee has performed with Tony on various occasions, including BBC’s The One Show and is endorsed by Gary Kemp and Tony himself.

Lee James said: “I’ve been fronting my own tribute to Spandau Ballet for almost 14 years. Over the years, I’ve asked the audience who they liked best, Spandau or Duran? On many occasions it’s been pretty much 50/50 but the biggest response was always when I asked if they secretly liked both bands.

“A few years ago, I met my business partner Andy Fox and I was looking for a drummer for my Spandau songs and mentioned the idea to form a Spandau and Duran Duran tribute. We got our heads together and after a lot of hard work, we started From Gold to Rio.”

Tickets are priced at £22 standard/ £20 concession and if you bring a group of ten people, one person can go free – available at www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0141 577 4956

REVIEW: Someone Like You: The Adele Songbook – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

It’s over a decade since Adele burst onto the music scene with her debut album 19. From there the then teenage sensation has matured into a world-dominating megastar. With Adele on a seemingly infinite sabbatical, Katie Markham’s Someone Like You: The Adele Songbook is both a fitting tribute to the star and an excellent substitute.

Former X Factor finalist Markham was chosen to appear in the TV special Adele Live at the BBC presented by Graham Norton, an event that was to change her life. Not only did she get to sing with her idol, that appearance inspired Markham’s decision to create the show Someone Like You, a show that has now toured Britain. A wise decision, as the superstar’s music transcends both musical genres and the generations as evidenced by the large and diverse audience in the Theatre Royal this evening.

Markham manages to capture Adele’s vocal and physical nuances, but she is clearly a gifted singer in her own right and accompanied by a talented four-piece live band and two backing singers, she more than delivers the goods. From Hometown Glory through: Chasing Pavements; Make You Feel My Love; Set Fire To The Rain; Someone Like You; Rumour Has It, Rolling In The Deep, Skyfall to Hello, every hit and some lesser known album tracks are here as well as some tributes to Adele’s musical heroes. There’s even an astonishingly good version of Cheryl Cole’s Promise This, originally performed for Radio One’s Live Lounge, proving that a class act like Adele can make a silk purse out of any musical pig’s ear. Markham’s talented backing vocalists also get their chance in the spotlight with a knock-out version of Natural Woman.

It takes a brave performer indeed to take on arguably the world’s best female vocalist, thankfully Markham is a class act like her musical idol, and Someone Like You is a highly entertaining two hour musical treat.

Katie returns to Scotland next month with shows on:

11th March – Eden Court, Inverness
12th March – Music Hall, Aberdeen
13th March – Webster Theatre, Arbroath 

REVIEW: The Overtones – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

The Overtones are in Glasgow to have a party, a great big, joyous Christmas party, and while it totally and utterly fulfils this brief, in a year that has been more than challenging for the band, this is a night filled with huge happiness and just a little sadness.

This hasn’t been the easiest year for The Overtones, following the death of lead vocalist Timmy Matley and critical conversations about the future of the band, but from the moment they bound onto the stage to the strains of Womack and Womack’s Teardrops, you are utterly assured that their decision to carry on as a four-piece is the right one.

Occupying a unique niche in the market with their blend of modern Doo Wop, the band truly have wide, multi-generational appeal. Added to their vocal talents, this is a quartet who put their hearts, souls and considerable physical and emotional energies into every performance.

The audience are literally on their feet from the first notes, and the feel-good hits just keep coming: You To Me Are Everything, Runaround Sue, My Girl and Rockin’ Robin particularly fit their vocal harmonies and set the party atmosphere. However, the audience inevitably knows that a remembrance of Matley’s life would come. And so it does in the form of a trio of songs specially chosen to celebrate him: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (their last song recorded as a 5-piece), the Spice Girls’ Goodbye and I Say a Little Prayer, the poignancy added to by the sight of Matley’s beaming smile projected behind the band as they sing.

Before the interval, the band manages to ramp the happiness back up, delivering Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

The festive factor is represented by a clutch of Christmas classics: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Let It Snow and Driving Home For Christmas and there’s a duo of ear-pleasing original songs from the latest album, new single Stand Up and By My Side. But it’s the party tunes that have the sold-out audience dancing in the aisles: Love Really Hurts, Get Ready and Gimme Just a Little More Time, have the joint jumping.

While the loss of Matley’s vocals is of huge consequence, Mike Crawshaw and Lockie Chapman more than step up and are, as always perfectly supported by Darren Everest and Mark Franks. Fans will be delighted to know that the sharp and original choreography is still very much in evidence and beautifully executed.

The band round out the evening of mutual love with the entirely appropriate Love Is In the Air and leave the audience on a high.

The Overtones prove that good, old-fashioned quality will always win out, and if the reaction of this Glasgow crowd is anything to go on, it will continue to do so for many years to come.

REVIEW: Caro Emerald – The Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

Dutch jazz/pop sensation Caro Emerald is in Glasgow, bringing old-school Hollywood glamour along with some bossa nova beats, latin vibes and a fabulously retro stage set.

Emerald is indeed a gem, and her reputation as one of the finest live performers in the world remains firmly intact on the basis of this glorious sell-out set at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Backed by her exceptional seven-piece band, she storms through hit after hit after hit from Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room FloorThe Shocking Miss Emerald and Emerald Island. It’s rare that there’s not a weak song in an entire set, but there truly isn’t. Despite what your pre-conceptions are about her music, there’s something inherently infectious about each and every one of these tunes. The mixture of 40s and 50s jazz, swing, Latin beats, some VERY James Bond themed numbers and good old pop, is irresistible. There’s also the inclusion of Camila Cabello’s chart-topping Havana, a song that couldn’t be more perfect for Emerald to cover.

There’s little interaction with the audience, little show of personality, save for her quirky, modern/retro fashion choices (two outfits for the evening if you’re interested) not that there’s any sign of ego or arrogance, Emerald really does let the music do the talking, there’s no need to waste time with chat when people just want to hear these tunes.

Of note are the gorgeous, retro projections that accompany the set, be it chilling by the pool or a hot Cuban night, they perfectly enhance the mood of each song. 

It takes the normally exuberant Glasgow audience a while to get on their feet tonight, but when they do there’s no way they’re going to sit back down. The evening ends on a high with Emerald’s most familiar song, On a Night Like This. The perfect antidote to the on-coming winter blues.

REVIEW: Blair Dunlop – The Hug and Pint, Glasgow

From folksy beginnings, Blair Dunlop has been moving in recent years (and over the course of three albums) to a more commercial sound.

The son of singer Judy Dunlop and Fairport Convention’s Ashley Hutchings, Dunlop has a varied performance CV, as well as his musical outings, he also appeared as the young Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Prizes have also not eluded him, winning the 2013 Horizon Award at the BBC Folk Awards and the Special Jury Prize Premio Ciampi in Italy in 2014.

His Ed Harcourt produced latest album, Notes From an Island features large in this live set. The folk elements are still evident, and are the very heart and soul of his sound, but it’s clear Dunlop has matured greatly. While there’s now a broader appeal to the sound, and a big Americana influence, there’s still real depth to the material and a clear political and social commentary running throughout. 

Dunlop and his sound are well suited to intimate venues. That said, it could be argued that Dunlop’s material is so intimate that even this small room sometimes engulfs it. Thoughtful and low-key, the sound could easily be lost in a large venue and that doesn’t necessarily bode well for career expansion. This is music to reflect and relax too, to muse about, not necessarily for a live setting, the audience, while clearly enjoying the gig, are relatively passive for this city. That said, Dunlop is hugely talented and his music is a joy to the ears, he’s a gifted technical vocalist and musician, hopefully his sound will continue to mature and expand to larger venues and audiences. This is music of the highest quality that deserves to be heard by the widest audience possible.

 

 

 

REVIEW: Flight of the Conchords sing Flight of the Conchords – SEE Hydro Arena, Glasgow

It’s been a long seven years since the “almost award-winning, fourth most popular folk duo in New Zealand” have toured the U.K., made longer by Bret McKenzie’s recovery from a broken wrist, sustained from a nose dive down a flight of stairs at the start of the tour.

Flight of the Conchords have come a long, long way both physically and metaphorically. From bumbling young cult duo trying to find their niche in the comedy world to a 13000 person audience at Glasgow’s Hydro Arena via Bret McKenzie winning the 2012 songwriting Academy Award and Jemaine Clement’s glittering movie career going from strength to strength.

Their 90-minute set is a perfect mix of old and new, launching straight into Father and Son, a seemingly tender ballad that takes an unexpectedly dark turn. There are highlights throughout, so many it would read like a setlist, but Deana and Ian, a tale of inter-office romance is hysterical; The Ballad of Stana a disturbingly funny traditional country story-song; Summer of 1353, a madrigal, yes, you read that right, complete with recorder solos, and two old favourites, Bowie and Foux du Fa Fa (who doesn’t love a lyric that rhymes haricots verts with pomme de terres), the list goes on and on.

The duo acknowledge that they look a lot older than they did in their TV show days, and apologise for reminding us of our own mortality, but the wit and intellect and self-deprecating humour is still there. They remain utterly irresistible and, if anything, funnier than they have ever been. This reviewers’ love for the pair remains undiminished. Just perfect.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: Nashville Live – Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

Capitalising on the current insatiable appetite for all things Country and aiming to “transport you right into the heart of downtown Nashville, celebrating the atmosphere and energy of an evening in the home of country music”, Nashville Live at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall features a cast of seasoned West End performers recreating the great and the good of the country music scene.

Framed as an evening from the stage of the Ryman Auditorium, where the world-famous venue broadcasts its radio show to the nation, complete with red on-air sign, silence/applause banner and peppered with vintage radio ads enacted by the cast, it’s an uneven evening that doesn’t know quite what it is.

To it’s credit the set list manages to cover an impressively comprehensive number of Country music eras and genres: Blue Moon of Kentucky sets the tone, quite literally, with heavy reverb on the microphones and slightly mushy sound mixing to start, it takes a while to get in to its stride. Robbie Durham elevates the proceedings with a duo of Hank Williams tunes, Hey Good Lookin’ and Jambalaya. However, there are technical glitches with Helena Gullen’s accompanying, silent fiddle.

Gullen tackles the incomparable Patsy Cline in Walking After Midnight and is competent, if a little lacklustre, again there are plenty of effects on the mic to support her voice, she fairs better in the classic, I Fall to Pieces. Chris Grahamson delivers Willie Nelson’s, On The Road Again and Always on my Mind and to the production’s credit, returns the anthem Crazy to its writer Nelson to deliver. Grahamson has a strong, clear voice and does justice to these well-loved tunes.

There are some unexpected detours courtesy of a few Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard songs and a bluegrass interlude, but it’s soon back to the big-hitters with Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man, Dolly Parton’s Jolene and I Will Always Love You performed by Lisa Wright. Wright has an excellent voice, but lacks rapport with the audience. Durham gets the audience singing along to Kenny Rogers’ foot stomper,The Gambler.

Robbie Durham, fresh from a London run and UK tour of Million Dollar Quartet, again plays Johnny Cash and showcases his astonishing vocal range and tone. Folsom Prison Blues and I Walk the Line are particular highlights.

Grahamson returns with Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places and If Tomorrow Never Comes, again, Grahamson’s rich, clear voice is a stand out among the cast.

While there’s quality throughout the cast, the staging is incongruous. While the artists are introduced as “Dolly Parton” and “Patsy Cline” the costumes for the most part are modern, and there’s no attempt to look like the artists featured save for a few shirt changes amongst the men. That coupled with the ‘radio show’ staging and the vintage adverts in between. It doesn’t work. Either full-on tribute in wigs and costume or a band of musicians just playing covers of these songs, both of these would have worked, this mash-up just confuses. While the auditorium is full, the audience are singing along, the atmosphere is ‘flat’ and there’s a LOT of chat from the audience throughout most of the ballads and the songs that are less familiar.

A great set list and some flawless vocals but the show lacks the passion and energy from the performers that marks a truly entertaining night out.

Touring Scotland – more info at: http://www.mapletreeentertainment.com/currently-touring/Nashville+Live/16/tourdates/

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.

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