COLLABRO, New album Love Like This released 15th November 2019
Full UK tour announced for October 2020
COLLABRO – Michael Auger, Jamie Lambert, Matthew Pagan and Thomas J Redgave – are the world’s most successful musical theatre group. Having met for their first rehearsal in a pub at London Bridge in 2014, they auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent a month later and received a full standing ovation from both the audience and the judges after their performance. They went on to win the competition with one of the biggest majorities ever, and their debut album ‘Stars’ entered the UK albums chart at number one, was quickly certified gold, and became the fastest selling album in 2014.
Four sell out UK tours, two US tours, headline slots at the London Palladium, Wembley Stadium, the Royal Albert Hall, the 02 Arena and a show for Her Majesty The Queen later, COLLABRO have announced the release of their fifth album ‘Love Like This’ on November 15th 2019, through BMG. They will take the new album out to their fans with a full UK tour throughout October 2020.
A hand picked selection of their favourite contemporary songs, Love Like This includes Coldplay’s Fix You as an instant grat track (“We know that everyone thinks of something different when they hear this song and we used our voices to act as the majority of instruments to put our unique spin on it”), Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know (“We sang this song on our second UK tour but it’s never been on an album and we still love it now”), Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do (“This is for all our fans who have been asking for a wedding song!”) and Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved (“When we heard Lewis sing this for the first time we were all together. We looked at each other and just knew it was a song we wanted to sing. The melody is beautiful and everyone can relate to the lyrics”).
Love Like This tracklist:
Album pre-order HERE
Fix You Instant Grat track with album pre-order: HERE
Full ticket information HERE
COLLABRO are looking forward to taking Love Like This live to their fans at the following dates throughout October 2020:
Full ticket details here: http://gigst.rs/collabro
Tag Archives: Royal Concert Hall
Rarely does a review of musical theatre boy band Collabro start without mentioning their 2014 win in the eighth series of Britain’s Got Talent. It’s now five years, four albums and as many tours on from their triumph. From meeting to rehearse in a London pub to winning the show in a few short months, they’ve supported Barry Manilow on his arena tour and now they’re headlining venues around the country on their biggest tour to date – The Road to the Albert Hall. Such is their stature that they have managed to secure West End veteran Kerry Ellis as a supporting player in their latest two-hour show.
The evening gets off to a fine start with Georgia and the Vintage Youth whose breezy sound has Caro Emerald vibes delivered with an Adele/Amy Winehouse vocal. The trio have an enlivening effect and the audience appear appreciative of the chirpy, bluesy, ska, poppy tunes. The set is short and sweet and the Collaborators, as the band dubs their fans, are more than ready for the main attraction.
Undoubtedly classic musical theatre is still very much their metier, but Collabro have branched out into more popular jukebox musical territory in this latest set. They bounce onto the stage to the strains of Grease is the Word with choreography à la The Overtones, there’s also a spirited medley from Jersey Boys to close the first act, as well as an up-beat pop/soul encore. Rest assured though that all the classic musical theatre big-hitters are here: Maria, As If We Never Said Goodbye, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, On My Own, Why God Why?, are present in the first act, interspersed with Ellis’ rendition of a Brian May arrangement of The Way We Were. There’s Electricity with local 32-piece Stageworks choir, Glee’s version of Journey’s Faithfully, their original song Lighthouse, Bring Him Home, the almost inevitable medley of Greatest Showman songs, given a cabaret treatment by Ellis (This is Me and A Million Dreams), and Collabro’s own take on Never Enough, there’s Defying Gravity and the song that started it all for them – Stars, making up the second act.
While each singer has their own chance to shine, they are undoubtedly at their best when singing in harmony, sounding glorious when singing together. There are a few issues with pitch throughout, created mostly by matching the wrong song to the wrong singer and while the quartet feel like a thoroughly nice bunch of chaps, the dialogue to the audience seems stiff and contrived. There’s also an issue that the group themselves acknowledge – too many “sad” songs – the ballads overwhelm and while they are stunningly good, they do nothing to create a balanced journey through the course of the evening.
It will be interesting to see how the group move forward after several tours, to deliver something original next time. Collabro are polished and professional and undeniably provide a first class evening’s entertainment, fans will not be disappointed.
Continuing on tour throughout the UK this spring.
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 Floor, The 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.
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/
Tony Award-winning Broadway superstar Idina Menzel is in town once again with her individual blend of musical theatre classics, pop standards and self-penned songs from her new album.
As ever it’s an eclectic mix: The Beatles’ Dear Prudence melding into Do You Want to Build a Snowman?, a clutch of the songs from the shows that made her Broadway name – Seasons of Love and No Day But Today from Rent, Defying Gravity and For Good from Wicked, some very introspective offerings about her divorce, her son and finding new love from the album idina and, of course, the ubiquitous Let It Go from Frozen – which she performed with a clutch of tiny fans at her side, oh, and a Led Zeppelin tune.
Menzel is best described as ‘quirky’ and this unevenly paced and toned production is a reflection of that. At times utterly distant: there’s little dialogue in the first 20 minutes or so save the occasional ‘thank you’, then in turn confessional: disclosures about her divorce from actor Taye Diggs, her relationship with her son and her recent engagement, then utterly accessible: chatting and singing with fans. The result, though keeping the audience on its toes, is a little unsettling at times – there’s no build of excitement and in the moments when the audience has the chance to get truly engaged it crashes to earth with another sensitive ballad. As a huge fan, and someone who has seen her in concert and in stage roles many times, it all seemed a little too self-involved, even for a performer as kooky as Menzel. Engaging – yes, entertaining – yes, a bit all over the place – a definite yes.
Menzel is a unique talent, and despite a few wavering notes, still in fine form. Not her best, her previous UK tours had more impact, but still packing a punch and still with the power to move.
Since 1962, no movie franchise has conjured up an image of glamour, intrigue and mystery quite like the Bond films. The locations might change, the villains might change, even the Bonds are ever-changing but the one thing that remains the same is the big, block-busting theme music.
Conductor and arranger Clive Dunstall and the Scottish Concert Orchestra take that most constant feature of the movies and present an evening that showcases the best of 50 years of Bond music.
With 25 movies to choose from you would be forgiven for thinking that there was enough material for a concert, but Dunstall has enhanced and extended the programme above and beyond Bond by including a series of ‘suites’ based upon themes from the world’s best-loved cop shows: there are medleys of “British”, “Female” and “American Detectives” interspersed throughout, which, much to the delight of the audience, added a ‘name that tune’ competition element to the show.
The playing from the Scottish Concert Orchestra is an absolute delight, a fact that is made all the more astonishing when we learn that the afternoon’s concert was presented after only two and a half hours of rehearsal that morning, it remains tight and on-point throughout. But it is the two guest singers, West End veterans Tim Howar and Louise Dearman who are the outstanding highlight of the performance. The sheer diversity of styles they have to recreate is jaw-dropping, that they do it with such style, panache and power is impressive. Both have exquisitely toned voices, with vast ranges which they utilise effortlessly and to great effect.
Like Bond himself this is a classy affair; a top notch programme, first-rate singers and a world-class orchestra – an afternoon’s entertainment of the highest order.