Musicals

Caroline Ward’s selection of songs features yet another couple of new entrants to the Six Sensational Songs list! It’s also the only selection that has nearly all Michael and Alfie songs.

Love Changes Everything is of course Michael Ball’s signature song but Alfie sang it, for one night only, at the celebration concert for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s birthday in 2018.

Incurably Romantic from Alfie and Michael’s first tour Together.

A Wonderful World / Over the Rainbow

You’ll Be Back, at Carfest South 2018.

Wham Medley.

Bring Me Sunshine – with Rays of Sunshine choir.

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Jeanette Halton says that “‘I’ve loved listening to Alfie for many years and really love his passion for all genres of music and his ability to sing everything from The Who to La Boheme.” Hear, hear Jeanette – these are your choices.

Buona Sera, from Serenata, chosen by Jeanette as it reminds of a happy holiday on the Amalfi coast.

Keep Me In Your Heart – Jeanette loves the audience participation!

Love Reign O’er Me

Wagon Wheel – Jeanette loves to see Alfie playing guitar.

The Wham Medley – Jeanette says “eight mins of just pure joy and happiness, who can’t love the 80’s classics”. And so say all of us!

Sing, Sing, Sing which Jeanette fell in love with after hearing it at Llangollen.

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Like most of us, Sarah has found it difficult to choose just six sensational songs! This is what she says: “Since I discovered Alfie he has brought such variety of music into my life. He sings such a wide range as well that picking six is so difficult. Alfie literally has a song to suit every mood. Having said that based on my current mood these are my top six most listened to songs at the moment.

Love Reign O’er Me – Sarah says “I don’t think any explanation is needed really as to why this is my absolute favourite. I love ‘rock’ Alfie and when I heard him sing this live earlier this year that was a dream come true. His voice was made to perform that song.”

Run – “This is such a beautiful song and the emotion he puts into it every time gets me. I love seeing this performed live. I feel this song is one where Alfie is in his element.”

Wagon Wheel – “I must confess country is not my usual genre but I love this song. Played live with the excellent musicians in the band, this one is hard to beat.”

That’s Alright Mama – a song that Alfie previously sang during his 2012 – 13 shows. Sarah says “I heard Alfie sing this the first time I saw him live. Those swivelling hips of his are a thing of beauty”. Restrain yourselves at 29 seconds into the video!

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah, from the opening night of Alfie’s 2014 tour.
“This song makes me want to jump up and sing and dance. As always Alfie’s version is amazing.”

Hamilton‘s You’ll Be Back. “I think this song is perfect for Alfie and Michael. I loved it from the first time I heard it and it holds fond memories for me from being in the audience at last years TV special.”

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Susan Black is a long time fan from Eastern England and these are her Six Sensational Songs.

Nessun Dorma, from Matt Lucas’ kitchen – Susan heard Alfie sing this and has never been the same since!

Run, at Hampton Court Palace, 2017.

Je Crois Entendre Encore at Thetford – apparently, according to Sue, you could “hear a pin drop”.

Bring Him Home – as if you didn’t know!

Dimming of the Day at the Royal Albert Hall with the lovely Emilia Mitiku.

My all time favourite!

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Although 2019 had a quiet start for Alfie, it’s about to get a whole lot busier, with An Evening with Alfie Boe starting in just a few weeks time. And then of course we have the excitement of Les Mis to look forward to. Before we get bowled over with new events, let’s pay a visit to our series of Six Sensational Songs, this time from Emma Cropper and her son, Jamie. Emma hails from Fleetwood and, as she says, “when I heard about this singer from the wood I just had to listen!” These are their songs.

If I can Dream is Emma’s favourite song – the lyrics get Emma every time – and “Alfie sings it better than anyone.”

Emma says that the Storyteller album is one of her favourites and that Bridge Over Troubled Water really helped her at a difficult time.

Blood Brothers is one of Emma’s favourite musicals, so Tell Me It’s Not True has to be in her top six. “It always provokes such memories of the stage show and a great way to escape.”

Emma’s son Jamie also loves Alfie’s music so when Emma asked him which songs he wanted to nominate, he instantly said You’ll Never Walk Alone. Being Liverpool fans, as is Alfie, they know how powerful and important this song is to so many people. 

The Willy Wonka song, otherwise known as Pure Imagination, is Jamie’s other choice of song, because it reminds him of chocolate!

Finally, Emma and Jamie’s joint choice is He Lives In You from The Lion King, because “that was the soundtrack to our Christmas past!”

Another two new songs to add to our list of Six Sensational Songs!

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Exciting times for Les Mis fans as not only will Alfie Boe be starring in the West End concert version later this year, but John Owen-Jones will be sharing the role with him! John remains the youngest actor to play Jean Valjean and most recently, took over from Alfie on Broadway. Speaking since the announcement, John said “It’s been nearly ten years since the last time I played Jean Valjean in Les Miserables in London. I’m really excited to be going back to the role in what will be such a special version of the show. I am also delighted to note that when I appear in this production at the Gielgud Theatre, I shall have appeared as Jean Valjean in every London theatre in which the show has played!” John also featured as part of Club 24601, which took place to mark the thirtieth birthday of Les Mis.

Aptly, John has today released his fifth studio album, Spotlight. The songs are mostly from the world of musical theatre and have clearly been chosen to form a coherent narrative throughout, beginning with From Now On and ending with Goodbye from the Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can and Rocky Horror Show’s I’m Going Home. Choosing some classic songs that join together with newer tracks, the result is sheer class.

Beauty and the Beast’s Evermore is a song that has begun to be recorded by several artists and no wonder; the beautiful melody perfectly suit the range and strength of John’s voice. The last note alone is worth the album price – John says it might be the longest note he’s ever recorded and it surely must be!

The Prayer is a duet made famous by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli but has been sung and recorded by many artists since it’s first appearance. On Spotlight, John duets with fellow Welsh singer, Lucie Jones and the result is magical. Lucie’s lovely voice blends exquisitely with John’s and leaves the listener wanting to hear from them both. Other highlights from the album include I Dreamed a Dream, a version which has been specially arranged to incorporate musical motifs reminiscent of Jean Valjean, rather than Fantine, for whom the Les Mis song is written. It is a very restrained performance and brought to mind the eloquence of John’s Bring Him Home.

Climb Every Mountain has a very dramatic opening, whilst I defy anyone to listen to Raise Me Up without standing up and singing along at the top of their voice! The inclusion of Spandau Ballet’s Through the Barricades is a surprise but a happy one – the track is nicely understated and as John says, would work in a musical. Ending with a toned down version of I’m Going Home, John first shows us Goodbye, from the short lived musical, Catch Me If You Can, based on the movie of the same name. Upbeat and catchy, t’s a perfect musical theatre song and good to hear something that a lot of the audience might not be familiar with.

Spotlight is available to order here.

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In news sure to electrify fans of both Alfie Boe and Michael Ball, it is today confirmed that both will return to the London stage of Les Miserables – albeit in a fully staged concert version. Scheduled to run for sixteen weeks at the Gielgud theatre from August 10, this solves the conundrum of what to do with the super musical while it’s current home, the Queen’s Theatre, is being refurbished this summer.

Alfie will reprise the role of Jean Valjean, whereas Ball will take the role of Javert – if we weren’t excited before, we are now! This is a super exciting cast announcement, especially given that Matt Lucas will return to play Thenardier and Fantine will be played by West End star Carrie Hope Fletcher. In addition, another wonderful Valjean, John Owen-Jones will be returning for three shows a week.

Earlier today, Alex Bellfield of Celebrity Radio shared a YouTube chat with Alfie:

Tickets will be on sale here from 12 noon Thursday 7 February

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In at number eight in our quest to find your favourite Alfie Boe live song this year is a song that entered the chart in 2018 at number four and is from Together:

St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, June 2018

Alfie has been singing You’ll Never Walk Alone for a long time, and not just because he’s a Liverpool fan! This version in the glorious setting of St. George’s Chapel showcases Alfie’s classically trained voice superbly.

Despite it’s undoubted footballing connotations in the UK, the song is of course originally from the 1945 musical, Carousel, which Alfie appeared in 2017. However, Alfie’s character, Billy Bigelow doesn’t get to sing this song and it was a pleasure to hear Brenda Edwards’ Nettie sing it in the ENO production. Here is Alfie at the VE Day celebrations in 2015:

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This week, we’re looking at Helen Bird’s Six Sensational Songs.  Helen first saw Alfie at the Festival of Remembrance in 2007, a fresh faced young man, singing Bring Him Home.  At the time she just thought nothing of the singer, just that it was an apt song for Remembrance Weekend.  These are Helen’s six songs:

Pure Imagination from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Helen says ” I adore this film especially this song”.

I Vow To Thee My Country.  Helen says “This hymn reminds me of the many military church services I attended with my hubby whilst he was serving in the Army. I’ve chosen Linda Wellington’s footage of Alfie accompanied by The Central Band of The Royal British Legion at the First World War Commemorative Concert, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle as this sounds just amazing.”

If I Can Dream from Storyteller.  Helen chose this as everyone has hopes and dreams and this sums it all up.

O Holy Night from Boston Pops’ Sleigh Ride.  Helen says “This is a hymn that will always remind me of my dear departed Mum, albeit I first saw and heard it being sung by Mario Lanza in the film The Great Caruso when we watched films on a Saturday afternoon, usually whilst she did the ironing.”

Love Reign O’er Me from Classic Quadrophenia.   This was the first time that Helen heard this song live, at Alfie and Michael’s outdoor concert at Walcot Hall in Shropshire in July 2017.  This was the second time Helen had seen Alfie live, the first being Birmingham in 2013.

Bring Him Home, Alfie’s signature song.  Helen says “I first heard him sing  this back in 2007. Although I didn’t start appreciating Alfie’s voice until my daughters brought home the DVD of the 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables and I sat there transfixed to the TV, listening to the voice we all truly love. I decided to choose the 2007 Festival of Remembrance version because to me it brings to mind the importance of when it was performed and also because of my hubby’s military background. He lost several comrades during his time served and if he went away on exercise, I used to say to myself after he had left the house, bring him home safely.”

Thank you Helen for sharing your six sensational songs with us – three more new songs to add to our list!

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The week of Alfie Boe’s new album release has arrived and there seems no better time to look at another set of Six Sensational Songs, this time from Carole Naden.  Carole’s first choice is:

Of course, Bring Him Home, ‘the’ song that we all associate with Alfie.

Another eternally popular song, and the winner of the Best Live Song poll for the past two years, Run.

Angie, from Storyteller.  This beautiful cover of the Rolling Stones is making it’s first appearance in six sensational songs.

Dimming of the Day, first heard with Emilia Mitiku on the Storyteller tour but recorded for Trust with Shawn Colvin.

Another new song for our list of sensational songs, this is Wagon Wheel from Cardiff 2017, the first time we heard Wagon Wheel and the second time we saw Alfie play guitar.  The last time was five years on the Storyteller tour!

Carole’s sixth choice is Islands in the Stream, another song that debuted at Alfie’s summer concerts this year but I couldn’t find a video with just that, so you get a freebie this time around!

I say this every time sensational songs is published but the depth and breadth of Alfie’s repertoire is such that we have added another three new songs to the Six Sensational Songs playlist! Bring on the next tour!

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