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.
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.