Edited post – scroll down to see Alfie singing on Azura!
As Alfie Boe wings his way back to the US (hurry back for Symfunny Alfie!) the first photos and reviews are trickling out from the Azura cruise. The lucky passengers were each handed one ticket to one concert (Alfie performed twice on the first two nights) but I’m pleased to say that many of Alfie’s fabulous fans managed to sneak into at least two, and in some cases, all four! In addition, there was a bonus interview on Tuesday morning. This review is written by my friend Cecelia, and starts with her ticket to the second Monday show:
Alfie started with one of my least favourite of his numbers on the Storyteller album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, accompanied solely by two fabulous guitarists. And the acoustic version sounded fab. He did an acapella version of Rank Strangers that brought me to tears. Bring Him Home…more tears. And luckily for us, loads of Neapolitan numbers from Serenata, including Volare, which like it or loathe it definitely got the crowd singing along. Arrivederchi Roma was in there, along with several La Passione numbers. As always, Alfie held the crowd in the palm of his hand.
The second evening was again fabulous and each concert was slightly different from the others. There was no acapella Rank Strangers last night, but two slightly different versions of one of my favourites, Wayfaring Strangers. The early evening performance was a lot more laid back, harking back to the Al Vosper days and ending with the whistling. The whole last show was a tour de force. You could just feel that he was putting every once of himself into the performance. Angel from Montgomery appeared and he did a run around the theatre which he hadn’t done at any other performance.
Every show was that little bit different. Someone asked for Elvis which wasn’t on the set list (although Alfie did give us a little bit of hip swivelling!) but by the last show, the two fabulous guitarists he performed with pulled Suspicious Minds out of the bag. Alfie forgot some of the words, but hey he wasn’t prepared and he is so funny when he forgets. Can’t tell you what talented musicians the guitarists were though. I do love the intimate sound of the guitars alone and Alfie. This really has been the best.
The bonus was the interview with him in the theatre which was jam packed. I was so glad for him. He just gets better and better at interacting with the audience. And he certainly felt the love. He told the interviewer we were all his family. And speaking of the interviewer, he was great. It turns out that he played in the performance of 42nd street in Blackpool back in the early 1990’s and that was the show where Alfie was working behind the scenes and when he should have passed the large penny up through the trap door for the lead to use for a tap dance routine, he fell asleep on the job. They both had a chuckle at that one. It really is a small world. The only really new info was that besides cooking and drumming and riding around on his motorcycle, Alfie has gone back to an earlier love of painting. He enjoys creating abstracts, loves blending the various colours, but he also enjoys sketching and portraiture and is currently working on a large piece of a lion. Because he’s interested in texture as well as colour, he has applied scrunched up bits of newspaper to the canvas create another dimension and then painting over that.
A fantastic review, thanks Cecilia and I’m sure lots more to come when the cruise finishes. In the meantime, here is a photo from Nikki Lewis:
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