There are few who could fail to be charmed by the affable personality of the musical theatre juggernaut that is Michael Ball, and the sold out and very vocal audience at the Clyde Auditorium testify to that.
This is a show of two halves, Ball showcasing his new album of pop standards Both Sides Now in the first and his personal musical theatre favourites in the second.
The two halves though adding up to a thoroughly enjoyable whole, were unequal in their quality. Had it not been for the sheer charm of the man, the somewhat middle of the road first half, populated with songs from artists as diverse as Dolly Parton and Snow Patrol would have merely been a pleasant excursion into Radio 2 territory. While it’s thoroughly understandable that artists wish to showcase their range, the song choices only sold Ball’s phenomenal talent short. That said, the material was well received and easy on the ear.
The second half by contrast was a spectacular showcase for Ball’s powerful voice. At the top of his range he is truly unbeatable and the songs chosen, a selection of the cream of the crop from a career spanning nearly thirty years, had the crowd in his thrall, the cheers getting louder and more sustained as the night drew to a close. Ball is a man who truly knows how to work a crowd and present a show tailored for maximum effect and to give maximum enjoyment. He ended the night with the tune that earned him his place in the nation’s affections Love Changes Everything with the crowd on its feet roaring for more.
With an innate ability to read a crowd, Ball then returned to keep the party going with a rousing encore, which included his Eurovision hit One Step Out of Time replete with cheesy, audience-participation dance moves.
A phenomenal performer, a stupendous voice and a true gent – thoroughly recommended.